US SoccerUS Soccer

2014 NTC Invitational

U.S. Soccer National Training Center; Carson, California
U.S. Matches
Group Schedule

Ramos Names U-20 MNT Roster for NTC Invitational

CHICAGO (July 10, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament that will take place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, from July 14-18.

The U-20 MNT will gather for training camp in Carson beginning July 10 before playing its first games of the NTC Invitational against Chile on July 14 (6 p.m. PT) and Bermuda on July 16 (4 p.m. PT). The U.S. concludes tournament play against Australia on July 18, a match that will be broadcast on at 7 p.m. PT. The day’s other match between Bermuda and Chile will also be broadcast on beginning at 4 p.m. PT.

The U.S. roster for the tournament is made up of a solid group of players with extensive experience in the U.S. Youth National Team Program as 11 players have reached a minimum of 10 YNT call-ups already in their young international careers. Six of those 11, including Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas Academy), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana) and Zack Steffen (Maryland) all have over 20 career YNT events under their belts, with Requejo Jr. leading the way with 33 to his name.

Dating back to last November’s international training camp in Verona, Italy, when this current iteration of the U-20 MNT was assembled, seven players have been included in a roster-high four U-20 MNT events: goalkeeper Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), defenders Donovan, Moore and Requejo Jr., midfielder Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) and forwards Pfeffer and Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC). Steffen, who was part of Ramos’ squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, is also be making his fourth appearance on a U.S. U-20 roster.

The roster blends a good mix of foreign- and domestic-based talents with eight players plying their trade outside the U.S., including Club Tijuana trio Fernando Arce – receiving his first call-up to a U.S. YNT event – Paul Arriola and Requejo Jr., who represent the most players named to the squad from one club.

Arriola, Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Moore, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., and Steffen are among 12 players on the roster who helped the team to a second-place finish in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 2014 Dallas Cup earlier this year in its last international competition.

After the conclusion of the NTC Invitational, Ramos and his staff will look to assemble the team again in early September for an international training camp.

U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]                 Location                                        Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     3 p.m.*             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v CHI      6 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    USA v AUS     7 p.m.               StubHub Center            

*Changed from original kickoff time

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG  Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)

2014 NTC Invitational Kicks Off Tonight

CHICAGO (July 14, 2014) – The 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament consisting of four teams from the United States, Australia, Bermuda and Chile kicks off today at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.The tournament will run from July 14-18.

The round-robin style tournament is predominantly for players born prior to Jan. 1, 1995, who will be age eligible for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Matches will be played on July 14, 16 and 18, with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team taking on Chile, Bermuda and Australia in that order.

The final two tournament matches – USA vs. Australia and Chile vs. Bermuda – on July 18 will be streamed live on Additionally, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship matches for the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups, which are also taking place at the National Training Center in Carson, will be streamed live on on July 19.

Teams can bring up to 20 players for the NTC Invitational, which will decide a champion using a group table format wherein the team with the most points (three points for a win, one point for a tie, zero for a loss) at the end of the three match days is declared the winner. Should two or more teams be tied on points in the final standings, goal differential, then greatest number of goals scored in all matches will be used as the first two tiebreakers.

The U.S. U-20 MNT roster for the NTC Invitational will be announced at a later date.

U.S. Soccer previously hosted the U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational this past February and plans to host more Youth Men’s and Women’s National Team tournaments in addition to the marquee Nike International Friendlies that have provided top level international competition for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team every year since 2001.

U.S. Soccer NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]        Location                                                    Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     3 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v CHI      6 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    USA v AUS      7 p.m.              StubHub Center            
July 19                        DA U-15/16     4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    DA U-17/18      7 p.m.              StubHub Center            

*Times changed from original schedule due to weather conditions.

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-20s 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-20 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

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

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 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.”


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 “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.”


 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 “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

U-20 MNT vs. El Salvador: Highlights - Jan. 24, 2015

The U.S. U-20 MNT defeated El Salvador behind goals from Ben Spencer and Paul Arriola to grab a spot in the 2015 U-20 World Cup.


Date Time Matchup Venue Watch
July 14, 2014 4 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Chile Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
July 16, 2014 4 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Bermuda Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
July 18, 2014 7 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Australia Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
Michael Amick D 5-11 165 4/3/95 Sunnyvale, Calif.
Fernando Arce M 6-0 160 11/27/96 Chula Vista, California Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Paul Arriola F 5-8 145 2/5/95 Chula Vista, Calif. Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Russell Canouse M 5-10 175 6/11/95 Lancaster, Pa. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany)
Santiago Castano GK 5-10 155 4/14/95 Union City, N.J. New York Red Bulls Academy
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
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)
Jacori Hayes M 5-8 140 6/29/95 Bowie, Maryland
Bradford Jamieson IV F 6-1 165 10/18/96 Los Angeles, Calif. LA Galaxy
Benjamin Lopez F 5-11 145 2/16/95 San Diego, Calif.
Shaquell Moore D 5-11 155 11/2/96 Powder Springs, Ga.
Andrija Novakovich F 6-3 180 9/21/96 Muskegon, Wisc. Reading (England)
Chris Odoi Atsem D 5-10 155 5/28/95 Mitchellville, Maryland
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)
Caleb Smith D 5-9 135 10/15/96 Arlington, Texas
Zack Steffen GK 6-3 190 4/2/95 Downingtown, Pa. SC Freiburg (Germany)
Jesus Vazquez D 6-1 180 3/22/95 San Luis Obispo, California UANL Tigres
U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams               Time [PT]       Location                                 Broadcast
July 14            AUS v BER      1 p.m.             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                        USA v CHI      4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none

July 16            AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                        USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none

July 18            BER v CHI       4 p.m.             StubHub Center            
                        USA v AUS     7 p.m.             StubHub Center