this u20 is stacked some good players wont make the roster like this fella!
good read...pax pomkyal got hurt. he will be fine when the tourney starts cuz hes an important player!
So. You’ve decided to watch the under 20 World Cup this year. Welcome. You are well on your way to becoming the soccer version of a football recruiting guy/girl, or maybe one of those NFL draftnik types. Either way make sure you enjoy feeling superior to most other soccer fans because you saw player X in this tournament before they were a star.
How do I watch it?
It starts on May 23rd and FOX has the rights to the U20 World Cup so it will be available on Fox channels (FS1, FS2, FOX – if it’s like last time most of the games will be on FS2). Also, if you purchased the Fox Soccer Match Pass for the Bundesliga season the U20 WC will be available on there as well.
It’s being played in Poland so we’ll be looking at midday match times. That may call for a couple long lunches planned around US games.
Is the US any good?
Short answer. Yes. If you are reading this you probably already know that, but this is the best looking US U20 team I can remember. As a point of reference, this will be the fourth U20 World Cup that I have actually watched.
Apparently the 2007 US U20 team (young Bradley, Altidore, etc.) that lost in the quarters to Austria was really good, but I wasn’t a total soccer degenerate at that point. Plus, I’m not sure that tournament was even generally available to watch.
The center back pool is shallow, so if the top two aren’t available the center of defense might be weak, but the rest of the team is strong and deep. These are the teams the presumed starters/starting options are playing for:
Ochoa – RSL (Real Monarch starter)
Gloster – Hannover (U23 starter)
Richards – Bayern Munich (U19 starter)
McKenzie – Philadelphia (bench )
Dest – Ajax (U19 starter)
Mendez – Freiburg (U19 starter)
Pomykal – Dallas (starter)
Ledezma – PSV (U19 maybe starter?)
Llanez – Wolfsburg (can’t play yet)
Konrad – Barcelona (U19 starter)
Sargent – Werder Bremen (bench option)
Soto – Hannover (U19 starter/senior team bench option)
Sargent/Soto – It’s not a given that Sargent will even be with this team. There was a point earlier this year where it looked like Sargent was going to break into the Bremen full team, but he didn’t. He has only gotten a few minutes in the past couple months so now the U20 WC looks like a possibility.
Soto has broken through to get sub minutes in the past few weeks with Hannover as they prepare for life in the 2. Bundesliga. If Sargent isn’t there he’s your starter.
Llanez/Konrad – These might be the best two winger prospects the US has ever produced (remember CP was a 10 with USYNTs). Ulysses Llanez isn’t allowed to play official games with Wolfsburg yet (wasn’t 18 in time to be registered) but the last I heard Llanez had 2 goals and an assist in his first friendly start.
Konrad de la Fuente is playing for Barcelona’s U19 team and doing well. He starts on the right wing for them and looks like he might have a chance to play with Barca B in the next year or two.
Mendez/Pomykal/Ledezma – This is the most exciting part of the team for me. The US has traditionally had trouble finding creative midfield types. Who’s the last creative mid we’ve seen play regularly with the full NT? Feilhaber? It’s been a minute.
Image result for crazy times meme
All three of these guys are 8/10 hybrids. Mendez has the most offensive talent of the three but is weakest on D. Pomykal probably provides the best D. There’s only two starting spots for these three. It’s crazy. The US is leaving home guys who would be lock starters in any other cycle. Brenden Aaronson probably isn’t going to make this team and he starts for the Union.