Tab Ramos named his roster selection for the U-20 Team’s camp going on this week. This team only returns one player from the 2015 FiFA U-20 World Cup in Erik Palmer-Brown. I wanted to take a look at a few of the most interesting new U-20 player.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown)
JT is from California and started getting real recognition on the U-18 team as a physical phenom with cat-like reflexes. He rose up through the San Jose Earthquake’s academy, one of their few but brightest spots to come from the academy. He got called in to the U-14 and was called into every camp through the U-18 team in 2013 where he was called in with Jonathan Klinsmann.
He joined Georgetown as a freshman and was recognized as the number two overall player in the nation coming from the high school ranks. He posted a .69 goals against during his Freshman season and went 16-2-3 with 9 shutouts. He was the 2015 Big East Freshman of the Year along with many other honors throughout the season for his play.
He draws many comparisons to RSL’s Nick Rimando because at 6’1, rather short for a goal keeper, he relies on speed and positioning to protect the net. He was ranked 2016 4th best goalkeeper prospect under 25 years old. He was behind only the Columbus Crew’s Zack Steffen, D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and Molde’s Ethan Horvath. The latter two of these players have been regular call ups to the senior team and are looked at as potential heirs to Tim Howard. JT is an extremely exciting prospect for the future as he enters his sophomore year at Georgetown.
DEFENDERS (9): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy; Norwalk, Calif.), Marcello Borges (Michigan; Kearny, N.J.), Marlon Fossey (Fulham; Surbiton, ENG), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)
Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City)
Erik is the only returning U-20 players on the team. A native of Missouri, he rose through Sporting Kansas City academy from age 13 and by the time he was 16 was training with the senior team. He was the youngest signing in Sporting Kansas City’s history and is the youngest player in MLS history to start a game as a defender at 17 years old.
Palmer-Brown rose through the USMNT ranks joining the U-15 team and has been on every team since including his second stint at this year’s U-20 camp. He drew attention overseas last year and was loaned to Porto, one of Portugal’s top teams and a Champions League pest. He played on their B team and started 10 of the last 13 games as they won their first ever title in LigaPro (Portugal’s Second Division). In December 2016 he scored his first goal against Leicester City’s U-23 team and then earned a spot on the bench of Porto’s senior team. At just 19 with so much experience under his belt, he has a lot of potential for a bright with USMNT.
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, UT), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappingers Falls, N.Y), Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, TX), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Jonathan Lewis (NYCFC; Plantation, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Ut.), Jonathan Suarez (Queretaro F.C.; Orange County, Calif.), Eryk Williamson (Maryland; Alexandria, Va.)
Jonathan Lewis (NYCFC)
Lewis grew up moving around the US along with some time spent in his father’s native Jamaica where he fell in love with the sport. He was scorer early on in life putting 20 goals away in 22 games for Kenall SC in Florida before he spent some time in England playing for Bradford City after high school. He returned to the US to attend the University of Akron for a year in which he scored 2 goals and 12 assists catching the eye of Tab Ramos for a U-20 call up.
Jonathan decided to forgo his sophomore at Akron and go professional. NYCFC traded up and put out $250,000 to move up in the draft to select Lewis third overall. They really like the speedy winger who is fearless at attacking defenders. His aggressive style fits well on Tab Ramo’s squad as well at Patrick Vieira’s NYCFC. He’ll have great opportunities at both levels to be an under study to some of the U.S. top talent.
FORWARDS (4): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, Bethesda, Md.), Brooks Lennon (Liverpool; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Josh Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta United FC; Chula Vista, CA)
Brooks Lennon (Liverpool)
Lennon may be the most exciting talent on this squad. He came up through the Real Salt Lake City academy and had played with Christian Pulisic at the US youth level.
Brooks joined Liverpool in summer 2015 after his sophomore year in high school and has caught the attention of many with his endless work rate. He has scored regularly with the academy team, but hasn’t been able to crack into the first team.
Real Salt Lake have shown interest in getting their young academy star back, but last week an offer was rejected by Liverpool. They may be open to loaning the young american out, but don’t seem keen on letting go completely as he’s shown a lot of promise.
Lennon represented the US U-18 squad before now joining the U-20 team. He’s 19 and has impressed on the U23 level for Liverpool. He hopes to break into the first team this year and maybe a good run on the US U-20 team could catch Klopp’s attention.