Tab Ramos has named the United States' roster for the U-20 World Cup. It's a sensationally talented squad and one of the most experienced the Americans have ever had, with 18 of the 20 playing for professional clubs around the world.
There are two notable absences on the team. The first is Gedion Zelalem, who has not yet been cleared by FIFA to play for the U.S. and appears set to miss out on the tournament. That's a big blow because if he played, he would almost certainly be the Americans' best player. Andrija Novakovich is also missing from the team, reportedly because Reading asked him to rest this summer in advance of next season, when he is expected to compete for a first team place.
The team will be led by Emerson Hyndman, the stupendously talented midfielder who was a key member of Fulham's first team this season. He will be depended on to do almost everything in the midfield, not because the midfield is weak and he needs to, but because he is so good and can. Rubio Rubin will lead the team up front after scoring three goals in his debut season for FC Utrecht. Zack Steffen will be the clear cut No. 1 in goal, making the other two goalkeepers essentially practice squad players, while Cameron Carter-Vickers will get the spotlight in the back because he is both immensely talented and just 17 years old.
The U.S. got a favorable draw for the tournament, landing in Group A with hosts New Zealand, as well as Ukraine and Myanmar. They will begin the tournament against Myanmar on May 30, followed by New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5. With an easy group, the Americans will be heavy favorites to not just advance to the knockout stages, but win the group and set themselves up for a potentially deep run at the U-20 World Cup.
Fox Sports owns the rights to the U-20 World Cup and will broadcast every U.S. group stage match on Fox Sports 1. NBC Universo will have the Spanish-language coverage.
Goalkeepers: Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zack Steffen (Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Desevio Payne (FC Groningen; Greenwood, S.C.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Joel Soñora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Forwards: Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake; Rochester, N.Y.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)