Klinsmann, Carter-Vickers, Zelalem on US U-20 roster
CHICAGO — Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, was picked for the American roster for the Under-20 World Cup along with Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem and Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic was not included on the 21-man roster announced Tuesday and is expected to be with the senior national team for World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico in early June.
“Some players sometimes outgrow their age group,” U.S. coach Tab Ramos said.
Forward Joshua Perez, who made his debut for Fiorentina in November but has not played in Serie A since, also is not on the roster. Ramos said Perez has been hurt, and he also said Schalke did not let him consider midfielders Weston McKennie and Nic Taitague.
Ramos did select 17-year-old forward Josh Sargent, the youngest player on the roster. Sargent captained the U.S. this month in qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup and could become the first American to appear in the Under-17 and Under-20 FIFA tournaments in the same year since Freddy Adu in 2003.
Ramos said some of the players could put themselves in consideration for selection by coach Bruce Arena for the Americans’ 2018 World Cup roster.
“I wouldn’t like to mention names because that has to be proven on the field,” Ramos said. “I’m sure Bruce has the door open to every player who’s capable of making a difference for the first team.”
Six players on the Under-20 roster were not part of the qualifying tournament in March: Zelalem, Carter-Vickers, Sargent, midfielder Derrick Jones, forward Lagos Kunga, and goalkeeper Brady Scott.
Jones played for Ghana’s Under-15 team and recently was given permission by FIFA to switch nations.
Carter-Vickers, Zelalem and defender Erik Palmer-Brown were on the U.S. roster at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup.
Zelalem made his debut for Arsenal in an FA Cup match in January 2014, but his career has stalled and he was loaned to Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish second tier for most of the 2015-16 season, then to Dutch second-tier club Venlo for the second half of the current season.
“He needs to be one of our leaders, and we expressed that to him, and so he has to be one of the ones that make a difference for us,” Ramos said. “I would have hoped … that obviously his career at this point would be a little bit more advanced, in terms of two years ago he was already at Arsenal, he had already gotten some opportunities with the first team, and here we are two years later and we’re kind of … looking at the same type of scenario.”
Carter-Vickers, a son of former NBA player Howard Carter, played in four cup games for Spurs this season, but has yet to appear in the Premier League.
Ramos expects him to recover from a knee injury by next week.
Nine players are from Major League Soccer, including four from Real Salt Lake: forward Brooks Lennon, on loan from Liverpool, along with defenders Danny Acosta and Justen Glad and forward Sebastian Saucedo.
Four players are playing in college: Klinsmann (California), goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown), defender Aaron Herrera (New Mexico) and midfielder Eryk Williamson (Maryland).
The U.S. won the North and Central American and Caribbean title for the first time.
The Americans will train in Japan ahead of the tournament in South Korea, where the Americans have first-round games against Ecuador on May 22, Senegal three days later, and Saudi Arabia on May 28.
The best American finish was fourth place in 1989.
Ramos coached the U.S. at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup, where it lost to Serbia on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.
Goalkeepers: Jonathan Klinsmann (California), J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown), Brady Scott (De Anza Force)
Defenders: Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham, England), Marlon Fossey (Fulham, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City)
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Luca De La Torre (Fulham, England), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union), Eryk Williamson (Maryland), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal, England)
Forwards: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Emmanuel Sabbi (no club), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake).
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