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Young Championship Standouts Earn U.S. Call-Ups

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 01/05/19, 2:57AM EST


Eight prior selections to 20 Under 20 named in squads for U-20, U-19 & U-17 training camps

Ben Mines (left), Jesus Ferreira (center) and Jose Carranza (right) are among the current and former USL Championship standouts who will head to Florida this weekend for the first U.S. Men's Youth National Team training camp of the year.

CHICAGO – Current and former standouts from across the USL Championship – including eight players who have previously earned selection to the Championship 20 Under 20 – will head to Florida this weekend as the United States Men’s U-20, U-19 and U-17 squads convene for the first training camp of the year at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Among the notable new additions to Head Coach Tab Ramos’ U-20 squad is Jesus Ferreira, who was named the No. 13 player in the 2018 edition of the 20 Under 20 after a strong season on loan with Tulsa Roughnecks FC from FC Dallas. A native of Colombia, and the son of 2010 MLS Most Valuable Player David Ferriera, the young forward recently turned 18 and applied for United States citizenship.

Ferreira told’s Carter Baum he was excited for the opportunity to go to camp, where he’ll be joined by FC Dallas teammates Brandon Servania – who also earned selection to the 2018 20 Under 20 after a positive year on loan with the Roughnecks – and Paxton Pomykal.

“I'm blessed to have the opportunity to go there and have a camp with them. I'm looking forward to seeing how it is, how it works, how the guys are, the coaching staff and just take that experience in,” Ferreira told Baum. “I feel like the U.S. has been [pursuing me] for awhile now and they know how I play. Right now, I'm just waiting to see if they even have me in their mind, if I have the possibility to play.”

Another notable name in the U-20 squad is Louisville City FC midfielder Jose Carranza, who joined the USL Cup champion in midseason last year after previously competing for ATL UTD 2 at the start of the season. Also named are Matt Real, Anthony Fontana, Sam Rogers, Ayo Akinola and Jaylin Lindsey, all of whom featured in the Championship a season ago while also helping the United States claim the Concacaf U-20 Championship and a place in this May’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland this past November.

New York Red Bulls II forward Ben Mines – who was name as the No. 10 player in the 2018 20 Under 20 – earned his first call-up to the U-19 national team that will be led by former LA Galaxy II Head Coach Curt Onalfo during its time in Florida. He is joined in the squad by Brenden Aaronson, who featured for Bethlehem Steel FC a season ago, and James Sands, who spent time on loan with Louisville City FC from New York City FC. 

Swope Park Rangers midfielder Gianluca Busio – who was the No. 6 selection in the 2018 20 Under 20 – leads the U-17 group, which also features Reno 1868 FC loanee Gilbert Fuentes and the Seattle Sounders FC 2 duo of Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Ray Serrano. Also selected in the U-17s squad is goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes, who last year became the youngest signing in Championship side Orange County SC’s history.

The camp marks the starting point of a key year for the Men’s Youth National Teams, with the U-20s beginning preparations for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland this May and the U-17s looking ahead to the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship this spring, where the team will aim to qualify for October’s 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

The camp will feature three games between the U.S. squads and a to-be-determined opponent. All three games at the Premier Sports Campus will be open to the public.

2019 United States Youth National Team Camp Schedule
Jan. 8 – U-20 MNT vs. U-19 MNT, 4 p.m. ET
Jan. 12 – U-20 MNT vs. TBD, 4 p.m. ET
Jan. 12 – U19 MNT vs. U-17 MNT, 6 p.m. ET

U-20 Men’s National Team Roster (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Garces (UCLA; Miami, Fla.)
, Trey Muse (Indiana; Louisville, Ky.)
DEFENDERS (8): Chris Durkin* (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Aboubacar Keita (Virginia; Columbus, Ohio), Edwin Lara (Club Leon/MEX; Oakland, Calif.), Jaylin Lindsey* (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), Matthew Real* (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Sam Rogers* (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Mark Salas (North Carolina; Dallas; Texas), Aristotle Zarris (Wake Forest; Sarasota, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (7):  Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas), Jose Carranza (Louisville City FC; Manassas, Va.), Omir Fernandez (Wake Forest; Bronx, N.Y.), Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union; Newark, Del.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Tex.), Brandon Servania* (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
FORWARDS (7): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.), Simon Becher (Unattached; Brooklyn, Conn.), Griffin Dorsey (Indiana; Evergreen, Colo.), Jesus Ferreira* (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Nebiyou Perry (FC Köln/GER; New York, N.Y.), Justin Rennicks (Indiana; Hamilton, Mass.), Nick Taitague (Schalke/GER; Midlothian, Va.)

U-19 Men’s National Team Roster (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristopher Shakes (Philadelphia Union; Coral Springs, Fla.), Samuel Fowler (Seattle Sounders FC; Issaquah, Wash.)

DEFENDERS (8): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), Nathan Harriel (Chargers SC; Tampa, Fla.), Blake Malone (Seattle Sounders FC; Mercer Island, Wash.), Jean-Julian Nuphaus (California; San Jose, Calif.), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Travian Sousa (Sacramento Republic FC; Lathrop, Calif.), Akil Watts (Real Mallorca/ESP; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Sean Zawadzki (Georgetown; Oldmsted, Ohio)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford Township; N.J.), Blaine Ferri (Greuther Fürth/GER; Southlake, Texas), Marcelo Palomino (Unattached; Frisco, Texas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.)
FORWARDS (5):  Hunter George (Sacramento Republic FC; Lincoln, Calif.), Matthew Hundley (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Manuel Lopez Terrazas (Santos Laguna/MEX; El Paso, Texas), Declan McGlynn (Seattle University; Issaquah, Wash.), Benjamin Mines* (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, Conn.)

U-17 Men’s National Team Roster (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.)
, Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Bryan Dowd (FC United; Willow Springs, Ill.), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta)
DEFENDERS (9)Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.),  Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.), Antino Lopez (Shattuck-St. Mary's; Las Vegas, Nev.), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Rickson van Hees (NEC Nijmegen/NED; Oss, Netherlands)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Gianluca Busio* (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Maxi Dietz (Freiburg/GER; Frankfurt, Germany), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Cesar Garcia (FC Dallas; The Colony, Texas), Jack Imperato (Villarreal/ESP; San Jose, Calif.), Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.), Pablo Soares (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; Krefeld, Germany), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.)
FORWARDS (6): Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)

* - USL Championship 20 Under 20 selection

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