Coach Tab Ramos named 21 players to the U.S. roster for next week’s U20 World Cup in South Korea and as expected Christian Pulisic is not among them.
No, despite being listed as part of the preliminary U.S. roster released in April, the 18 year old Hershey, Pennsylvania product was always expected to be too busy with obligations to his club team Borussia Dortmund, and Bruce Arena will not want to overtax his rising star with June’s World Cup Qualifiers just around the corner.
Still, Ramos has shuffled the deck somewhat on his CONCACAF Championship winning side, adding Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem, and Josh Sargent who steps up an age group fresh off of leading the U.S. to World Cup Qualification with his five-goal effort at the just completed U17 CONCACAF Championships.
That still leaves the bulk of the team that claimed a first ever U20 CONCACAF title for the U.S. in Costa Rica in March returning for a chance at bigger game. Ramos bypassed some big names to maintain faith with this group, although the U.S. coach may have run into trouble with clubs declining to release certain players.
Clubs are not required to release players for the U20 World Cup and it seems unlikely that none of Schalke’s three young Americans, Weston McKinnie, Haji Wright, or Nick Taitague, would have been called in by U.S. Soccer.
Ramos still has plenty of talent at his disposal, particularly at center back where Justen Glad and Tommy Redding are back after the pair’s star turn in Costa Rica and will be augmented by Erik Palmer-Brown, who captained the CONCACAF winning side from central midfield and the highly rated Carter-Vickers.
Carter-Vickers and Glad are both, however, struggling with injuries.
The roster includes nine MLS players, with Real Salt Lake dominating with a quartet of callups in Brooks Lennon, Danny Acosta, Sebastian Saucedo, and Glad.
The U.S. open’s Group F play on May 22 versus Ecuador, followed by games against Senegal three days later before closing the first round against Saudi Arabia on May 28. The top two finishers in each of the six groups advance to the knockout rounds along with the top four third place teams.
GK: Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEF: Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur FC; Westcliff-on-Sea, England), Marlon Fossey (Fulham FC; Surbiton, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (University of New Mexico; Las Cruces, N.M.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.)
MID: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca De La Torre (Fulham FC; San Diego, Calif.), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal FC; Bethesda, Md.)
FOR: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United FC Academy; Tucker, Ga.) Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Unattached; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah)