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US U-20 roster released for Toulon Tournament in France

By Kim Tate



Jesus Escoboza (C) of Mexico vies for the ball with Pablo Ocegueda (R) and Cody Cropper (L), goalkeeper of United States, during the final 2013 FIFA Under-20 Concacaf World Cup qualifier football match in Puebla State, Mexico, on March 3, 2013
Jesus Escoboza (C) of Mexico vies for the ball with Pablo Ocegueda (R) and Cody Cropper (L), goalkeeper of United States, during the final 2013 FIFA Under-20 Concacaf World Cup qualifier football match in Puebla State, Mexico, on March 3, 2013

Tab Ramos has named his 22-player roster for the Toulon Tournament, which will take place from May 28 - June 8 in France. Ramos will utilize the 10-Team, under-21 event as final prep or the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

This roster features 13 players who took part in the USA's second place finish at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in early March in Puebla, Mexico.

Says Ramos on the opportunity: "Obviously we're excited for the tournament and to have this last chance to evaluate our team heading into the U-20 World Cup. We'll have a couple players who have not been with us before and some others who we want to look at a little more as we finalize our 21-player roster. All of the players are being considered for Turkey."

The U.S. U-20 MNT roster includes defender Caleb Stanko and midfielder Benji Joya who split captain duties during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship - Stanko for the first three games, including the World Cup qualifying 4-2 victory against Canada on Feb. 26; and Joya for the semifinal and championship when Stanko returned to SC Freiburg.

The U-20 roster features 18 players with ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy - 15 former players and three current registered Academy players in forward Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy), midfielder Kellyn Acosta and defender Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy). Acosta signed a homegrown contract with FC Dallas in July of 2012 and Sorto signed a homegrown contract with the Galaxy in December of 2012.

Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (7): Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Jeffrey Payeras (C.S.D. Municipal; Hawthorne, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marlon Hairston (Louisville; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)

FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma (Akron; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)

2013 will mark the 41st year of the Toulon Tournament, and will feature 10 countries placed in two five-team groups. The U.S. is in Group A with Colombia, Congo DR, South Korea and host France. Group B includes Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and Portugal.

Team USA  will open the tournament against France on Tuesday, May 28, at Stade Léo-Lagrange in Toulon. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. local (1:30 p.m. ET). The group stage features four games, after which the group winners face each other in the championship match and the group runners-up meet in the third-place game. Both matches take place on Saturday, June 8.

Following the Toulon Tournament, the USA kicks off the group stage of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup against Spain on June 21 at Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. The USA's U-20 World Cup games will be broadcast on ESPN Networks. Per a U.S. Soccer press release, fans can also follow the action on ussoccer.com's Match Tracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Additional notes:

The U-20s are 4-2-1 overall in international play this year and posted a 4-1-0 record in the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Before the U-20 World Cup qualifying, the U.S. played Panama twice to start the year, opening with a 2-2 draw on Jan. 19 and a 2-1 loss on Jan. 21.

Kellyn Acosta and Danny Garcia played on the FC Dallas U-17/18 Academy squad that won the 2011-12 Academy Finals Week title game against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. Both players started and Garcia had a goal and assisted the game-winner.

Defender Javan Torre was a member of the 2010-11 Academy Finals Week champion Pateadores U-17/18 squad and defender Caleb Stanko played for the 2009-10 Academy champion Vardar U-17/18 side.

Defender Shane O'Neill, who is playing for Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, is scheduled to join the U.S. U-20 MNT after the club's June 1 league game against FC Dallas.

Midfielder Wil Trapp of MLS side Columbus Crew was named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team this year.

Seven players on the roster are signed by MLS clubs: Acosta (FC Dallas), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City), O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy) and Trapp (Columbus Crew).

The 17-year-old Acosta is the youngest player on the U-20 MNT roster and is the only player among the group who was born in 1995.

Forwards Daniel Cuevas and Benji Joya are teammates at Santos Laguna.