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A look at some US U-20 talents

Alexander Zahavi

The US U-20 National Team is in Northern Ireland participating in the Milk Cup. Thomas Rongen is still at the helm and recently guided his team to a 1-0 victory over China. The team plays the Danish on Wednesday, Julu 28, at 3pm ET.

Rongen has reached out to a number of young Americans plying their trade abroad in Mexico and different countries in Europe. There are some talented players amongst those Rongen has targeted. At the Milk Cup, Rongen has brought in some of these talented players, while he hasn’t brought in traditional oustanding youth players like Sebastien Lletget, Charles Renken, Joseph Gyau, or Jack McInerney.

Omar Salgado seems like the most impressive young prospect. At 6”4 and only 16 years old, Salgado appears to have a great future as a forward. He has been involved in the Mexican youth national system and was in the Chivas de Guadalajara youth team. Recently he decided that he did not want to play for Mexico, and that he would rather play for the US. Because of Chivas de Guadalajara’s policy of only fielding Mexican national team eligible players, Salgado had to leave the team to follow his dream of playing for the US.

Salgado signed a Generation Adidas contract with MLS and is hoping to start playing for an MLS team soon. He recently showed his quality at the Milk Cup by scoring the lone goal against China. He is going to be a very interesting player to watch. If he continues to progress, then he may make an excellent target forward for the US in the future.

Another player to watch is Samir Badr from Fairfax, VA. He is an 18 year old goalkeeper currently with the youth system at FC Porto in Portugal. While Zac MacMath started against China, Badr may get his chance to show his ability later in the tournament. At 6”3 and 180 lbs., he has impressive size for his age.

Gale Agbossoumonde has been with the US youth national team set up for a while, and he has recently been signed by Portuguese team Sporting Braga after a successful loan. He is big (6”2), quick, and athletic. He is an Eddie Pope style center-back, and if he continues to improve he may add some needed speed to the the US back line in the future. He is still only 18 years old and is captaining the US U-20 team at the Milk Cup.

Also, keep an eye on Alex Molano, who currently plays on the youth team at Dinamo Zagred in Croatia. He is 18 and plays as a withdrawn forward or a winger. He has some talent and could definitely help out the US in the future.

Tristan Bowen, who plies his trade with the Los Angeles Galaxy is also at the Milk Cup and has shown strength, speed, and good skill playing as a forward. He is also one to watch for the future.

Finally, one player who may be a future US star, who didn’t make it to the Milk Cup is Alexander Zahavi. He is a Portuguese-Israeli American who just signed a contract with Maccabi Haifa in Israel. He is 19 and was playing at Sporting Lisbon in Portugal. He was considered a good prospect for the Portuguese national team and had spent time in the Portuguese national youth system. He moved to get first team action.

Thomas Rongen has stated that Zahavi wants to play for the US, and that he did not appear in the Milk Cup due to an injury and not being released by his then club, Sporting Lisbon. He appears to be a very talented and creative passing midfielder. He is eligible to play for the US in friendly matches and non-FIFA tournaments like the Milk Cup, but to play for the US during major competitions, he will have to use his one time Fifa switch as he is currently still a Portuguese youth international.

All of these young players are exciting to watch and we may get to see them at the next Youth World Cup. What do you think of any of these young players? Have you seen them play?

One Comment

  1. Raul licerio says:

    I want to b part of a team, and wish to have a chance to play with y’all, I play hard and practice hard and never give up all I do in this town is play soccer but I want to go for a higher level and go further in soccer

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