Chelsea goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell headline the 21-player roster that will represent the United States at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be held in Argentina from May 20 to June 11.
Slonina and Cowell have already made appearances with the senior U.S. men’s national team, as have fellow inclusions Real Sociedad defender Jonathan Gomez and Atlanta United defender Caleb Wiley. Six players, including Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukstas, play their club soccer abroad.
The USA will begin Group B play on Saturday, May 20 against Ecuador, before facing Fiji on Tuesday, May 23 and closing the group stage against Slovakia on Friday, May 26. All three matches kick off at 2 p.m. ET.
“We’re really excited for this group to compete against the world’s best in Argentina,” said U.S. U-20 manager Mikey Varas. “To represent your country at a World Cup is a tremendous honor. We embrace the responsibility that comes with this opportunity.
“This group has put in so much hard work since the cycle kicked off to get to this point, and we will give everything on and off the field for our country. We’re very appreciative of the cooperation we’ve had from clubs, both at home and abroad, to release their players and let them shine on this global stage.”
Clubs weren’t required to release players for the tournament, with Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Paxten Aaronson as well as the Chicago Fire duo of goalkeeper Chris Brady and midfielder Brian Gutierrez among those who will remain with their clubs.
Pukstas and Wolfsburg’s Kevin Paredes will also stay with their clubs and only join the U.S. after the group stage, should the team make it that far, Varas told media.
The Americans qualified by winning the 2022 CONCACAF U20 championship in Honduras. A 3-0 win against hosts Honduras saw the U.S. men qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2008, while a 6-0 triumph against the Dominican Republic in the final secured the tournament crown. Philadelphia Union forward Quinn Sullivan scored six goals during the competition.
Three alternates will travel with the U.S. to Argentina to train with the team prior to the tournament: Orlando City defender Thomas Williams, Real Salt Lake midfielder Moses Nyeman and forward Korede Osundina of USL Championship side Orange County SC.
FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COUNTRY; U-20 CAPS/GOALS; HOMETOWN)
DEFENDERS (7): 17-Justin Che (Hoffenheim/GER; Dallas, Texas; 6/0), 5-Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 10/1), 2-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 13/1), 14-Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 11/0), 13-Jonathan Gomez (Real Sociedad/ESP; Keller, Texas; 6/0), 3-Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.; 5/0), 4-Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC; Louisville, Ky.; 2/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, N.J.; 10/0), 10-Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 16/4), 8-Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.; 16/2), 20-Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.; 12/1), 15-Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 5/3), 18-Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC; Anchorage, Alaska; 4/0), 16-Owen Wolff (Austin FC; Austin, Texas; 3/1)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 7/2), 11-Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.; 6/2), 7-Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 15/7), 19-Darren Yapi (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.; 3/0)
USA U20 World Cup roster headlined by Slonina, Cowell