CHICAGO (April 2, 2012) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has called in 24 players for a training camp from April 9-16 in Portland, Ore. The team will train for a week, playing against the University of Portland and one other team during that span. (UPDATE: Due to recent club injuries, both Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) and William Packwood (Birmingham City) have had to withdraw from this training camp to report back to their respective clubs. Javan Torre (LA Galaxy Academy) and Matt Wiesenfarth (California Davis) will replace them.)
The U.S. will face the Pilots at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 12, at Merlo Field. The second game of the camp will take place on Sunday, April 15, against an opponent still to be determined. (UPDATE: The U.S. U-20 MNT will play an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday, April 12, and against the University of Washington at 4 p.m. PT on Sunday, April 15. Both matches will be played at the Nike Campus.)
Eight of the players that will be in camp ply their trade in the professional ranks, with Santos Laguna sending two players: Daniel Cuevas and Benji Joya. North Carolina sends three players in Mikey Lopez, Jordan McCrary and Boyd Okwuonu, as 10 total players come from college teams.
Having called 10 players into Portland for their first camp in this cycle, Ramos is ready to take one last significant look at prospects before narrowing down the player pool.
“We’ve had three camps this year and taken advantage of the opportunity to cast a wide net in evaluating the player pool,” said Ramos. “This is the last time we plan on calling in a large number of new players. From here on out, we’re really going to really focus in the players we have identified who we think will be competing for spots on this team moving forward.”
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy has a strong presence on the roster, with six players currently playing for Academy clubs and 15 Academy alumni.
Ramos has called in 11 players who were part of the team’s last camp in February: Seth Casiple, Cuevas, Christian Dean, Tomas Gomez, Joya, Lopez, Collin Martin, Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Okwuonu and Victor Pineda. Of those 11, Casiple, Cuevas, Martin, Miller, Ocegueda and Okwuonu have participated in every camp in 2012.
Ramos is preparing the squad for the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifying tournament, which will likely begin in early 2013. The World Cup will be held in Turkey in 2013, and every player on the roster is age-eligible for the competition.
U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Training Camp Roster By Position*:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Jake McGuire (Chivas USA Academy; Pomona, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (9): Christian Dean (California Berkeley; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Bryan Gallego (Akron; Kinnelon, N.J.), Jordan McCrary (North Carolina; Marietta, Ga.), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Jeffrey Payeras (LA Galaxy Academy; Hawthorne, Calif.), Javan Torre (LA Galaxy Academy; Santa Monica, Calif.), Derek Vogel (Pateadores; Long Beach, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Seth Casiple (California Berkeley; Rocklin, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif), Ethan Decker (New York Red Bulls Academy; Manahawkin, N.J.), Daniel Garcia (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), James Rogers (New Mexico, Salt Lake City, Utah), Jonathan Top (FC Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas), Matt Wiesenfarth (California Davis; Sacramento, Calif.)
*updated April 8, 2012