U.S. Under-20 MYNT Head Coach Mikey Varas Names USA Roster For 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup In ArgentinaUSA Will Face Ecuador, Fiji and Slovakia in Group Stage; Eleven Players Return from Dominant Run at 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship While Six Bring Senior National Team Experience to Argentina
CHICAGO (May 10, 2023) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team head coach Mikey Varas has selected the 21 players that will represent the United States at the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, set for May 20-June 11 in Argentina.
The USA kicks off Group B play on Saturday, May 20 against Ecuador, faces Fiji on Tuesday, May 23 and closes the group stage vs. Slovakia on Friday, May 26. All three matches kick off at 2 p.m. ET and will be shown on FOX Sports and Telemundo platforms.
The U.S. will look to build on its history of success at this tournament as the only nation to reach the quarterfinals of the last three U-20 World Cups and one of three countries to qualify for the last five editions alongside New Zealand and Uruguay.
Entering the tournament as champions of Concacaf following a dominant showing at last summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship, 11 players from the squad that clinched the USA’s World Cup berth and third-straight confederation title made this World Cup roster. Of those, six players have already been called up by the senior USMNT.
“We’re really excited for this group to compete against the world’s best in Argentina,” said Varas. “To represent your country at a World Cup is a tremendous honor. We embrace the responsibility that comes with this opportunity. This group has put in so much hard work since the cycle kicked off to get to this point, and we will give everything on and off the field for our country. We’re very appreciative of the cooperation we’ve had from clubs, both at home and abroad, to release their players and let them shine on this global stage.”
FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COUNTRY; U-20 CAPS/GOALS; HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Alexander Borto (Fulham/ENG; South Plainfield, N.J.; 2/0), 12-Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 4/0), 1-Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.; 5/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 17-Justin Che (Hoffenheim/GER; Dallas, Texas; 6/0), 5-Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 10/1), 2-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 13/1), 14-Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 11/0), 13-Jonathan Gomez (Real Sociedad/ESP; Keller, Texas; 6/0), 3-Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.; 5/0), 4-Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC; Louisville, Ky.; 2/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, N.J.; 10/0), 10-Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 16/4), 8-Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.; 16/2), 20-Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.; 12/1), 15-Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 5/3), 18-Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC; Anchorage, Alaska; 4/0), 16-Owen Wolff (Austin FC; Austin, Texas; 3/1)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 7/2), 11-Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.; 6/2), 7-Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 15/7), 19-Darren Yapi (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.; 3/0)
The U-20s will train in Buenos Aires for a week before traveling on Monday, May 15 to San Juan, which will host all three of the U.S. group stage matches.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003, are age-eligible for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Varas selected 10 players born in 2003, eight born in 2004 and three born in 2005. The three players born in 2005 -- defender Joshua Wynder as well as midfielders Niko Tsakiris and Obed Vargas -- are also age-eligible for the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The roster features players from 17 clubs, including 10 from Major League Soccer, led by three players from the Philadelphia Union and two each from LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes. Six players are based abroad: two each in England and Germany and one player each in Croatia and Spain. A total of 12 states are represented on the roster, with five players hailing from California and four from Texas. A native of Anchorage, Vargas is a rare World Cup roster selection from Alaska.
Three alternates will travel with the U.S. to Argentina to train with the team prior to the tournament: defender Thomas Williams (Orlando City SC), midfielder Moses Nyeman (Real Salt Lake) and forward Korede Osundina (Orange County SC).
SENIOR TEAM EXPERIENCE
Six players have earned call-ups with the full USMNT, including four who have already made their debut with the senior squad. Forward Cade Cowell (three caps) and defender Jonathan Gómez (two caps) lead the charge, while goalkeeper Gaga Slonina made his debut last January against Serbia. More recently, defender Caleb Wiley picked up his first cap as a substitute in April’s Allstate Continental Clásico against Mexico. Defenders Justin Che and Joshua Wynder have been called into USMNT camp and are still in search of their full international debut.
KINGS OF CONCACAF
The USA qualified for the 2023 U-20 World Cup as it took home its third straight confederation crown at last summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras. The U.S. rolled to seven straight wins at the tournament, including a strong 2-0 quarterfinal victory against Costa Rica to clinch its World Cup berth. A 3-0 win against host Honduras sent the U.S. men to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 while a dominant 6-0 triumph against the Dominican Republic in the tournament final secured the Concacaf crown.
Forward Quinn Sullivan was named to the tournament Best XI after netting six goals in Honduras. Sullivan and goalkeeper Antonio Carrera, defenders Brandan Craig, Mauricio Cuevas and Marcus Ferkranus, midfielders Daniel Edelman, Diego Luna, Jack McGlynn, Rokas Pukstas and Tsakiris and forward Cade Cowell all return from that World Cup qualifying squad.
ROAD TO ARGENTINA
Every player on the roster has been capped at the U-20 level, led by Luna and McGlynn’s 16 appearances. Sullivan is the squad’s leading scorer with seven international goals, six coming at World Cup qualifying. Five players have appeared in six of the nine training camps held since the cycle kicked off in November 2021: Carrera, Craig, Cuevas, Edelman and Wiley.
ABOUT THE FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP
The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup will feature 24 countries divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. From there, the tournament will feature a knockout bracket to the tournament final.All three of the USA’s group stage games will be played at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan, located in western Argentina near the foothills of the Andes. La Plata, Mendoza and Santiago del Estero will also serve as host venues for the competition.