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U-20 MNT vs. Qatar & Croatia - April 21 & 25, 2015

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN CLUB/COLLEGE
Jordan Allen M 5-10 154 4/25/95 Rochester, N.Y. Real Salt Lake
Jeff Caldwell GK 6-1 168 2/20/96 Todd, N.C. University of Virginia
Cameron Carter-Vickers D 6-0 190 12/31/97 Westcliff-on-Sea, England Tottenham Hotspur (England)
Marco Delgado M 5-8 145 5/16/95 Glendora, Calif. Toronto FC
Conor Donovan D 6-2 175 1/8/96 Fuquay-Varina, N.C. Orlando City SC
Junior Flores M 5-6 140 3/26/96 Manassas Park, Va. Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Romain Gall M 5-9 140 1/31/95 Herndon, Va. Columbus Crew
Lynden Gooch M 5-8 160 12/24/95 Santa Cruz, Calif. Sunderland (England)
Matt Miazga D 6-3 185 7/19/95 Clifton, N.J. New York Red Bulls
Shaquell Moore D 5-11 155 11/2/96 Powder Springs, Ga. Unattached
Amando Moreno F 5-6 145 9/10/95 Morganville, N.J. Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Erik Palmer-Brown D 6-1 175 4/24/97 Lee's Summit, Mo. Sporting Kansas City
Zachary Pfeffer F 5-8 143 1/6/95 Dresher, Pa. Philadelphia Union
John Requejo D 5-8 146 5/23/96 Carpinteria, Calif. Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Cristian Roldan M 5-8 165 6/3/95 Pico Rivera, Calif. Seattle Sounders FC
Ethan Sonis M 6-0 160 11/9/95 Coral Springs, Fla. SC Freiburg (Germany)
Joel Soñora F 5-9 140 9/15/96 Buenos Aires, Argentina Boca Juniors
Zack Steffen GK 6-3 190 4/2/95 Downingtown, Pa. SC Freiburg (Germany)
Maki Tall F 6-0 160 10/30/95 Washington, D.C. Red Star (France)
Tommy Thompson F 5-7 155 8/15/95 Loomis, California San Jose Earthquakes

U-20 MNT vs. Qatar & Croatia - April 21 & 25, 2015

Jordan Allen

Height:
5-10

Weight:
154

Birthdate:
4/25/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Rochester, N.Y.

Club:
Real Salt Lake

Jeff Caldwell

Height:
6-1

Weight:
168

Birthdate:
2/20/1996

Position:
Goalkeeper

Hometown:
Todd, N.C.

Club:
University of Virginia

Cameron Carter-Vickers

Height:
6-0

Weight:
190

Birthdate:
12/31/1997

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Westcliff-on-Sea, England

Club:
Tottenham Hotspur (England)

Marco Delgado

Height:
5-8

Weight:
145

Birthdate:
5/16/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Glendora, Calif.

Club:
Toronto FC

Conor Donovan

Height:
6-2

Weight:
175

Birthdate:
1/8/1996

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

Club:
Orlando City SC

Junior Flores

Height:
5-6

Weight:
140

Birthdate:
3/26/1996

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Manassas Park, Va.

Club:
Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

Romain Gall

Height:
5-9

Weight:
140

Birthdate:
1/31/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Herndon, Va.

Club:
Columbus Crew

Lynden Gooch

Height:
5-8

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
12/24/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Santa Cruz, Calif.

Club:
Sunderland (England)

Matt Miazga

Height:
6-3

Weight:
185

Birthdate:
7/19/1995

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Clifton, N.J.

Club:
New York Red Bulls

Shaquell Moore

Height:
5-11

Weight:
155

Birthdate:
11/2/1996

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Powder Springs, Ga.

Club:
Unattached

Amando Moreno

Height:
5-6

Weight:
145

Birthdate:
9/10/1995

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Morganville, N.J.

Club:
Club Tijuana (Mexico)

Erik Palmer-Brown

Height:
6-1

Weight:
175

Birthdate:
4/24/1997

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Lee's Summit, Mo.

Club:
Sporting Kansas City

Zachary Pfeffer

Height:
5-8

Weight:
143

Birthdate:
1/6/1995

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Dresher, Pa.

Club:
Philadelphia Union

John Requejo

Height:
5-8

Weight:
146

Birthdate:
5/23/1996

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Carpinteria, Calif.

Club:
Club Tijuana (Mexico)

Cristian Roldan

Height:
5-8

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
6/3/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Pico Rivera, Calif.

Club:
Seattle Sounders FC

Ethan Sonis

Height:
6-0

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
11/9/1995

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Coral Springs, Fla.

Club:
SC Freiburg (Germany)

Joel Soñora

Height:
5-9

Weight:
140

Birthdate:
9/15/1996

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Club:
Boca Juniors

Zack Steffen

Height:
6-3

Weight:
190

Birthdate:
4/2/1995

Position:
Goalkeeper

Hometown:
Downingtown, Pa.

Club:
SC Freiburg (Germany)

Maki Tall

Height:
6-0

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
10/30/1995

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Washington, D.C.

Club:
Red Star (France)

Tommy Thompson

Height:
5-7

Weight:
155

Birthdate:
8/15/1995

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Loomis, California

Club:
San Jose Earthquakes

Ramos Names 20-Player Roster for Austria Camp Ahead of U-20 World Cup

CHICAGO (April 17, 2015) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has called in 20 players for the U-20’s second foreign training camp of the year to be held from April 18-26 in Linz, Austria.

During camp, the U-20 MNT will play friendly matches against fellow U-20 World Cup side Qatar on April 21, followed by a matchup against Croatia on April 25. Both games will be played at Red Bull Arena, home of FC Red Bull Slazburg in Wals-Siezenheim, Austria.

This will be the second camp of the year for Ramos’ group, who recently returned from a seven-day camp in England where it faced England’s U-21’s on March 29. This Austria camp will continue the USA’s preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which takes place in New Zealand from May 30-June 20.

Eleven of the 20 players on the roster were part of the U.S. team that competed in the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and qualified the USA for the U-20 World Cup, while 12 players from the March camp in England return to be part of this squad.

All 20 players in the group have been previously called up to a camp or competed with the U-20 MNT since the 2014 cycle began.

Only three players will be joining the U-20’s for the first time in 2015: midfielders Jordan Allen and Cristian Roldan and forward Zach Pfeffer. Pfeffer has seen time with the U-23’s this year, and was called up to join the team during its training camp in Copenhagen on March 30.

Nine players represent clubs in Major League Soccer: defenders Conor Donovan (Orlando City SC), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls) and Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City); midfielders Allen (Real Salt Lake), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew SC) and Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC); and forwards Pfeffer (Philadephia Union) and Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes).

The USA was drawn into Group A of the U-20 World Cup alongside host New Zealand, Ukraine and first-time participant Myanmar. The U.S. opens the tournament May 30 against Myanmar, continues play on June 2 against New Zealand, and wraps up the group stage against Ukraine on June 5.

Roster By Position (Detailed Roster):

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Conor Donovan (Orlando City SC; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (Clifton, N.J.; New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake; Rochester, N.Y.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund; Manassas Park, Va.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew SC; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; Pico Rivera, Calif.), Ethan Sonis (SC Freiburg; Coral Springs, Fla.), Joel Sonora (CA Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
FORWARDS (4): Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

For more information about the U-20 MNT, find all the latest news on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Additional Notes:

  • Midfielder Romain Gall is the lead goal scorer of the group with five tallies in 2015, all coming at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • Forward Maki Tall scored the U.S. goal in the 2-1 defeat against England. It was Tall’s first cap, start and career goal with the USA.
  • Defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers and John Requejo are the only two players to have featured in all seven matches for the U-20’s this year, playing every minute.
  • Requejo, Gall and Tommy Thompson are the most capped players in the group, all with 14 apiece in their U-20 careers.
  • Requejo and Amando Moreno are teammates at Liga MX side Club Tijuana, while Ethan Sonis and Zack Steffen team up for SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga.
  • Eleven of the 20 players on the roster competed at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. They include: Gall, Steffen, Carter-Vickers, Conor Donovan, Matthew Miazga, Shaquell Moore,  Requejo, Junior Flores, Lynden Gooch, Moreno and Thompson
  • The 12 returning players from the March camp in England include: Jeff Caldwell, Carter-Vickers, Donovan, Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown, Requejo, Marco Delgado, Gooch, Sonis, Joel Sonora, Tall and Thompson.
  • Sixteen players on the roster have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Caldwell (NC Fusion), Steffen (Continental FC DELCO), Donovan (Capital Area RailHawks Academy- CASL), Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Moore (FC Dallas), Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Requejo (Real So Cal), Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake AZ and Empire Revolution), Delgado (Chivas USA and Cosmos Academy West), Flores (McLean Youth Soccer), Gall (D.C. United), Gooch (Santa Cruz Breakers Academy), Sonis (FC Dallas and Kendall SC), Moreno (New York Red Bulls), Pfeffer (Continental FC DELCO) and Thompson (California Development Academy)

U-20 MNT vs England: Highlights - March 29, 2015

England's Young Lions built a two-goal lead behind goals from John Swift and Kwame Thomas before U.S. forward Maki Tall scored his first international goal to set up some late drama.

U-20 MNT World Cup Journey Picking Up Speed as First Training Camp Concludes

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team ended its weeklong camp in England on Monday, March 30, as players returned to their clubs in nine different countries. For U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, the first training camp since qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in January had a number of benefits.

"I think it was a very positive camp for us," Ramos said. "We had an opportunity to train at great facilities at Tottenham, and for me, it was an opportunity to see some new players that I hadn't seen before. I thought what I saw was very positive."

The group trained at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur’s renowned facility for five days before playing England's U-21 MNT on March 29 in Plymouth.

Among the 20 players that made up the training camp, 10 were part of the group that participated in January's 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, while four others were part of their first camp with a U.S. team, including Desevio Payne, Maki Tall, Ethan Solis and Thomas Olsen. Payne and Tall started in the 2-1 loss to England, while Sonis entered in the second half.

"I think it's very important to always to bring in new players in the national team environment,” Ramos said. “Not only for those players but also for the players who are already on the team because they realize how competitive it is. Now going into the World Cup, it's a brand new stage and a team that everybody has to fight for."

Payne, who was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, but was raised in Amsterdam, started at center back alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers.

"It was unbelievable to stand there wearing a USA shirt," Payne said of his debut. " When I put it on, I thought about my career and why I came here. It's an honor to play in this shirt so I'm very happy."

Maki Tall had a similar experience. Tall was born in Washington D.C. but moved with his family to Senegal when he was seven years old, and then to his parents’ native Ivory Coast when he was 11. He went on to play in France, signed professionally, and even made nine appearances with France’s U-18 and U-19 teams combined.

"Hearing the (USA) national anthem, I don't even know how to say it,” Tall said. “It was unbelievable. I've watched (MNT) games before on TV, so to hear it for the first time, it was crazy.”

For Carter-Vickers, another dual-citizen, the match against England was the first time he lined up against the country where he was born and raised. Carter-Vickers’ father, Howard Carter, is American and still lives in Louisiana.

"A little bit when you hear the national anthem, a little bit,” Carter-Vickers admitted to the odd notion of going up against England. “But it's also just another game, and you just have to get on with it. You stay professional and play."

The loss to England was the lone negative from the trip.

"In general, I thought the first half was very disappointing for us in terms of our effort and what we brought to the game,” Ramos said. “I thought it took us a good 20-25 minutes to get into the game and definitely in international games you can't afford to do that.”

Forward Lynden Gooch shared similar thoughts.

"It was a tough game,” said the Sunderland forward. “We're all trying to get familiar still; there are new players, and we have to make sure we're right for the World Cup. Aside from that, everything else from the week was 100 percent."

For Ramos, the camp was the first of two this year before he decides on the 21-man roster that will represent the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer. The team will return to Europe from April 18-26 for its second training camp in Austria, with matches scheduled against Qatar and Croatia.

"Between this camp and the camp that we have in Austria, I think it's the last opportunity for us to make final conclusions on players," Ramos said. "I'm trying to see them in different positions and see how certain players may be able to help us. And then after that, we'll focus on trying to get the best group together. We don't have a lot of time for the World Cup but that's normally how this works."

Tall understands the process, and knows that despite scoring the USA’s lone goal against England, he needs to keep his form up.

"You always have to prove yourself,” Tall said. “Moving forward, we all want to play in a World Cup and we're all fighting for positions, like coach said. Everybody needs to impress him and work hard every day. If you're not doing well, you still need to work hard, and that's what's important on the team."

The message is also clear to Payne.

"Of course I'm happy and I'm thinking about the World Cup,” Payne added. “So it would be nice if I get the call to go, but I just need to do my best at my club and then we'll see."

U-20 MNT Defeated 2-1 in Plymouth by England

PLYMOUTH, England – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team fell to England’s Under-21s 2-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 11,406 fans at Home Park in Plymouth, England. The matched capped off a week-long camp as the U-20 MNT continues preparation for this summer’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.    

England built a two-goal lead behind goals from John Swift and Kwame Thomas before U.S. forward Maki Tall scored his first international goal for the USA late in the match that featured the U.S. debuts for defender Desevio Payne, midfielder Ethan Sonis, and Tall.

The game began under a driving rain with neither side threatening for the opening 20 minutes. The U.S. had the first chance when Paul Arriola was able to spring Maki Tall down the right side from near midfield. Tall advanced the ball into the box and let go of a shot toward the near post but was denied by a great save from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 20th minute.

England responded immediately. Captain Matty Grimes ripped a low shot from just inside the box that U.S. goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell stretched out to his left to tip away. Minutes later, Grimes tested Caldwell from about 22 yards, but the U.S. ‘keeper did well to handle the curling, left-footed shot.

Forty-three minutes in, U.S. forwards Rubio Rubin and Bradford Jamieson combined near midfield to get out of pressure, sending Jamieson down the center only to be fouled outside the arc. Rubin took the freekick but could not get it to dip quick enough as it went just over the crossbar.

England took the lead right before the half. Winger Moses Odubajo took a ball down the right side and sent a cross in to the area where an unmarked John Swift collected and shot past Caldwell.

England doubled the lead in the 68th minute on a nice play from the left side as Harry Tofollo linked up with Swift who passed to Kwame Thomas at the top of the six. Thomas re-directed the ball past Caldwell as defenders attempted to block the shot.

The U.S. got one back five minutes later when Rubin beat his man on the left endline near the goal. His cross came back to the top of the six to Joel Sonora who mishit a shot. The ball went to the far post where Maki Tall slid down to shoot past the last defender for his first goal.

The U.S. U-20 MNT will next gather for an Austria-based camp in April that will feature friendlies against Qatar and Croatia. 

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. England U-21 Men’s National Team
Date: March 29, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Home Park; Plymouth, Devon, UK
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. Local)
Attendance: 11,406
Weather: 48 degrees; Rainy

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                           0      1      1
ENG                           1      1      2

ENG – John Swift (Moses Odubajo)         44th minute
ENG – Kwame Thomas (John Swift)        68
USA – Maki Tall (Joel Sonora)                  74

Lineups:
USA: 12-Jeff Caldwell, 2-Shaq Moore, 4- Desevio Payne (14-Conor Donovan, 75), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 3-John Requejo; 6-Russell Canouse (15-Ethan Sonis, 78), 7-Paul Arriola (17-Joel Sonora, 61), 11-Marky Delgado; 10-Maki Tall (16-Boxi Yomba, 78), 9-Rubio Rubin (capt.; 23-Lynden Gooch, 75), 8-Bradford Jamieson IV (21-Tommy Thompson, 46)
Substitutions Not Used:  22-Thomas Olsen, 18-Andrija Novakovic.
Head coach: Tab Ramos

ENG: 13-Jordan Pickford, 4-Dominic Ball, 12-Harry Tofollo, 16-Jack Stephens, 17-Jordan Turnbull; 2-Moses Odubjo (10-Callum Robinson, 70), 7-Matty Grimes (capt.), 15-Harrison Reed, 19-John Swift (14-Jamie Hanson, 89), 20-Alex Mowatt (9-Chuba Akpom, 80), 18-Kwami Thomas
Substitutions Not Used:  1-Christian Walton, 3-Kortney Hause, 5-Dominic Iorfa, 6-Bailey Cargill, 8-Lewis Baker, 9-Chuba Akpom, 11-Jack Barmby.
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 6 / 8
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 6
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
ENG – Jack Stephens (caution)                  81st minute
USA – Dembakwi Yomba (caution)           82

Officials:
Referee: Steve Martin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Russell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Antony Coggins (ENG)
Fourth Official: Adam Hopkins (ENG)

Q&A: Tab Ramos Outlines Road to 2015 U-20 World Cup

ussoccer.com sat down with U.S. Under-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos to discuss the upcoming trip to England and the team’s overall preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer.

On the team’s preparation and schedule leading into the U-20 World Cup:
"Right now we have our entire plan set leading up to the World Cup. We’ve got this trip to England first from March 23-30, which will include a game against England’s U-21s, which will be a good measuring stick for us to see where we are. England always has good players, and to play them there will be a good competitive game for us.

"From there we are going to Austria from April 18-26, which will include a couple games against Qatar and another against Croatia. Those are two different types of teams, but I think are teams that will prepare us well for the World Cup. They are both high caliber teams, and I think they’re both gearing up as well.

"And then after that we head out to Australia in the middle of May for training in advance of going to New Zealand. So we have a pretty busy schedule.”

On his goals for the camps in England and Austria:
“Now that we’ve qualified to the World Cup, I obviously have a good gauge in terms of where our players are, and how most players respond because we had them in a very tough competition, in difficult fields, in must-win games. But also, it’s an opportunity to bring in one or two new players over the next couple months and see who’s doing well in their league.

"Desevio Payne has been doing well in Holland. He’s a player we’ve never seen before. He’s a starter now for Groningen in the first division. He’s going to be a new player on this roster. So as players pop up over the next couple months, we have to take a look because who is in good form is going to be really important for us.”

On if other new players apart from Desevio Payne may be brought in to the upcoming camps:
“There are some potential names that I’ve been following, but I would rather not give names because at this point they’re just prospects. I like following new guys because it keeps the group fresh and it keeps everybody on their toes. I’m excited about bringing Desevio along and seeing how he can do. I know he’s excited to come.”

On the status of midfielders Kellyn Acosta and Emerson Hyndman who were injured in Jamaica:
“Kellyn is not ready to come with us yet. He’s been running and starting to practice, but he’s not ready for us yet. Emerson is ready to come which is great, especially since he’s in England.”

On keeping track of everyone in the player pool:
“There are always challenges for us at the U-20 level in terms of keeping up with players because not all of them play on a consistent basis. It’s easy sometimes when all players are playing in a first division and you can track them on weekends and see how many minutes they played and see their highlights. When you have our players, and most of them do not play on their club's first team, you have to find them playing on second teams, reserve teams or under-20 teams, so it’s a little bit more difficult. But, I've been doing this now for quite a few years so I've figured out a way to keep track of the guys.”

On if there are differences in selecting a roster for the CONCACAF Championships compared to the FIFA U-20 World Cup:
“There are some differences in terms of picking the team, because for the World Cup you know that all of the players will be available. For qualifying, you have to build a team that you know 100 percent is going to be available because you can’t take a chance on preparing a team for months and then not being able to count on a player at the last minute. I thought as a staff we did a good job with that. It was a nice surprise for us to get Emerson Hyndman to come with us, which we didn’t expect. So if you get a surprise like that, that’s a good thing. You want to be surprised in a good way and not a bad way. So if anything, we went with a player that made a big difference for us that we didn’t expect; that made us even better. Going into the World Cup we expect everyone to be there, and so our preparation will gear towards that.”

On getting the players early in advance of the World Cup:
“With player releases, it depends on how much the club can allow their player to come on board with us for some of the preparation. As we know, we never have them for too long, so basically we’ll be going to the World Cup maybe with seven to ten days of having a full team together, which will be difficult. But overall we have a good relationship with the clubs and work with them to figure out the best situation.”

On his conversations with U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann about what players will be available for the U-20 World Cup:
“The plan is to mix and match players for the upcoming camps, but we do know that going into the summer, the U-20 World Cup becomes a priority. So going into June, the U-20 eligible players – even if they were to be called to the senior team – Jurgen has assured me that the U-20 World Cup is a priority until that’s over. From then on we’ll be moving players to the 23s and to the senior team.”

THREE'S CAMPANY

March 2015 is the curtain raiser on a busy cycle for the men’s side of the U.S. National Team program.

And USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will use the March friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland as prep for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, while also wearing his other hat as Technical Director as he helps oversee a busy time for the U.S. U-20 and U-23 MNT sides that will hold simultaneous European camps at the end of the month.

Beginning preparations for CONCACAF Olympic qualification in October, USMNT assistant coach Andi Herzog convenes his first camp in charge of the U-23 side ahead of games at Bosnia-Herzegovina (March 27) and Denmark (March 31). Meanwhile, having recently qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, U-20 head coach Tab Ramos will bring his team to England for a pair of matches against the England U-21s and Tottenham Hotspur U-21s.

“For the youngsters to look towards the U-20 World Cup is huge,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “For the U-23s, we have to get them going in order to prepare for the qualifiers later this year towards the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Andi Herzog has his hands full with that group. For me and the Senior Team perspective, I’m looking at all these youngsters and thinking who can come through these periods and develop the fastest possible in order to make himself a strong competitor for the senior group. So this is a great time now, and we can’t wait to get these games going at the end of the month.”

BREAKING DOWN THE ROSTERS

 The balance has a telling diversity among the 62 players that have been summoned.

  • Twenty players representing 12 different MLS clubs have been called across the three rosters, while another 30 players from clubs in Germany (11), England (10) and Mexico (9) add to the bulk of the call-ups.
  • Nine of the 18 players called for U-23 camp were part of Tab Ramos’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad: Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, and Wil Trapp.
  • U-23 call-ups Luis Gil, Jordan Morris and Wil Trapp have also already played for the Senior National Team.
  • Five of the U-20 call-ups were part of the U.S. U-17 World Cup qualifying campaign in 2013: Jeff Caldwell, Conor Donovan, Junior Flores, Shaquell Moore and John Requejo.
 

With all three camps taking place at the same time, the understanding between the three coaches, all of whom worked together at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has been key as Klinsmann has continued to develop a structure that works not only for the senior team but helps develop players that will one day play for it.

“In terms of style of play, it’s the same approach that Jurgen has and what Tab Ramos has done with the U-20s,” Herzog said in regards to coaching the U-23s. “We all work together with the senior team. For this group, I want to have a team where there are a lot of variations. We want to be attack-minded, keep possession, and have the whole team proactively working to win the ball back as soon as possible.”

Though just beginning the U-23 cycle, with the previous team missing out on qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Herzog said the task of getting the team to Rio next year begins with his new side understanding the playing philosophy being handed down this initial camp.

“It’s a big goal, and I think it will be really important to start from the first session to get the players into this philosophy.”

Beyond ensuring a similar playing style, the understanding has perhaps been most important when figuring out how to balance three different rosters with players that could go between two different teams.

 “It’s all very clear,” Ramos told ussoccer.com. “Jurgen and I have had a conversation to make sure that we put all things in the right places as we’re moving forward. Obviously having three National Teams go to camp at the same time is not easy.  We don’t all get the players we need at times, and it’s not easy on the clubs because MLS doesn’t stop for the FIFA dates and we’re at times asking for a bunch of players from the same team. We try not to deplete any one club at one time so the conversations between Jurgen, Andi and me as he passes down the information have to be very clear. We’ve done that, we’re all on the same page and I think it’s going to go smoothly.”

A past member of U.S. U-17 and U-20 World Championship squads as well as the 2008 Olympic team, U.S. senior international Jozy Altidore spoke to the value of these experiences for players who are beginning to develop international careers.

“It’s great to be involved at these levels because you get exposed to different types of teams,” said Altidore. “You see early how competitive it is, and how good the up and coming players are. Even getting used to things like travel is valuable. Dealing with all the elements of being an international player helps you get used to it and it becomes less of an issue as you progress, because it doesn’t get any easier. All these things prepare you for what’s to come.”

Altidore joins Beijing 2008 teammates Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco for USMNT camp this month, while another six of the senior players called in have represented the U.S. at various youth World Cups or in qualifying.

“These are important experiences,” continued Altidore. “A lot of the things you see at that level can prepare you for when you make the jump to the senior team, so these guys should take it seriously and get the most of out of it.”

Tab Ramos Names U-20 MNT Roster for March Camp in England

CHICAGO (March 22, 2015) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named the roster for the USA’s first foreign training camp of the year from March 23-30 in England.

Twenty players are headed to the camp, which will include a closed door match against Tottenham Hotspur’s Under-21 team on Friday, March 27 in London, followed by a matchup against England’s Under-21 Men’s National Team on Sunday, March 29 at 11 a.m. ET at Home Park in Plymouth. Admission to the game on Sunday is open to the public. Neither game will be streamed or televised.

This will be the U-20’s first training camp of the year as the team continues its preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, taking place this summer in New Zealand from May 30-June 20.

“Right now we have our entire plan set leading up to the World Cup,” said U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos. “We’ve got this trip to England first from March 23-30, which will include a game against England’s U-21s which will be a good measuring stick for us to see where we are. England always has good players, and to play them there will be a good competitive game for us.”

Ten of the 20 players on the roster were part of the team that competed in the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and qualified the USA for the U-20 World Cup. In addition, 17 of the 20 have been with the U-20 MNT in some capacity since the 2014 cycle began. Goalkeeper Thomas Olsen, midfielder Ethan Sonis and defender Desevio Payne are the exceptions as this will be their first call-up to a U.S. Soccer Youth National Team.

Midfielder Russell Canouse is the most capped player of the group with 14 appearances during his U-20 career; John Requejo and Tommy Thompson follow close behind with 13 apiece.

Four USA players making the trip overseas play on English clubs, including midfielders Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) and Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), forward Andrija Novakovich (Reading FC) and defender Cameron Carters-Vickers (Tottenham).

Five players represent clubs in Major League Soccer: defenders Conor Donovan (Orlando City SC) and Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), midfielder Marco Delgado (Toronto FC), and forwards Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy) and Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes).

Following the trip to England, the USA will travel to Austria for a second foreign camp running from April 18-26, that will feature games against Qatar’s and Croatia’s U-20 sides.

The USA was drawn into Group A of the U-20 World Cup alongside host New Zealand, Ukraine and first-time participant Myanmar. The U.S. opens the tournament May 30 against Myanmar, continues play on June 2 against New Zealand, and wraps up the group stage against Ukraine on June 5.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Thomas Olsen (University of San Diego; Las Vegas, Nev.)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Conor Donovan (Orlando City SC; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Desevio Payne (Groningen; Greenwood, S.C.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Ethan Sonis (SC Freiburg; Coral Springs, Fla.), Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina).
FORWARDS (6): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.), Dembakwi Yomba (Atlético Madrid; Lithonia, Ga.).

U-20 MNT Set to Play Two Games in Austria Prior to World Cup

CHICAGO (March 20, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play a pair of friendlies during its second foreign training camp of the year in Austria, as it continues the road to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The camp will run from April 18-26 and will include a matchup against fellow World Cup participant Qatar on April 21, and a game against Croatia on April 25. Both games will be played in Linz, where the U-20’s will be holding camp.

Roster details will be announced at a later date.

England, Austria Trips Highlight U-20 MNT World Cup Preparation

With the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Draw in the books, the entire focus of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is now on the preparation phase for the tournament.

The U-20 MNT reconvenes with a March 23-30 trip to London that will include matches against Tottenham’s U-21s and England’s U-20s. Following that camp, the U-20s travel to Austria for an April 18-26 session that will feature games against Qatar’s and Greece’s U-20 sides. Further game and roster details will be announced at later dates.

“Our preparation is going to be good,” U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos said. “It will be the right preparation for the teams we’re playing in the World Cup, so I’ve been very happy with our planning.”

Looking Ahead to U-20 World Cup Group Opponents:
On Tuesday, the USA was drawn into Group A against host New Zealand, Ukraine and first-time side Myanmar. The U.S. opens the tournament May 30 against Myanmar.

“I think the draw went very well, and it’s a draw where we can be successful if we play at the best level possible,” Ramos said. “These are teams who have eliminated other great teams to get here, and sometimes just reading the names doesn’t do fair justice.”

The June 2 game against host New Zealand certainly stands out as the All Whites look to make a strong run in front of their home base.

“New Zealand has been training together and should be very well prepared,” Ramos said. “They will want to do well at home since they will have the support of the home crowd. Soccer is an up-and-coming sport there, and they will have that weight on their shoulders to go along with the excitement of the tournament. All of that will make them a dangerous side.”

The USA caps off the group stage against Ukraine on June 5. Ukraine is the only side the USA has faced in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, tracing back to a 1-1 draw on June 23, 2001, on a goal by Bruce Arena’s son Kenny Arena in the first half.

“Ukraine consists of all professional players, and they’re similar to a Russia in terms of playing style,” Ramos said. “With the type of players they have, they are experienced in the world game in general.”

Myanmar is a different story as a virtual unknown at the moment but established its presence with a run to the semifinals of the 2014 Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championship to qualify for the World Cup. Myanmar clinched a spot with a 1-0 victory against United Arab Emirates on Oct. 17.

“I really don’t know much about Myanmar, and all you can really look at is the teams they have left behind,” Ramos said. “In the youth game, sometimes it only takes two or three really good players to make a difference in the team, which makes it different than senior teams. So we will focus and prepare for Myanmar in the same way we would prepare for a Germany.”

Reflecting on Qualifying Stage:
The USA is coming off a third-place performance at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. After a slow start with a draw against Guatemala and a 1-0 loss to Group A winner and fellow FIFA U-20 World Cup participant Panama, the U.S. mounted a strong run with four consecutive shutout victories, capped off by a 2-0 win against El Salvador to book a spot to New Zealand.

“I feel good about how we defend with this team,” Ramos said. “Our center backs were excellent, and I think we have good complementary players all over the field. I think that gives us some liberty to attack with a lot of players. We led the tournament in shots, so we feel secure in the back to be able to take more chances. I like taking chances, but we also have to improve on our finishing.”

That was Ramos’ main talking point following the tournament as the USA looks to have a balanced attack to coincide with the defensive play.

“I told them that it was important that we are good in front of the goal, because at the World Cup you won’t have as many chances as we did in qualifying,” Ramos said. “We have to get better, and I asked all of our players to go back to their clubs to focus on this. It’s important for their future.”

U-20 MNT Drawn into Group A for 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2015) – The U.S .Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into Group A with host New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The USA opens group play against Myanmar on May 30 in Whangarei, followed by New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland.

“It’s always an exciting moment to know your group as the reality sets in for the World Cup stage,” said U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos. “New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar will certainly prove to be formidable opponents. At this phase, every country is a challenge, so we will need to be clicking on all cylinders tactically, physically and mentally. We made great strides during the qualifying tournament, and we’re confident that with our deep pool of players that we can have a successful run at the World Cup.”

The FIFA U-20 World Cup runs May 30-June 20 among seven sites in New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei. The championship and third-place matches take place Saturday, June 20, at the 25,000-capacity QBE Stadium in Auckland.

A total of 24 countries participate in the tournament. The top two teams in each group, as well as the best four third-place teams, advance to the Round of 16 on June 10 and 11.

At the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA drew a difficult Group A that included group winner Spain, Ghana and eventual World Cup winner France, which the U.S. drew 1-1 on June 24. The U.S. went 0-2-1 and did not advance to the knockout round.

This is the 14th occasion that the USA has advanced to a FIFA World Youth Championship or World Cup at this age group. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the seventh FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989 that included wins against East Germany and Iraq and was capped off by a 2-0 loss to Brazil in the third-place match in front of 65,000 spectators at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. earned third place at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in January. The USA went 3-1-1 in the Group A stage for second behind Panama to earn the top seed in the playoff stage. The U-20 MNT defeated fourth-seeded El Salvador 2-0 on Jan. 24 to clinch its spot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U.S. defender Shaquell Moore and midfielder Romain Gall earned CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI honors, and Gall shared the tournament’s golden boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano after scoring five goals in qualifying.

2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Group A: New Zealand (host), Ukraine, USA, Myanmar
Group B: Argentina, Panama, CAF 3, Austria
Group C: Qatar, Colombia, Portugal, CAF 4
Group D: Mexico, CAF 2, Uruguay, Serbia
Group E: CAF champion, Brazil, Korea DPR, Hungary
Group F: Germany, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Honduras

U.S. U-20 MNT’s Group A Schedule:
May 30: USA vs. Myanmar; Northland Events Center, Whangarei
June 2: New Zealand vs. USA; QBE Stadium, Auckland
June 5: Ukraine vs. USA, QBE Stadium, Auckland

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