Thomas Rongen released his 25-man roster for the U20 January training camp. The camp goes from Jan. 2-13 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Fourteen players return from the December camp, including UCLA freshman Kelyn Rowe and hat trick hero Joe Gyau. Juan Agudelo will be with the U20’s until January 6 when he will join the full national team in Southern California.
Here is the roster by positions:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Zac MacMath (Maryland; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Brian Sylvestre (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Hollywood, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (9): Gale Agbossoumonde (GD Estoril Praia; Syracuse, N.Y.), Greg Garza (GD Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Sacir Hot (Boston College; Fair Lawn, N.J.), Sebastian Ibeagha (Duke; Missouri City, Texas), Perry Kitchen (Akron; Indianapaolis, Ind.), Zarek Valentin (Akron; Lancaster, Pa.), Korey Veeder (Out of Contract; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Ethan White (D.C. United; Kensington, Md.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), Fabian Huerzeler (Bayern Munich; Munich, Germany), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Alex Molano (Dinamo Zagreb; Grapevine, Texas), Moises Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach, Calif.), Conor Shanosky (D.C. United; Sterling, Va.), Alex Zahavi (Maccabi Haifa; Los Angeles, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Conor Doyle (Derby County; McKinney, Texas), Omar Salgado (unattached; El Paso, Texas), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich; Irvine, Calif.)
The Midfield Battle:
I think Rongen will use this camp to thin out the midfield. At the moment, the midfield is the deepest group. There are probably 12-15 players realistically challenging for 6-9 spots. It’s a tough job to narrow it down, but one that I’m sure Rongen is glad to have.
Rongen plays a 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formation. This opens the door for winger/forward types to make a case for themselves. Rongen also needs to find out who he is going to play at the attacking center mid role. I would guess that Amobi Okugo has a firm hold on the defensive mid role.
Three players to watch in this group are Fabian Huerzeler, Alex Zahavi, and Sebstain Lletget. This is Rongen’s first chance to get a look at Bayern Munich player Fabian Huerzeler. The attacking midfielder is highly regarded but we’ll see if he lives up to the hype. Another exciting player coming into the group with high expectations is Alex Zahavi. Zahavi recorded a goal and assist in the U20’s games against Colombia and Mexico at the end of November. Lletget is a highly regarded playmaker that jumped onto the scene with the US U17’s. He’s been hampered by injuries recently but Rongen believes that Lletget will be a key player for the U20’s.
Joe Gyau and Kelyn Rowe return after solid play in the December camp. Both players did themselves a favor in the 5-0 win against Canada. Moises Orozco returns to the mix after missing the December camp.
Share your thoughts on this group.