The United States have qualified for the U-20 World Cup by winning the CONCACAF U-20 Championships in Panama in April. The US U-20’s are hopeful of improving on their quarterfinal result in 2015 where they lost to Serbia, the eventual champions, on penalty kicks in New Zealand.
US U-20 Head Coach Tab Ramos has announced his roster for the U-20 World Cup to be held in South Korea from May 20 - June 11. Four players on the roster have played in the USL this season with another consistent USL starter being mentioned as an alternate.
Erik Palmer-Brown (Swope Park Rangers) — The 6’1” central defender and US U-20 team captain was the MVP of the CONCACAF U-20 tournament while playing slightly out of position as a defensive midfielder. Palmer-Brown has started five matches for Swope Park to date this season and along with teammate Amer Didic form an imposing defensive front. Palmer-Brown made 17 appearances on loan at FC Porto B in 2016 where the club won the LigaPro title.
Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers 2) — The fourth overall pick in the 2017 MLS Superdraft out of Duke University is the favorite to start for the U-20’s in South Korea up top. The striker has started two matches for the Timbers 2 so far and with Fanendo Adi firmly entrenched as the starter with parent club Portland Timbers we may see much more of Ebobisse at the Timbers 2 after the tournament in South Korea.
Tommy Redding (Orlando City B) — The centerback played his first minutes of the season with OCB but was quickly called back up to parent club Orlando City SC in MLS because of injuries to the backline. Redding has been playing well in MLS this season and his days in USL may be numbered.
Derrick Jones (Bethlehem Steel) — A product of the Philadelphia Union Academy, Derrick Jones has started two matches for Bethlehem Steel, going the distance in both. Jones started the first match of the season for the Union in MLS but has been a victim of a system change as the Union are now playing a 4-2-3-1 with an attacking midfielder in most matches. The wages of the other midfielders starting for the Union drastically surpass Jones’ salary and therefore we may see him getting more minutes for Bethlehem Steel even though he looks ready for MLS. Time will tell.
Austin Trusty (Bethlehem Steel) — Coach Ramos has specifically mentioned Trusty as a possible replacement for either Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake) or Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham) as both are coming off injuries. Trusty was on the US roster for the CONCACAF U-20 World Cup qualifiers and is a starter in central defense for Bethlehem Steel having played every minute to date this season.
The U-20 World Cup consists of 24 nations (six groups of four) with the United States matched up against Ecuador on May 22 and having subsequent matches with Senegal on May 25 and Saudi Arabia on May 28. The top two teams of each group and the top four third placed teams will advance to the quarterfinal knockout rounds beginning on May 30.
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