Eleven players from MLS clubs are among the 20 called up by United States Under-20 national team coach Tab Ramos for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship that starts Feb. 17 in Costa Rica.
The tournament also doubles as the qualifying for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea in May.
Real Salt Lake led the way among MLS clubs with four players called up for the tournament, including forward Brooks Lennon, who was loaned back to his home club from Liverpool earlier this week. RSL's contingent also includes defender Justen Glad and midfielders Danny Acosta and Sebastian Saucedo.
The roster also includes two first-round picks from last month's MLS SuperDraft – New York City FC midfielder Jonathan Lewis and Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse – and a 2015 U-20 World Cup veteran in Sporting Kansas City center back Erik Palmer-Brown (pictured above), who will captain this squad.
“This process is always difficult,” Ramos said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “Inevitably you always end up leaving a couple guys out who deserve to be on the roster. When selecting a roster for a tournament like this, where you are trying to qualify to the World Cup, you are putting together a best 11 and then players who can play multiple positions. So that’s what we've done. We are happy with the team and we are looking forward to qualifying.”
The US open Group B play against Panama on Feb. 18 (4 pm ET), with other group matches against Haiti on Feb. 21 (5:30 p.m. ET) and Saint Kitts and Nevis on Feb. 24 (5:30 p.m. ET). The top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to a second group stage, where they are split into two groups of three. The top two teams in that second stage will qualify for the U-20 World Cup, while the top team in each group also qualify for the final, to be held on March 5. All matches will be broadcast in the United States on Univison networks.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown)
DEFENDERS (6): Marlon Fossey (Fulham F.C. / England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Luca De la Torre (Fulham F.C. / England), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey / Mexico), Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana University), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland)
FORWARDS (3): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Emmanuel Sabbi (UD Las Palmas / Spain)