North Texas SC's Thomas Roberts was among the players named to the United States U-20 National Team camp this week after helping lead his side to the USL League One title in 2019. | Photo courtesy North Texas SC
CHICAGO – Four players that helped their clubs claim USL titles in 2019 were among 13 current and former players from the USL Championship and USL League One named to the first United States U-20 National Team camp of 2020. Real Monarchs SLC’s David Ochoa and North Texas SC’s Thomas Roberts, Dante Sealy and Kevin Bonilla were among those selected by new Head Coach Anthony Hudson for camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
A member of the U.S. U-20 National Team that competed at last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, Ochoa was the primary starting goalkeeper for the Monarchs as they claimed victory in the 2019 USL Championship Final against Louisville City FC. The 18-year-old made 20 appearances for the Monarchs overall during the season and recorded four shutouts and a 71.4 save percentage with 69 saves during the regular season and playoffs.
Roberts, Sealy and Bonilla, meanwhile, each made double-digit starts for North Texas as it claimed the USL League One title in the league’s inaugural season. Named alongside Ochoa in the squad for the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game, Roberts made 13 appearances for the side and recorded a pair of goals from midfield, while Bonilla made 14 appearances in defense and Sealy 19 appearances in an attacking role for Head Coach Eric Quill’s side.
Other notable names with USL ties in the squad include goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, who played as a USL Academy signing for Saint Louis FC in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and former Sporting Kansas City II forward Gianluca Busio, who was one of the leaders for the U.S. U-17 National Team at last fall’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
The training camp opened this week and will see the United States take on the Mexico U-20 National Team in a pair of scrimmages on January 16 and 18. The camp is the start of preparation for this summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship, in which the United States has been grouped with Costa Rica, Jamaica and St. Kitts & Nevis as it looks to claim the tournament for a third successive cycle.
Current & Former USL Championship / League One Alumni
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Ochoa (Real Monarchs SLC; Oxnard, Calif.), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; London, England), John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City II; Bakersfield, Calif.), Patrick Schulte (Saint Louis FC; Saint Charles, Mo.)
DEFENDERS (10): Jacob Akanyirige (Reno 1868 FC; Pleasanton, Calif.), Nico Benalcazar (Wake Forest; Wilton, Conn.), Kevin Bonilla (North Texas SC; Dallas, Texas), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union II; Oldsmar, Fla.), Ian Hoffmann (Karlsruher/GER; Bethany Beach, Del.), Blake Malone (Tacoma Defiance; Las Vegas, Nev.), Kurowskybob Pierre (Real Salt Lake; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire FC; Chicago, Ill.), Stuart Ritchie (Hannover 96/GER; Pleasanton, Calif.), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy II; Corona, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Cole Bassett (Colorado Spring Switchbacks FC; Littleton, Colo.), Leon Flach (St. Pauli/GER; Bad Schwartau, Germany), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew S.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas), Thomas Roberts (North Texas SC; Little Rock, Ark.)
FORWARDS (5): Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City II; Greensboro, N.C.), Cameron Harper (Celtic/SCO; Roseville, Calif.), Matko Miljevic (Argentinos Juniors/ARG; Miami, Fla.), Dante Sealy (North Texas SC; Frisco, Texas), Marlon Vargas (Tacoma Defiance; Bakersfield, Calif.)