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U19/20 USYNT Camp Roster Analysis

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June 2024
This is the last camp and set of games for the U19/U20 team before heading to Mexico for the Concacaf U20 Championships. That tournament starts on July 20th, just under two months from now. That tournament serves as a qualification tournament for the 2025 U20 World Cup in Chile.

The United States will travel to South America to take on Argentina on June 7th and Uruguay on June 11th. These are excellent tests and final tune ups before their big regional tournament later this summer.

Coach Michael Nsien has brought in eight new faces for this camp and we will get into the context around some of those decisions.
Nimfasha Berchimas, USYNT winger for Charlotte FC

Roster analysis


Gavin Beavers, Real Salt Lake (2005), Julian Eyestone, Brentford (2006), Adam Beaudry, Colorado Rapids (2006)

Gavin Beavers and Julian Eyestone are back from the last camp and U17 World Cup keeper, Adam Beaudry joins the group in place of Diego Kochen. Kochen is the clear number one option for this team, but Barca Atlètic is in a promotion playoff run and it's highly likely that Kochen was not released for that reason. I would expect Eyestone and Beavers to get the majority of minutes while Kochen is out.


LB, Nolan Norris, FC Dallas (2005), LB, Luca Bombino, LAFC (2006), Ethan Kohler, Werder Bremen (2005), Aiden Harangi, Eintracht Frankfurt (2006)

There are no changes to this group from last camp. The interesting insight here is that Ethan Kohler is now designated as a defender, which makes sense because he got all of his time in the last camp at right-back. He has played center-back and defensive-midfielder for Werder Bremen and San Jose Earthquakes in the past, but I did like what I saw from him at right-back.

The big missing name here is Reed Baker-Whiting who is back with Seattle from injury. It's possible he is on a minutes restriction, so either Seattle did not release him or Nsien didn't think it was wise to bring him at this time. He should be the starting left or right-back when 100% fit.


Drew Murray, Freiburg (2005), Noah Cobb, Atlanta United (2005), Matai Akinmboni, D.C. United (2006), Stuart Hawkins, Seattle Sounders (2006)

There are two changes to this group. Murray and Akinmboni return from last camp and Cobb and Hawkins are the new additions. The two players that are not back from the last camp are highly rated Noahkai Banks and 2007 standout Neil Pierre. I am sure Banks was invited, but unsure why he is not here. I don't think there is reason to be worried, he just finished a long season and potentially needed some rest. I would fully expect him to to be in the mix for the Concacaf tournament because he was a standout in their last set of games.

Cobb has been getting a lot of minutes for Atlanta United covering for some injured players and he filled in admirably. I am sure that caught the attention of U.S. Soccer. Hawkins was a starter on the U17 World Cup team and is likely here because Banks was not available.

Josh Wynder is the other big name that has not yet appeared for this U20 cycle because he has been battling chronic injuries. Hopefully he takes the summer to get fit.


DM, Pedro Soma, Cornella (2006), CM, Niko Tsakiris, San Jose Earthquakes (2005), CM, Brooklyn Raines, Houston Dynamo (2005), CM, Sergio Oregel Jr, Chicago Fire (2005), CM, Taha Habroune, Columbus Crew (2006)

Tsakiris and Raines are the two new additions from last camp. Soma, Oregel and Habroune return. Tsakiris brings U20 Concacaf and World Cup experience to the group as he was one of three 2005 players that played in the last U20 World Cup. He will immediately become a leader and expected impact player. Raines is a versatile and well rounded midfielder that will also bring experience and stability to this midfield.

The two age-eligible names that are not here are Obed Vargas and Benjamin Cremaschi. Cremaschi is with the U23s and is making a push to be selected for the 2024 Summer Olympic team. Vargas is another 2005 from the last U20 World Cup team and he turned down the invite to focus on his play with Seattle Sounders. He is a consistent starter for Seattle and it is better for his development to focus there.


AM, Cruz Medina, San Jose Earthquakes (2006), AM, David Vazquez, Philadelphia Union (2006), AM, Paulo Rudisill, Feyenoord (2006), W, Kristian Fletcher, D.C. United (2005), W, Zavier Gozo, RSL (2007), W, Nimfasha Berchimas (2008)

Gozo and Berchimas are two of the youngest players on this roster and are both new additions from last camp. Berchimas is the first 2008 born player to be selected to this team and Gozo becomes the second 2007 born player. Berchimas is still eligible for the next U17 World Cup cycle. Medina, Vazquez, Rudisill and Fletcher return.

The only player not here that was in the last camp is Cole Campbell from Borussia Dortmund. My assumption is that he was not released considering he just played in the U19 Bundesliga Championship today and is likely being rested after a long season. He certainly will be a top choice for this group.

I am curious to know if Fidel Barajas was once again selected and if so, whether he was not released or if he turned down the offer.

Esmir Bajraktarevic is age-eligible for this group, but he is with Benja Cremaschi and the U23s in their last camp before the Summer Olympics.

The other name that should be here that continues to get snubbed is CJ Olney. He is very objectively outperforming players that continue to get selected to this team and it's hard for me to understand any soccer reasons as to why he keeps getting left off.


Marcos Zambrano-Delgado, Vitória Guimarães (2005), Keyrol Figueroa, Liverpool (2006)

Keyrol Figueroa makes his first appearance for this age group and Rodrigo Neri was either dropped, not released or not fit — I am unsure which it is. Zambrano-Delgado returns after having a nice camp in the last set of friendlies. It will be fun to get the explosive Figueroa into this group.

Who’s Missing and Why?

There are many reasons why players are not in camp. The most common reasons are that a player is already provisionally cap-tied to another country, U.S. Soccer might feel that they have graduated beyond this level, they may not have been released by their club, they have injury/fitness issues, they declined the invite or they simply were not selected by U.S. Soccer. Here are some of the top players that are not in camp and my best guess as to why: 

Cap-tied elsewhere

LB, Christian McFarlane, NYCFC (England/2007)
RB, Malachi Molina, FC Dallas (Jamaica/2006)
CB, Tyler Bindon, Reading (New Zealand/2005)
CB, Lazar Stefanovic, Toronto FC (Canada/2006)
CM, Noel Buck, New England Revolution (England/2005)
CM, Alejandro Granados, Club Brugge (Spain/2006)
W, Bora Aydinlik, Hull City (Turkey/2005)
W, Olger Escobar, New England Revolution (Guatemala/2006)

Graduated beyond this level

CM, Benja Cremaschi, Inter Miami (2005)
W, Esmir Bajraktarevic, New England Revolution (2005)

Not released

GK, Diego Kochen, Barcelona (2006)
W, Cole Campbell, Borussia Dortmund (2006)


DM, Obed Vargas, Seattle Sounders (2005)


RB, Reed Baker-Whiting, Seattle Sounders (2005)
RB, Leo Duru, Blackburn Rovers (2005)
CB, Noahkai Banks, Augsburg (2006)
W, Fidel Barajas, Real Salt Lake (2006)
CF, Rodrigo Neri, Valencia (2005)


LB, Tahir Brown, Orlando Cit(2006)
LB, Peyton Miller, New England Revolution (2007)
CB, Josh Wynder, Benfica (2005)
DM, Matthew Corcoran, Birmingham Legion (2006)
W, Serge Ngoma, RBNY (2005)

Not selected

GK, Duran Ferree, Orange County (2006) on loan from San Diego FC
RB, Oscar Verhoeven, San Jose Earthquakes (2006)
RB, Ajani Nixon, LAFC (2006)
RB, Bryce Jamison, Orange County (2006)
CB, Grayson Dettoni, Bayern Munich (2005)
CB, Neil Pierre, Philadelphia Union (2007)
DM, Miguel Perez, Birmingham Legion (2005) on loan from St. Louis City
CM, Nate Worth, Tampa Bay Rowdies (2007)
AM, Favion Loyola, Orlando City (2005) with Chile U20s
AM, Christopher Olney, Philadelphia (2006)
W, Tarik Scott, FC Dallas (2005)
W, Luke Brennan, Atlanta United (2005)
CF, Nelson Pierre, Skövde AIK (2005) on loan from Philadelphia Union
CF, Julian Placias, North Carolina FC (2006)

Roster Grade: B 

Overall I think this is a solid roster, assuming some big names like Kochen, Banks, Baker-Whiting, Vargas and Campbell were not available. I can't see any of those players not being selected if available. The squad is also without Cremaschi and Bajraktarevic who are fighting for spots on the U23 Olympic team. It will be interesting to see if either of them join this team if they do not make that final roster, or if either join them in the lead up to the U20 World Cup, assuming the United States makes it.

I would have liked to see Neil Pierre back with this group. I think he has a much higher ceiling than some of the other players selected. I also wouldn't have mind seeing Verhoeven or Nixon get a chance at right-back. And as I mentioned before, Olney continues to get overlooked even though he has been fantastic in MLS Next Pro.

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