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USA names preliminary roster for U-20 World Cup qualifying

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Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Tab Ramos has named 35 players to his preliminary roster for U-20 World Cup qualifying in Honduras. The United States will begin qualifying on January 7 and Ramos will be able to pick any 20 players from his preliminary roster as the Americans try to book their ticket to New Zealand for the big tournament.

Ramos also named a second roster -- one for a Florida training camp that begins today and runs through January 5. That 21-man camp will give him a final look at players before he has to pick the guys he is taking to Honduras.

Most surprising from Ramos' preliminary roster is the inclusions of Emerson Hyndman and Rubio Rubin. The qualifying tournament does not fall on a FIFA international date clubs are not obligated to release players. With Hyndman getting regular time for Fulham and Rubin doing the same for Utrecht, it's tough to imagine the clubs allowing the two to play in qualifying, although you can bet that the U.S. will fight to get both.

While Hyndman and Rubin may or may not take part in qualifying, Romain Gall and Paul Arriola certainly will. Both have been key to the U-20 team to this point and should be centerpieces of the qualifying squad. It will be interesting to see what the U.S. does in defense, with UCLA's Michael Amick in spectacular form, Sporting KC's Eric Palmer-Brown very highly regarded and Tottenham's Cameron Carter-Vickers shining since joining the U.S. program. Ramos is going to have a lot of choices to make, especially at the back where things are unsettled, but he also has a slew of attackers that he'll have to pare down too.

The U.S. can automatically qualify for the World Cup if they win Group A. If they finish in second or third, they will go to a playoff for a spot in New Zealand.

Goalkeepers: Jeff Caldwell (Virginia), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)

Defenders: Michael Amick (UCLA), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Chase Gasper (UCLA), Luis Martir (Chivas Guadalajara), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Corey Baird (Stanford), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC), Luis Felipe (Cruzeiro), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors)

Forwards: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Alex Muyl (Georgetown), Andrija Novakovich (Reading), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)

Defenders: Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Chase Gasper (UCLA), Luis Martir (Chivas Guadalajara), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland)

Forwards: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)