Photo courtesy Ben Solomon / New York Red Bulls II
The number of current and former USL players selected for the United States’ 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup team is unprecedented. With eight members of the U.S. U20 squad gaining experience in the USL, Head Coach Tab Ramos’ group illustrates the key role the league has played in allowing top young players from the U.S. to have a professional impact at a younger age.
Ramos named his U20 World Cup roster on Tuesday as the team prepares for the tournament in South Korea, which kicks off on May 20.
Among those in the eight players selected with USL experience are two who had the distinction of being a USL club’s first signing, with 2016 USL Cup champion Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II) and Derrick Jones (Bethlehem Steel FC) both part of the team’s midfield contingent.
Here’s a look at the path players like Justen Glad, Tommy Redding – who signed with Orlando City SC when it was a USL club in 2014 – and Erik Palmer-Brown have taken to reach this point.