CHICAGO (May 25, 2015) – U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos has replaced midfielder Russell Canouse, who was injured in training earlier in the week, on the USA’s FIFA U-20 World Cup roster by Conor Donovan. Canouse sustained a right ankle injury while the team was training in Australia and will require additional time to recover. Donovan was named as an alternate and has been with the team since the pre-World Cup camp began on May 11 in Carson, California.
“Today was a very tough decision to make,” said Ramos. “Obviously Russell led our team to qualification in the last four matches in Jamaica, so I think that we lose a player that’s very important on the field, but also off the field. So it’s a big loss for us.
“At the same time, we were prepared by having Conor be here the whole time. Conor has been working hard with us, he’s adapted and he has been with the team for a while. So we were ready with a replacement and we’re excited to have Conor on board, who also brings a lot on the field and off the field.”
Canouse, who plays at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany, captained the USA in the final four matches of the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship in January in Jamaica, helping the team post four consecutive shutouts en route to earning a berth at the World Cup in New Zealand.
Donovan was also a member of the U-20 World Cup qualifying team in January, appearing in two matches, including a start in the team’s 8-0 victory over Aruba. The 19-year-old was selected by Orlando City SC with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft after one season at North Carolina State.
Donovan joined the U.S. Residency Program in 2011 and was a member of the U-17 team that participated at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. He played in the Development Academy in 2013-14, competing for Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL’s U-18 squad. He previously played for North Carolina Alliance.
Since the U-20 Championship, Donovan has appeared in friendlies against England, Qatar and Croatia. He scored the tying goal against Qatar on April 21 in Salzburg, Austria.
The U.S. arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday and will make its way to Whangarei on Tuesday. The team opens Group A play against Myanmar at 12 a.m. ET on May 30 in Whangarei, followed by matches with New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland. All of the U.S.’s group matches will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and NBC Universo.