U.S. under-20 national team

17-year-old Josh Sargent a force for US Soccer

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If forward Josh Sargent wasn’t on anybody’s radar before, he certainly is now for U.S. Soccer at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

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Sargent, who turned 17 in February, tied the American scoring record for the event Wednesday night in a 6-0 U.S. victory over New Zealand. The youngest player on the U.S. team, he now has four goals in the tournament and is tied with Venezuela’s Sergio Cordova for the tournament scoring lead.

That production has him in rarefied air. He joins Taylor Twellman (1999), Eddie Johnson (2003) and Jozy Altidore (2007) as the only Americans to score four goals at an Under-20 World Cup.

A native of O’Fallon, Missouri, outside St. Louis, Sargent scored five goals in Panama at CONCACAF qualifying in April and May for the Under-17 World Cup team, then was added to the Under-20 roster – a major step up.

Sargent trained with the U-20s in January and made enough of an imprint to be called up to the U-20 World Cup even though he wasn’t part of the qualification effort. His performance has validated the decision by coach Tab Ramos to add him to the older roster.

Other things to know about Josh Sargent:

GOALS GALORE: Sargent had 14 goals and seven assists in 29 international games before helping the United States qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He had five goals and two assists there, including two goals against Mexico .

STAYING HOME: According to Goal.com, Sporting Kansas City has his MLS homegrown rights if he decides to stay at home and play professionally in the United States.

EARLY YEARS: According to U.S. Soccer, Sargent first played for the U.S. at a U-14 training camp four years ago and also played in the Nike International Friendlies in 2015.

TRAINING TIME: According to U.S. Soccer, Sargent has trained since the fall with clubs based in the Netherlands and Germany.

HE SAYS: “World Cups are huge. Being able to go with an older age group is really good for me. It’ll push me and help me realize just how good competition around the world is. Playing with these older guys will push me every day, and I think I can take that back with the U-17s to help make us more successful come October.”

U.S. U-20s qualifies for U-20 World Cup, knocks off El Salvador

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The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team has never won a CONCACAF U-20 Championship, however, Tab Ramos’ side is now just one match away from breaking that trend.

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The U.S. U-20s knocked off El Salvador on Friday night, 2-1, in order to reach the tournament finale against Honduras.

In the bigger picture, Ramos and his squad automatically qualify for this summer’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea by virtue of finishing in the top two of their classification stage group.

The U.S. went up 1-0 in the 17th minute when Emmanuel Sabbi was sent in on goal by Eryk Williamson. Sabbi netted his first goal of the competition after slotting his final touch past El Salvador goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez Martinez.

However, it was Williamson that doubled the American advantage eight minutes later in extraordinary fashion after taking the ball off his chest and volleying it off the left post and into the back of the net.

The Central American side managed to pull a goal back in the 35th minute as Marvin Marquez Ayala snuck one past Jonathan Klinsmann, but El Salvador struggled to find a second against the stifling U.S. backline.

A pair of red cards in the dying minutes put a bit of a damper on the match, when El Salvador’s Marcos Rodriguez was sent off for slapping and kicking U.S. attacker Sebastian Saucedo, who had previously tripped Rodriguez in the build up.

Joining the U.S. at this summer’s World Cup from CONCACAF will be Honduras and Mexico, while Costa Rica and Panama will battle for the final spot from the region.

U.S. U-20s paired with Mexico, El Salvador in CONCACAF knockout round

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Tab Ramos’ side completed their first task, but now the U.S. Under-20 national team has its next challenge lying in front of them.

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The U.S. U-20s finished second in Group B at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship after winning two of its three group stage matches.

Now, Mexico and El Salvador await the¬†U-20s in the classification stage with a spot at May’s Under-20 World Cup in South Korea on the line.

During the classification round there will be two groups of three teams, with the top two teams advancing to the World Cup. Each group winner will meet in the CONCACAF Championship final.

Classification stage schedule

Group D

Feb. 27 — U.S. U-20s vs. Mexico

Mar. 1 — Mexico vs. El Salvador

Mar. 3 — U.S. U-20s vs. El Salvador

Group E

Feb. 27 — Panama vs. Honduras

Mar. 1 — Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Mar. 3 — Panama vs. Costa Rica

US announce roster for U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer

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Ahead of the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer, the U.S. has named their 20-man squad for the tournament.

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Head coach Tab Ramos has included the likes of Emerson Hyndman and Rubio Rubin who have both featured for the full national team, while a host of promising MLS youngster such as Erik Palmer-Brown, Kellyn Acosta, Jordan Allen, Tommy Thompson and Bradford Jamieson also made the roster.

One of the biggest omissions from the squad was Borussia Dortmund youngster Junior Flores, while it is being report that English side Reading refused to release forward Andrija Novakovich for the tournament. Others who can count themselves unlucky to not make the squad include Lynden Gooch and Roman Gall.

It is unclear whether or not Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem will be called up by Ramos as U.S. Soccer is still waiting to hear back from FIFA on whether or not the German born midfielder has had his request to change national teams rubber-stamped. Expect more news on that in the coming days.

Below are the 20 players selected, as the final deadline for Ramos to name a 21-man squad is May 15. In terms of their schedule, players will start to arrive in Carson, Calif. on May 14 and then the team departs on May 16 for a training camp in Australia.

The U.S. were drawn in Group A along with hosts New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar. The team opens group play against Myanmar at 12 a.m. ET on May 30 in Whangarei, then face¬†New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland. You can watch all of the USA’s games live on NBC Universo, as Ramos’ side look to make it past the group stage after crashing out of the last tournament in 2013. The best finish the U.S. has ever¬†achieved in this tournament was fourth place back in 1989.

USA U-20 squad for 2015 U-20 World Cup

Goalkeepers (3): Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zack Steffen (Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)

Defenders (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Desevio Payne (FC Groningen; Greenwood, S.C.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.)

Midfielders (6): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Forwards (5): Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake; Rochester, N.Y.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

18-year-old American goalkeeper makes Molde FK game day roster

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Ethan Horvath, from Highlands Ranch, Colo., and who grew up playing club soccer for Real Colorado, made his first appearance as a professional in an 18-man game day roster on Saturday. The 18-year-old goalkeeper sat on the bench as his Molde FK defeated Sogndal 2-1 in the Norwegian Eliteserien.

Horvath signed for the club this year that is also home to former Chivas USA academy forward Ben Spencer and American Gold Cup call-up Joshua Gatt. Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the head coach of Molde, which will play Rubin Kazan in the Europa League qualifying rounds on Aug. 22 and 29.

Another American, defender Sean Cunningham, was recently released from the club.

Horvath is in the United States under-18 national team pool, and he played for the U15s before that. U.S. Soccer lists him at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 182 pounds. Before signing with Molde, Horvath trained with Stoke City and Bristol City in England.

The kid from Colorado is one to watch for the future of American goalkeeping. With U20 starter Cody Cropper, who plays for Southampton, getting called into the U.S. squad for Wednesday‚Äôs friendly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it seems head coach J√ľrgen Klinsmann and his staff are on the lookout for young talent at the position.

For his part, Horvath should challenge for a starting spot on the U20 team by the time the 2015 U20 World Cup rolls around. He split time with Santiago Casta√Īo in goal during the U18s‚Äô recent Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland.