USA roster for FIFA U-20 World Cup: 14 MLS players called up


The United States have their 21-player roster for the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, with head coach Mikey Varas naming an MLS-heavy squad for the high-profile tournament that's held in Argentina from May 20-June 11.


  • Alexander Borto - Fulham
  • Antonio Carrera - FC Dallas
  • Gaga Slonina - Chelsea


  • Justin Che - Hoffenheim
  • Brandan Craig - Philadelphia Union
  • Marcus Ferkranus - LA Galaxy
  • Jonathan Gomez - Real Sociedad
  • Michael Halliday - Orlando City SC
  • Caleb Wiley - Atlanta United FC
  • Joshua Wynder - Louisville City FC


  • Daniel Edelman - New York Red Bulls
  • Diego Luna - Real Salt Lake
  • Jack McGlynn - Philadelphia Union
  • Rokas Pukstas - Hajduk Split
  • Niko Tsakiris - San Jose Earthquakes
  • Obed Vargas - Seattle Sounders FC
  • Owen Wolff - Austin FC


  • Cade Cowell - San Jose Earthquakes
  • Kevin Paredes - Wolfsburg
  • Quinn Sullivan - Philadelphia Union
  • Darren Yapi - Colorado Rapids

UPDATE (May 18): Orlando City SC fullback Michael Halliday replaced LA Galaxy fullback Mauricio Cuevas due to the latter suffering an ankle injury.

USA: U-20 World Cup schedule - Group B

  • May 20 vs. Ecuador - 2:00 pm ET
  • May 23 vs. Fiji - 2:00 pm ET
  • May 26 vs. Slovakia - 2:00 pm ET

The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. From there, the tournament will feature a knockout bracket to the tournament final on June 11.

All three of the USA’s group-stage games will be played at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina.

MLS presence

Fourteen of the 21 players called up currently play in Major League Soccer, including those from 11 different clubs. Three players are from Philadelphia Union and two are from San Jose Earthquakes.

There are also several big-name homegrown exports, including former Chicago Fire FC goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, on-loan FC Dallas defender Justin Che and former D.C. United attacker Kevin Paredes.

Overall, 18 of the 21 players have played in MLS or for an MLS academy. Seven players have already scored in MLS this season, including rising stars like Philadelphia midfielder Jack McGlynn, Austin FC midfielder Owen Wolff, Atlanta United defender/forward Caleb Wiley and San Jose forward Cade Cowell.

Release challenges

Since professional clubs aren't required to release players for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the US couldn't call on a full complement of players. That's especially complicated with European seasons concluding and MLS clubs passing the one-third mark of their 2023 season.

For the US, the Chicago duo of goalkeeper Chris Brady and Brian Gutiérrez weren't available, and ditto for LA Galaxy defender Jalen Neal. Former Union homegrown standout Paxten Aaronson, who's now at German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, reportedly wasn't released.

In a change of course, Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukstas will feature after his Croatian club originally said he wouldn't be released.


Three alternates will travel with the US U-20s to Argentina to train with the team before the tournament:

  • Thomas Williams (defender) - Orlando City SC
  • Moses Nyeman (midfielder) - Real Salt Lake
  • Korede Osundina (forward) - Orange County SC

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003, are age-eligible for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U-20 World Cup history

The US are the only nation to reach the quarterfinals of the last three U-20 World Cups and one of three countries to qualify for the last five editions alongside New Zealand and Uruguay. 

The US qualified for the 2023 U-20 World Cup by taking home a third straight confederation crown at last summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras.