Thomas Rongen has announced the 20-man squad that will contest the CONCACAF U-20 championship in Guatemala, and eight Major League Soccer players will travel to Central Americafor the two-week tournament.
The United States play Panama and Suriname in the first round of the 12-team event. The four semifinalists earn a berth in the 2011 U-20 World Cup.
“We try to look at players who can fit into the way we play, out of a 4-3-3, so there are specific technical, tactical, mental and physical attributes that are required at every position," Rongen said when discussing his choices. "We spent a lot of time looking at which players fit our system best. We feel good about our selection that will go forward and represent us in Guatemala against Panama and Suriname.”
[inline_node:324123]The Philadelphia Union are the only MLS side with two players on the roster, as Rongen called goalkeeper Zac MacMath and midfielder Amobi Okugo.
Vancouver's Omar Salgado, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, is one of five players preparing for his rookie MLS season. MacMath, DC's Perry Kitchen, Chias USA's Zarek Valentin, and the Columbus Crew's Korey Veeder are the others.
Gale Agbossoumonde, who participated in the 2009 U-20 World Cup, will anchor a backline that also includes the New York Red Bulls' Sacir Hot and FC Dallas' Moises Hernandez.
Sebastian Lletget will join Okugo in the center of midfield with Bobby Wood, Joe Gyau, and Conor Doyle bolstering the forward line.
The roster also features two UCLA Bruins -- Kelyn Rowe, Eder Arreola -- as well as Notre Dame's Dillon Powers and Sebastien Ibeagha from Duke.
New York forward Juan Agudelo was expected to be part of the qualifying roster, but instead will be with the full US national team for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (8): Gale Agbossoumonde (Djurgårdens IF; Syracuse, N.Y.), Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls; Fair Lawn, N.J.), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke; Missouri City, Texas), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA; Lancaster, Pa.), Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Eder Arreola (UCLA; Chino Hills, Calif.), Conor Doyle (Derby County FC; McKinney, Texas), Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas), Bobby Wood (TSV 1860 München; Irvine, Calif.)