Two IMG Academy soccer program alums could man the back line together for the United States as the team begins its journey to qualify for the U-20 World Cup July 29-Aug. 20 in Colombia.
Zarek Valentin, now a rookie with Chivas USA, and Gale Agbossoumonde, who also made the U-20 team for the 2009 U-20 World Cup, earned spots on the final roster for the Americans.
The group will travel to Dallas on March 20 for a week of training before departing for Guatemala City, Guatemala, on March 25 to begin its quest to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia.
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team has been drawn into Group B of the CONCACAF tournament and will face Suriname on March 29 at 8 p.m. ET and Panama on April 2 at 6 p.m. ET at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores. Both games will be televised on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.
At the 12-team regional event, the top two teams in each group will advance to the tournament quarterfinals, and the four quarterfinal winners will seal a berth to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, set for July 29-Aug. 20 across eight cities in Colombia. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for an eighth-consecutive time, having qualified for 13 U-20 World Cups since the tournament began in 1977.
âAs a staff, we've done our due diligence during the last year and a half,â said Rongen. âI can't speak enough about all the players that we've looked at who have put in a tremendous amount of work and energy in each and every camp. That made this selection probably tougher than any other cycle and that's a good thing. It means we've gotten deeper in every position and that we've got a great talent pool.â