CHICAGO (May 1, 2018) – The U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team will travel to Trnava, Slovakia from May 1-12 to participate in 2018 Slovakia Cup. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B with Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, while Azerbaijan, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales make up Group A. All teams will face a fourth opponent in the placement stage, but only the two group winners will vie for Slovakia Cup Champions.
USA Tournament Schedule
May 7 – USA vs. Kazakhstan
May 8 – USA vs. Ukraine
May 10 – USA vs. Czech Republic
May 11 – USA vs. TBD (Placement Match)
The U-19 MNT’s most recent trip to the Slovakia Cup was a Championship run in 2016. After victories over Georgia and Ukraine in the group stage, the U.S. went on to defeat Russia 2-1 in the final. That squad featured future MNT player Weston McKennie as well as 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Champions Luca de la Torre and Marlon Fossey.
This tournament will mark just the second gathering for the U-19 MNT during the 2018-19 player cycle, and second under the helm of Dave van den Bergh, who transitions to the U-19 head coaching role after serving as the U-15 Boys’ National Team head coach since February of 2016.
Van den Bergh has called up 20 players for the series of international tests, 19 of whom were born in 2000 (the birth year for this age group of U-19s). The only 2001-born player on the roster is midfielder Taylor Booth (Unattached).
Booth makes his debut with the U-19s, along with Jake Arteaga (LA Galaxy), Kyle Holcomb (Pateadores), Declan McGlynn (Crossfire Premier), Jacobo Reyes (C.F. Monterrey), James Sands (New York City FC) and Sean Zawadzki (Columbus Crew SC).
Booth, Reyes and Sands are joined by Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club), Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96) and Akil Watts (Unattached) as veterans of the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India. Zyen Jones (FC Schalke 04) was part of the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship squad that qualified the USA to India.
All the players on this roster are age-eligible for the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Poland. The age cut-off for that World Cup is players born on or after January 1, 1999.
Development Academy Ties:
- 19 of 20 players have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- Seven players have received U-15/16 Best XI conference selections:
- Jake Arteaga (West, 2016)
- Sam Fowler (West, 2017)
- Kyle Holcomb (West, 2016)
- Rayshaun McGann (East, 2016)
- Declan McGlynn (West, 2017)
- Isaiah Parente (Central, 2017)
- Soto, Sebastian (West, 2017)
- In July of 2017, Atlanta United FC teammates Charlie Asensio and Zyen Jones won the U-15/16 Development Academy national title.
- James Sands is the only player on the roster to have signed a professional Homegrown contract, the first Homegrown player ever for New York City FC.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sam Fowler (Seattle Sounders FC; Issaquah, Wash.), Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC; Miami, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Jake Arteaga (LA Galaxy; Glendora, Calif.), Charlie Asensio (Atlanta United FC; Roswell, Ga.), Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96; Montclair, N.J.), Rayshaun McGann (Atlanta United FC; Palm Beach, Fla.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Akil Watts (Unattached; Fort Wayne, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Taylor Booth (Unattached; Eden, Utah), Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club; Southlake, Texas), Declan McGlynn (Crossfire Premier; Kirkland, Wash.), Isaiah Parente (Columbus Crew; Cleveland, Ohio), Sean Zawadzki (Crew SC Academy; Olmsted Falls, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Kyle Holcomb (Pateadores; San Marcos, Calif.), Matt Hundley (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Zyen Jones (FC Schalke 04; Clarkston, Ga.), Jeremy Rafanello (Philadelphia Union; Delran, N.J.), Jacobo Reyes (C.F. Monterrey; Monterrey, Mexico), Sebastian Soto (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.)