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Four RSL first-teamers named to U.S. U-20 World Cup roster

Published May 10, 2017 4:30 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A portion of Real Salt Lake's young core will play a serious role at this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday the 21-man roster for the upcoming U-20 World Cup in South Korea, and five RSL academy products are making the trek overseas.

RSL's Brooks Lennon (19), Sebastian Saucedo (20), Danny Acosta (19), Justen Glad (20) and University of New Mexico defender Aaron Herrera (19) — a graduate of RSL's Arizona-based academy — were named to the U.S. U-20 roster by coach Tab Ramos.

All five were part of the qualifying process, leading the U-20s to not only a berth in this summer's World Cup but the first-ever CONCACAF Championship trophy in March in Costa Rica. The Americans depart Wednesday for training camp in Japan. The entire team is expected to convene in South Korea a week later.

"We are very excited to once again provide a great competitive opportunity to our players and are looking forward to heading to Korea Republic," Ramos said in a release. "As always there were some extremely tough decisions to make. This is a talented age group."

The U-20s were drawn into Group F alongside Ecuador, Senegal and Saudi Arabia. Their first scheduled match is May 22 against Ecuador, likeliest the biggest challenger in the group stage. Should the Americans advance, the knockout round is slated to begin June 1 in South Korea.

Lennon, Saucedo and Acosta have combined for 17 starts in 2017, while Glad has remained sidelined since the CONCACAF Championship final with a right knee injury. The 20-year-old center back has yet to make his first RSL appearance this year while dealing with the knee injury, but he has returned to training in recent weeks to rehab and get back into game shape.

"We've been fortunate, in a selfish way, that we were able to get these guys some proud, valuable experience this year," RSL coach Mike Petke said recently. "So heading into this World Cup, Brooks, Bofo, Danny Acosta, these are three guys that are in a good spot fitness-wise and tactically going into this camp because of the minutes they've gotten."

Lennon re-joined the RSL organization this winter on loan from Liverpool FC. The 19-year-old winger has one goal in eight starts. Saucedo, who grew up in Park City, has five starts and eight overall appearances this year. Acosta, who was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but moved to Sandy at 12, already has four starts on the RSL back line.

"For me personally, I think I'm representing America and I'm mostly representing my family that has been there for me and stuff like that," Saucedo said Saturday night. "I think I just have to take advantage and live it up to the fullest."

— Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani






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