Lletget, Gyau, Salgado highlight U.S. Under-20 World Cup qualifying roster


Photo by ISIphotos.com

Thomas Rongen has selected the 20 players for the United States Under-20 World Cup qualifying campaign that gets underway later this month.

Eight MLS players and 16 professionals in total highlight the roster, which includes the likes of Sebastian Lletget, Joseph Gyau, Conor Doyle and Omar Salgado but does not include Bayern Munich youth product Fabian Huerzeler.

Juan Agudelo is also not on the roster, but that is because he will be with the senior national team for its friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay.

The United States opens CONCACAF qualifying against Suriname on March 29 and Panama on April 2 in Guatemala. If it finishes in the top two in its group, the U.S. Under 20s advance to the quarterfinals, where the four winners clinch berths in this summer's U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

Here is who will be participating at the CONCACAF U-20 championships:


GOALKEEPERS – Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town).

DEFENDERS – Gale Agbossoumonde (Djugardens IF), Greg Garza (Estoril Praia), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas), Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls), Sebastein Ibeagha (Duke University, Houston Dynamo Academy), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew).

MIDFIELDERS – Sebastian Lletget (West Ham), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres), Dillon Powers (University of Notre Dame), Kellyn Rowe (UCLA).

FORWARDS – Eder Arreola (UCLA), Conor Doyle (Derby County), Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich). 


What do you think about the roster? Who do you wish was included? Do you think the USA will have a problem qualifying with this group?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-20 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Lletget, Gyau, Salgado highlight U.S. Under-20 World Cup qualifying roster

  1. DeLarge says:

    Heard that Huerzeler’s parents wanted the kid to finish school, as it’s very important to them. Can’t argue with that.

    Wonder what this means for Zahavi and Agudelo for the tourney if they qualify. Will the former switch allegiance — and will the latter have moved on permanently to the full team?

  2. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Wow. No Huerzeler? I would like to see if this was a snub or if like DeLarge mentioned that he wanted to finish school. Something is weird.

  3. Alex G says:

    DeLarge, do you happen to know if Huerzeler will feature for the USMNT or does he want to play for Germany?

  4. fischy says:

    So, is Cropper any good? I’m surprised not to see Samir Badr on the list.

  5. Anthony says:

    Also missing

    Adrian Ruelas

    Josh Gatt

  6. fischy says:

    No clue about Herzeler and Zahavi, but it does seem that Agudelo is firmly in the senior camp. We might see him in London next summer, but he’d be wasting time with the u20s.

  7. fischy says:

    Problem qualifying? No. This has to be the strongest u20 side we’ve had.

  8. Matador says:

    Regarding Agudelo, after a second thought, I think it makes sense. Wood, Gyau, Salgado are not in the picture of the USMNT (yet) and do not get minutes in their teams so… by not selecting Agudelo which will be getting playing time with the NYRB and the USMNT makes more opportunities for the strikers to get more minutes.

  9. alexalex says:

    Think OGS has big plans for Gatt at Molde. This is only qualifying and not a FIFA date.

  10. liz says:

    Josh Gatt’s club wouldnt let him go. for that same reason, I’m suprised to see Conor Doyle.

  11. Matador says:

    Good question! I was wondering the same thing. I heard that Ruelas was the real deal and Mexico has the eye on him too.

  12. PJSeven says:

    Seems Gatt wasn’t given permission because Molde expect him to be a sometimes-starter when the season starts tomorrow.

  13. Warren says:

    The senior team is so short on decent strikers, the door is wide open for any kid that looks good.

    Meaning, Agudelo is likely done with U-20.

    And door is still open for more U-20 and U-23 strikers. imho

  14. anon says:

    no molano, zahavi, Nungaray, Bowen, McInerney or Stefan Jerome. All in all, a good roster though. Zahavi and Gatt and Huerzeler are really the big misses. Zahavi may be leaning towards Israel.

  15. offcolorcommentary says:

    As long as Fabian Huerzeler is on the U20 World Cup squad i’m happy.. He’d be a great steal from Germany!

  16. Judging Amy says:

    General question: Do you think this current crop of talent is more the result of the continued improvement in the development of US soccer OR is it a “Golden” age of talent that will pop up and then we won’t see guys as good as this regularly for the next cycles?

  17. Lost in Space says:

    Based on the fact that we only need to advance out of the group and win 1 knock-out match I’m not exactly supprised that players like Fabian Huerzeler, Alex Zahavi, Alex Molano, Ethan White, Josh Gatt, and Samir Badr are not attending. All are either playing 1st team action for the respective clubs or are nearing promotion from the U class to their clubs reserve sides. However, if by some quark the team doesn’t advance to the WC in Colombia there will be some serious questions asked of the USSF and coaching staff.

    Anyone know if their matches will be on TV?

  18. CS says:

    “Eight MLS players and 16 professionals”…MLS players get paid too! Or was that just a dig at MLS?!

  19. Josh D says:

    “Eight MLS players and 16 professionals” — hahaha… Strongest but with those non-professional MLSers, they’re holding us back!

  20. Josh D says:

    It’s an improvement that has been going on for the last 4-5 years. If you take a look at our 22-24 year olds, they are starters on our team now. It’s finally getting the ball rolling in proper training, scouting, and coaching. The youth setups are getting better.

  21. Josh D says:

    My fiancee is from Colombia and I’ve been 4 times now – wonderful country and can’t wait to see our boys there this summer!!

  22. Anthony says:

    Rongen said that Zahavi was not released by his club.

  23. Benjamin says:

    I yearn for the day when all American players who make the U-20 qualifying or championship rosters are playing professionally.

    Anyway, this age group looks fairly loaded. Some big names are missing and we still are able to put out a team that has some serious firepower. There could be some turnover before the championships: Bowen and McInerney, for example, could see increased playing time early in the season and get off to good starts, making hard to keep them on the outside. It is a pleasant conundrum to have so many options.

  24. DeLarge says:

    There was an article in Bild, (a German magazine) about his family putting more importance on his school right now — but with he and his parents saying Fabian would be open to playing in the World Cup itself. But he’d have to make the one-time switch before then.

    I guess since he already made a decision to come all the way over here and train with our guys in camnp, it’s a real positive sign. Fingers crossed…

  25. bob says:

    He means there are a total of 16 pros including 8 mls. 4 others are in college

  26. Flaveur says:

    Mobi Fehr?

  27. bob says:

    He means there are a total of 16 pros including 8 mls. 4 others are in college. 20 total

  28. jrnail23 says:

    I dunno, back in 2007, we had Jozy (NYRB), Gabe Ferrari (Sampdoria), Freddy Adu (RSL), Robbie Rogers (Heerenveen), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (FCD), Nate Sturgis (LA Galaxy), and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew). (see link to en.wikipedia.org)

    That seems like more names that I was familiar with at the time (including 2 players with senior caps) than we have in this current squad, but the fact that Doyle & Wood are actually getting games overseas and Kitchen about to become an MLS starter, it’s a pretty good unit.

  29. Thorpinski says:

    Gyau has been getting a lot of playing time with the U-23 team. He could appear on the Hoffenheim 1st team by next year and could possibly be a call-up next January.

    fwiw Renken is also playing with the U-18’s

  30. Thorpinski says:

    Nungary, Bowen, Jerome and McInerney are not good enough..which speaks volumes for how talented this group is.

  31. yankiboy says:

    Sounds like you are in luv and are going to have a pretty nice trip.

    Cheer extra loud for me since I can’t make the trip, Playah.

  32. Thorpinski says:

    By next Jan. I think we will see Wood, Gyau and Boss all making appearences. Gyau is playing really well right now.

  33. yankiboy says:

    Congratulations to Korey Veeder for making the squad. The kid kept his head up and played hard for the now defunct second division side Crystal Palace Baltimore last year.

    That situation was a difiicult one for a guy who was already an established professional but for a kid away from home the first time, playing for a club facing so much adversity. Props to the kid. It was nice having him around for the short time that we did.

    Even if the kid never gets a match appearance in the big tournament he has already distinguished himself in my book.

    Hopefully he continues to make his mark.

  34. M says:

    Wood injured himself in his last match for 1860 Munich so not sure how serious it is.

  35. fischy says:

    You might be jumping the gun with the “not good enough” stuff. Their clubs may want them.

  36. otergod says:

    there are a handful of players who cant make the trip for quals. Clubs aren’t forced to release at this point.

  37. otergod says:

    mexico can keep eyeing Ruelas. He’s quite comfortable with the US. Either way, we’ll know very shortly where he wants to play. If he opts the US U20’s WC then he’ll need to file a switch

  38. otergod says:

    the 4 players from college are quite quality players. Holding us back?? i suspect only Powers will make the WC team. MAYBE Ibeagha as well

  39. Al_OC says:

    I think ESPN Deportes and ESPN3

  40. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I’m pretty sure that McInerney is good enough, considering he has more professional experience than a lot of the roster.

  41. otergod says:

    Bowen and McInerney have been on the outside looking in for awhile. Nungary hasn’t played with the US U20’s for some time now. No way Rongen throws him back into the mix at Quals. Has anyone heard from Jerome since he went abroad?? when was the last time Rongen even called him up??

    These 4 players are simply not as talented as the ones who are taking the spots. And lets not even forget Agudelo isnt even in the mix as he’s with the seniors.

  42. Cereal? says:

    why? he’s with the U-17s

  43. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Ives, what’s the deal with Soony Saad? Why is he never called up to the U-20 team?

  44. otergod says:

    i may be wrong, but i was under the impression he and Zahavi havent completed filing the switch

  45. Jason says:

    Parents told him he has to finish his exams if he wants to sign a professional contract with Bayern

  46. otergod says:

    for an expansion team in MLS. Doyle has more playing experience with Derby. Wood is highly regarded as 1860’s top youth player and has found PT with the first team. Salgado has done extremely well with the U20’s and Vancouver is incredibly high on him. Gyau is finding PT with Hoffenhiem’s U23’s.

    The only question mark is Arreola and he has been a quality player all the way through the US youth ranks. Reulas and Agudelo arent even included in this roster. Jack is a quality striker, nothing against him, but he wont make the WC roster.

  47. otergod says:

    im confused by this as well… a U17 starter will not be called into the U20 roster.

  48. otergod says:

    he’s been called up before and played well. despite the club situation, Rongen has been keeping an eye on him for some time

  49. otergod says:

    b/c the current crop of strikers are quality

  50. Alex G says:

    Ruelas not beign in the roster is a dissapointment, I wonder if Mexico has anything to do with it

  51. bob says:

    otergod, Josh is referring to the 8 “non-professinal MLSers” not the college guys

  52. BellusLudas says:

    Huerzeler will play for this team later…just not right now.

  53. otergod says:

    ARG! that’s what i get for unplugging my sarcasm detector. Probably should have read the post he was quoting in reference :(

  54. sawatzytobaba says:

    Eder Arreola?! Haven’t heard that name in any US roster for a few years as far as I can remember… Anyone know the story?

  55. Josh D says:

    It’ll be excellent and I encourage folks to go – the country has a bad rap that’s uncalled for in today’s world. But every time I’ve gone back with her and she’s showed me around, I’ve never had one problem. Just be smart like any other foreign country and everything is fine.

  56. yankiboy says:

    Yeah. I was happy when he got called up last year. Several of us were proud of him when he came back from his time with the U20’s.

    Rongen still giving him a look couldn’t have hurt his chances when he got a look from Columbus Crew.

    The fact that he was playing so much for Baltimore and under the circumstances that he was dealing with may have actually helped impress Rongen a bit more. Who knows. Maybe not. Trial by some fire. It loks like he has come out of it pretty well.

  57. Dr. Robert Dobalina says:

    school sucks.. tell him not to waste his time.

  58. Flaveur says:

    my bad… I forgot he was u17, though he was 18

  59. abc says:

    The story is that Gatt and Zahavi were not released by their team and Huerzeler has school.

    There is an audio interview with Rongen on ussoccer.com and he briefly mentions Arreola as a guy that is filling in because others couldn’t make it. All he says is he’s someone they have kept an eye on.

  60. abc says:

    The absence of Gatt, Zahavi and Huerzeler are all understandable, but what’s going on with Adrian Ruelas?

    I’m hoping it’s just that he was not released, since he made his debut recently… do we know for sure what the deal is with Ruelas?

  61. wilyboy says:

    That’s a shame. We could have used him.

  62. abc says:

    UCLA interview with Arreola from a couple years ago:

    link to uclabruins.com

  63. abc says:

    Yes, Cropper is good. He’s also young enough that he will be around for the next U-20 cycle, so he can provide some veteran leadership like Boss, Powers, and Okugo this time.

  64. abc says:

    Funny you mentioned those other two college guys when Rowe is the best of the bunch.

  65. abc says:

    2 players with senior caps = Agudelo and Boss.

    This team is deeper than 2007, certainly if you include Huerzeler, Gatt, Zahavi, Agudelo, and Ruelas.

  66. abc says:

    Except that we know that Nungary, Bowen, Jerome, McInerny are not with the U20s not because their clubs won’t release them, but because they’re not good enough. Those are facts, not opinions.

    Rongen said who was good enough and who wasn’t already, he said he had it down to 2 more than he could take. The only guys missing from Rongen’s list are Huerzeler, Gatt, Zahavi, Ruelas, and Agudelo.

    Those guys you listed are not in the picture.

  67. ACS says:

    I’m also surprised by Ruelas not making it, he played well in the Milk Cup and other matches.

  68. abc says:

    RONGEN said in an interview on mlssoccer.com about a month ago that McInerny was NOT good enough to make the team. So apparently “professional experience” isn’t the only thing that matters, who knew!

  69. ACS says:

    Is Santos not letting him play since he just made his debut there?

  70. abc says:

    1. He actually was called up for camp over the winter.

    2. He’s not good enough. As is the case with most of these “what about X?” guys. Not good enough. This is a really deep team so it’s not the end of the world, but no one is being snubbed here.

  71. abc says:

    I’m hoping that’s it.

  72. Christman says:

    University of Notre Dame, not Notre Dame University. Sorry for being annoying but I’m a big ND guy, haha.

  73. Phil says:

    Gabe Ferrari… there’s a name I haven’t heard in while….

  74. Brian says:

    So I’m guessing Huerzeler is taking his Abitur exams?

  75. Brian says:

    I used to date a German girl and I’m guessing he’s taking his abitur exams. Pretty hard core stuff.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  76. Brian says:

    I believe you are correct.

  77. bottlcaps says:

    Whatever happened to Charlie Renken? I know he suffered through TWO knee surgeries and I know he had a deal with Hoffenheim then loaned to the Vancouver Whitecaps, but has he totally dropped of the map for U-20’s ??

  78. abc says:

    He has recovered from his injuries. And he has not dropped off the map: He is too young for this cycle. Renken has been playing for Hoffenheim’s U18s. He should be with the US U20 team next cycle.

  79. Angel FAN of USA says:

    This is just the team to qualify to the U20 World Cup, Herseler, Zahavi and Agudelo will be on the Roster for the world cup so is ok. Look who the USA have in the Group. all the have to do is win the stage group and win the 4th game and that are in the World Cup and I think we have a good team so maybe is good that Rogen call them until them

  80. QPR says:

    Kellyn Rowe not quality. Scouted him.

  81. WA says:

    Disagree. Kelyn is a very creative and technical player that plays attacking soccer.

  82. GAucho says:

    How about some McBean???

  83. abc says:

    Many would disagree with your opinion.

  84. JJ says:

    Well, a lot of these guys are plying their trade in Europe, remember. It’s a bigger ladder to climb over there – especially for footballers from the States, one might argue.

    So this is why we’re not familiar with names like Alex Molano, and even most people (myself included) know little about Sebastian Lletget apart from a glowing ESPN profile piece. Apart from Ferrari, Bradley and Rogers, no one else was in Europe at the time of the 2007 World Cup. This time around we have guys like Alex Zahavi – who, even if he applied for the FIFA one-time switch, might not even make the roster.

    After a good showing at the World Cup, yeah a few boys from the squad signed pro contracts in Europe. We know how that worked out (see, Adu, Szetela, Zizzo, etc).

    I think that the members of this U-20 World Cup squad are establishing themselves early on with their clubs in Europe (see, Lletget, Wood, Gatt, Molano, Greg Garza, and so on and so forth) is a real promising sign. And I don’t want to sound like I have a European bias (because I don’t). I’m also excited about Moises Orozco (Tigres) and Adrian Ruelas (Santos Laguna) as well as many of the MLSers.

    I’d hate to eat crow on this, but I think – when all is said and done – that this group will produce so many players that will contribute to the national team for years to come. It’s still too early to tell, but I’d say the future is looking pretty bright.

  85. JJ says:

    That was in reply to jrnail23’s comment. Sorry for the long post.

  86. ACS says:

    It is good that Doyle has decided to do a competition with the US instead of Ireland, now if he wanted to change he’d have to do the one time switch

  87. Juan from L.A. says:

    The only thing that concerns me is Ruelas and Zahavi. Both quality and talented players that we should lose to Mexico and Israel/Portugal respectively. I’m suprised Victor Garza wasn’t called either. He was considered the most talented of the Tigres kid and proof is that he is the only one playing with the U-20 team of Tigres which is the level below the first team. Orozco plays in the level below that one. Other than that this is a top notch team although I’ve been following Mexico and honestly Mexico is tough if not tougher than us. They have a lot of talent in that group also. They have beat us once an tie us in another game.

  88. Juan from L.A. says:

    By the way this is the Mexican preliminary list. Really good team

    Goalies (3):

    Carlos López (Talleres Córdoba/ARG)

    José Antonio Rodríguez (Chivas)

    Rafael Ramírez (Estudiantes).

    Center Backs (5):

    Kristian Álvarez (Chivas)

    Néstor Araujo (Cruz Azul)

    Luis Ramos, Alexis Loera (Atlas)

    Jorge Valencia (Tigres).

    Defensive Midfielders (5):

    Diego de Buen (Pumas)

    Jorge Enríquez(Chivas)

    Uriel Navarro (Chivas)

    Marvin Piñón (Monterrey)

    Diego Reyes (América)

    Wings and Attacking Midfielders (6):

    Cristofer Castillo (Pachuca)

    Lugiani Gallardo (América)

    César Ibañez (Atlas)

    Jorge Mora (Chivas)

    Carlos Orrantía (Pumas)

    Saúl Villalobos (Atlas)

    Forwards (6):

    Ulises Dávila (Chivas)

    Alan Pulido (Tigres)

    Taufic Guarch (Estudiantes)

    Edson Rivera (Atlas)

    Víctor Mañón (Pachuca)

    David Izazola (Pumas)

    There best players include Manon, Guarch, J. Enriquez, Alvarez and Lopez

  89. Steve McSteve says:

    Hey Ives, I’m a big fan, but didn’t you insist there was no way Agudelo would be called up for the March friendlies because he was going to be on this U-20 team?

    (SBI-I didn’t “insist”, I just didn’t think he would. Thought they’d want him on the U-20 qualifying team, but apparently Bradley really wants to see him with the senior first team, which is a great development.)

  90. abc says:

    Don’t apologize, that was well said, I agree with all of it.

  91. ACS says:

    I’d like to see Agudelo at the U-20 WC, if Brazil is using Neymar, the U.S. should use their best U-20 players no matter if they are playing for their senior squads.

  92. Karol says:

    In Germany the Abitur differs from state to state. The Bavarian Abitur is the toughest (Baden-Württemberg and Saxony are on a similar level). So Huerzeler has some work to do.

  93. Turner says:

    Surprised Sarkodie from Akron didn’t get called in.

  94. sawatzkytobaba says:

    Interesting RB competition in this age bracket w/Sarkodie, Veeder, Valentin, White — some of those kids can play in CB too, but all are candidates at RB.