The announcement of the U.S. Under-20 World Cup roster brought good and not so good news.
While Rapids defender Shane O'Neill made the 21-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, his Colorado teammate and fellow homegrown midfielder Dillon Serna just missed the cut.
“We looked at I think 79 players through our process to come up with our final 21 – it definitely wasn’t easy,” U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos told USSoccer.com following the announcement.
Serna was with the U-20s at the recently completed Toulon Tournament in France, where he appeared in three of the U-20's four matches including a start in the 2-1 loss to Colombia. And while he's on his way back to Colorado, he is one of 14 players that can still be called in for the World Cup in the event something happens with one of the rostered players.
In mid-May, the U.S. submitted a 35-player provisional roster for the World Cup, from which Ramos could select the final squad. The U.S. can make roster changes up to 24 hours before the start of the tournament.
“It’s very important for all of them to stay fit and to be prepared to get a call,” Ramos said. “We’ve already spoken with some players who are not going with us to Portugal (the team’s training base for the next week) who are not on the 21 and we’ve made them aware of the fact that they might get a last-minute call.”
Serna was in a similar situation in March. He was not on the original U.S. U-20 roster for the CONCACAF Championships in Mexico, but was called in just five days before the start of the tournament. He ended up starting the semifinal and final, helping the U.S. secure its place at the World Cup with a second place finish.
Serna is one of 14 players eligible to be called to the U-20s World Cup team through June 20:
Dillon Serna (M - Colorado Rapids), Brandon Allen (F - Georgetown), Russell Canouse (M - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (GER), Alec Cochran (D - Wisconsin), Tomas Gomez (GK - Georgetown), Julien Green (F - Bayern Munich (GER), Marlon Hairston (M - Louisville), Alfred Koroma (F - Akron), Collin Martin (M - Wake Forest), Jordan Morris (F - Seattle Sounders Academy), Boyd Okwuanu (D - North Carolina), Jeffrey Payeras (D - Municipal (GUA), Jonathan Top (F - FC Dallas), Walker Zimmerman (D - FC Dallas).