USMNT’s 2020 January Camp Newbies

A proving ground of sorts, the USMNT’s annual January Camp offers up plenty of opportunity, especially for the players experiencing their first senior-team gathering.

A proving ground of sorts, the USMNT’s annual January Camp offers up plenty of opportunity, especially for the players experiencing their first senior-team gathering. The 2020 edition in Bradenton features six first-timers looking to make their case with the senior team as well as the U-23 MNT before the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship in March.

Here’s some info on the newbies: 


Julian Araujo

Araujo began representing the United States at the U-18 level in 2017. The defender helped the USA win the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship and was part of the squad that advanced to the quarterfinals of last summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, and also suited up for the U-23 MNT in two friendlies last March.

A product of the LA Galaxy Academy, Araujo played his first professional minutes with the club’s USL side in 2018 before stepping up to the first team last season. Just 17 years old for most of the 2019 campaign, the right back had a healthy rookie year, starting 10 of his 18 regular season appearances to help the club qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.


Christian Cappis

The towering central midfielder is a product of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, having first suited up for Texans SC of Houston before signing on with FC Dallas. After being prevented from signing a Homegrown deal with Dallas by MLS, Cappis sought opportunities abroad in 2018 and landed with Hobro of the Danish SuperLiga.

While it took some time for him to break into the first team, Cappis has appeared in 19 of the club’s 20 games so far this season. One of two foreign-based players on the roster, the 20-year-old midfielder was able to make it to January Camp thanks to the SuperLiga’s extended winter break.

Internationally, Cappis made a late push to be part of last summer’s U-20 World Cup squad by scoring in each of his appearances during two March 2019 friendlies, ultimately missing out on going to Poland.


Jesus Ferreira

The son of former FC Dallas star and 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira, Jesús arrived in USMNT camp less than a month after receiving his U.S. citizenship, and has previously participated in camps with the U-20 and U-23 MNTs.

Thanks to his father’s memorable years with the club, the Colombian-born striker played in the FCD Academy where he helped the U-16 side win the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship. Signed to a Homegrown later that year, then 16-year-old Ferreira became not only the youngest player to appear, but also to score a goal for the club in a 6-2 win against Real Salt Lake on June 3, 2017.

After two seasons biding his time with the first team, Ferreira punched his ticket to USMNT camp after a breakout campaign in which he recorded eight goals and six assists across 33 regular season matches. As a naturalized citizen whose parents do not hold U.S. citizenship, Ferreira would still need to go through the process of meeting the additional FIFA requirements of representing the United States in international competition.


Bryang Kayo

Born to Cameroonian parents who met in the United States, the 17-year-old Kayo is the youngest player in the 25-man January Camp squad. He already has some familiarity with the team thanks to serving as a guest player during last May’s Gold Cup pre-camp in Annapolis, Md. 

That brief camp appearance occurred between the central midfielder helping the United States to a runner-up finish at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship and the team’s appearance at this past fall’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

A product of the D.C. United Academy, Kayo made three appearances for the club’s USL affiliate Loudoun United in 2019 before signing with USL Championship side Orange County SC later in the season. Currently unattached to a club, the youngster will hope to build off his time with the senior team to secure his next professional move.


Ulysses Llanez

Llanez featured for the USA at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship, scoring seven goals in the side’s eight matches en route to a second-straight confederation championship. Llanez went on to make the roster for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, coming on as a substitute in three matches including the 3-2 upset victory of tournament favorites France in the Round of 16. 

Another product of the LA Galaxy Academy, the winger helped the club to two-straight U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals in 2017 and 2018 and earned concurrent minutes with the club’s USL side in those seasons. 

Joining Cappis as the other foreign-based player on the January Camp roster, Llanez signed with German Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg upon turning 18 last April. The Lynwood, Calif. native’s time in Germany has begun well, putting home 10 goals in 11 matches for the club’s U-19 side which currently sits one point off the pace in the U-19 Bundesliga Nord this season.  


Brandon Servania

Added to the roster on Jan. 11, midfielder Brandon Servania is the fourth player that represented the USA at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup on this year’s January Camp squad. Servania appeared in four matches, scoring one goal during last year’s World Cup in Poland, as well as making five appearances and contributing two goals during the USA’s run to the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship.

Another FC Dallas Homegrown product, Servania was part of the club’s U-16 side that won the 2015 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship, and after one year of college soccer with Wake Forest in 2017, went on to sign with the first team in January 2018. Having spent most of his first professional season on loan with the Tulsa Roughnecks of the USL Championship, Servania made in-roads with the FC Dallas first team last season, contributing two goals and three assists in 18 appearances.

Servania is also one of four FC Dallas players in the current camp, joining Reggie Cannon, Jesús Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal.


Sam Vines

A product of the Colorado Rapids Academy, after a rookie season spent on loan with the Charlotte Independence, Vines carved out the starting spot at left back last season following an injury to a teammate. 

He went on to appear in 26 matches for the club, including an impressive performance working to shutdown eventual 2019 MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela in a 1-0 victory against LAFC on June 29. 

Internationally, Vines has previously represented the U.S. U-18 MNT, and most recently the U-23 MNT last fall.