Ulysses Lainez

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Berhalter announces 25-man USMNT roster for January camp

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Nearly half of the USMNT’s January training camp roster is comprised of players without caps.

Twelve is a big number, and three of those uncapped players come from outside of Major League Soccer.

Bryang Kayo (out of contract), Christian Cappas (Hobro), and Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg) join up with Gregg Berhalter’s men.

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Kayo, 17, is a DC United youth academy product who’s been on the books for USL sides Loudoun United and Orange County SC in recent seasons.

Texas-born Cappas, 20, has three assists in 19 matches for Hobro, while 18-year-old Llanez has 10 goals and three assists in 11 matches for Wolfsburg’s U-19 side.

Jordan Morris, Bill Hamid, Aaron Long, Cristian Roldan, Paul Arriola, and Gyasi Zardes will help indoctrinate the new boys into the U.S. senior set-up.

Long may again be linked with West Ham and other European suitors, which could change some things.

MLS is heavily represented during January camps because they do not fall inside of a FIFA international break window.

The camps provide an excellent opportunity for MLS players to make a statement, and they’ll get to do so in Qatar from Jan. 5-25 before meeting up with Costa Rica in California.

It will be interesting to see whether the U.S. adds a Middle Eastern opponent while overseas.

USMNT January camp roster

Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United FC), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids, Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN), Bryang Kayo (Unattached), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards: Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC)

Stunner leads U.S. to U-20 World Cup berth

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Alex Mendez and Ulysses Llanez scored first half goals and the United States U-20 men’s national team cruised to a 4-0 win over Costa Rica at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship semifinals on Friday.

The win means the U.S. needs a draw or better against Honduras on Monday to set up a match-up with Mexico or Panama in the Nov. 21 final in Bradenton, Florida.

Costa Rica is out unless the U.S. beats Honduras by more than four goals.

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Juan Pablo Torres and Ayo Akinola also scored for the U.S., who can make plans for the summer in Poland.

Mendez’s goal was a masterpiece, the Freiburg center mid slashing a left-footed ball into the Upper 90. Mendez is an LA Galaxy Academy product.

U.S. U-20 men one win from World Cup

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One win.

That’s all the United States’ U-20 men’s national team will need to advance to this summer’s World Cup in Poland and the Pan-American Games in Peru.

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The Yanks cruised through group play with a nearly perfect nine days of soccer, the closest of five wins a 6-1 defeat of Trinidad and Tobago.

Competition is a bit tougher in the knockout stage, but Costa Rica and Honduras did the U.S. a massive solid by drawing 1-1 in their opener.

Now Tab Ramos’ kids can qualify for the World Cup with a defeat of Costa Rica on Friday or Honduras on Monday.

The top two teams in each group qualify for Poland, while the Group A winner advances to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship to face the winner of Group B (Mexico, El Salvador, or Panama).

The U.S. has spread the scoring around, lead by 17-year-old Ulysses Lainez of LA Galaxy II (six goals). His former Galaxy Academy buddy, Alexis Mendez of Freiburg has five goals, as does Toronto FC 18-year-old Ayo Akinola.