CHICAGO (July 13, 2012) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named an 18-player roster for the team’s upcoming trip to the Northern Ireland Milk Cup for three games against international opposition on July 21-26.
The U.S., two-time winner of the competition, faces Denmark at 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) on Saturday, July 21, at Scroggy Road in Limavady. Two days later, the U.S. faces Turkey on July 23 at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Also participating in the six-team tournament are hosts Northern Ireland, Chile and Mexico. The playoff games to determine final placement in the event, including the championship, will take place on Thursday, July 26.
The U.S. U-20 MNT squad is composed of four first-time selections and 10 players from the team’s South American tour in early June when the U.S. played matches against Uruguay and Chile.
The USA has been a consistent presence at the invitation-only tournament and won the Milk Cup for the first time in 2005, led by Golden Boot-winner Charlie Davies’ hat trick in a 4-2 win against Northern Ireland in the final. In 2010, the U.S. lifted the trophy for a second time, benefitting from goals by Gale Agbossoumonde, Juan Agudelo and Adrian Ruelas for a 3-0 win against Northern Ireland. Last year, the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team took third place after beating Israel 2-0 and tying Mexico 1-1 in its first two matches. In the third-place match, the U.S. beat Georgia 2-1.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Cody Cropper (Unattached; Athens, Ga.), 18-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Clara, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): 5-AJ Cochran (Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), 14-Holden Fender (Concorde Fire; Marietta, Ga.), 4-Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), 2-Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), 15-Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), 12-Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), 10-Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), 16-Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Staten Island, N.Y.), 13-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.), 6-Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), 9-Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), 7-Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 17-Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.)
- Holden Fender, Kendall McIntosh, Mario Rodriguez and Dillon Serna are all first-time selections for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team.
- Fender (Concorde Fire), Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire Homegrown player), Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy) and Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC) are all products of U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs.
- Five players (Cody Cropper, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Boyd Okwuonu, Walker Zimmerman and Victor Pineda) were part of the U.S. U-18 MNT side that took third place in the 2011 Milk Cup.
- Serna, McIntosh, Rodriguez and Alfred Koroma all played with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team during the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
- Cropper, Ocegueda, Okwuonu, Pineda, AJ Cochran, Eric Miller, Benji Joya, Mikey Lopez, Wil Trapp and Daniel Cuevas were all part of the team’s South American tour in June.
- Six of the 18 players selected were born in 1994. Of those, midfielder Collin Martin, who was born on Nov. 9, 1994, is the youngest.
- California is the most well-represented state, claiming five players as homegrown talent.