Today the US U20 squad begins their World Cup campaign against Korea Republic in Montreal at 17:00 (local time). ESPNU and Galavision will be telecasting the matches live.
It can't get better than this summer. Between the Copa America and the U20, the future of US soccer is on display. Soak deeply, revel in it. The US U20 squad is a deep squad with Michael Bradley already seeing senior squad duty and impressing one and all with his performances at the Gold Cup. Tom Rongen's side is favourites to win it against those tough competitors S.Korea. With his experience Bradley should be the emotional leader of the US squad. They will have to be tough and on their toes because they not only have to deal with S.Korea but also four time winners Brazil, and a resurgent Poland which is coming back strongly in international soccer after the 70' and 80's Boniek and Lato days.
Of serious concern is the absence of Bolton's Johann Smith, who is unfortunately out with an injury. He is being replaced by Hamburger's Preston Zimmermann. Smith's loss is a big blow to the USA as he was very impressive in the qualifiers. Harvard's striker Andre Akpan who scored a hat trick against Haiti should get to see playing time.
NY Red Bulls forward Josy Altidore, the player with the hardest shot in the business and with a great season so far with 6 goals in 12 appearances and Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers should get the call up front in a 4-4-2 with RSL's Freddy Adu playing just behind and to the right. Rongen can also call upon Gabe Ferrari of Sampdoria and Hamburger's Zimmermann to rotate the strike. Crew's Chris Seitz will start in goal. Crew's Chris Ward, Galaxy's Nathan Sturgis, FC Dallas' Anthony Wallace, and Revs Amaechi Igwe form the back four. Supporting Adu and Bradley will be Galaxy's Dax McCarty.
Varsity powerhouses UCLA and Indiana University are also well represented in the U20 with Tony Beltran, Sal Zizzo, Brian Perk, and Ofori Sarkodi.