New England Soccer Today

A Glimpse Into the Future

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The busy summer of United States soccer kicks off this weekend with U-20 World Cup opening in New Zealand. On Saturday the U.S. U-20’s will matchup against Myanmar at 12 AM EST.

While it may be a stretch for casual fans to watch a youth tournament in the middle of the night, there are plenty of good reasons to watch some of the best soccer prospects the U.S. has to offer. Ahead of the tournament we wanted to give you five U.S. players to watch throughout the tournament.

5. Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas, Defender) – Acosta is one of the most experienced players in the U-20 pool. The FC Dallas Homegrown Player has prominently featured in MLS over the past few seasons, and will bring that wealth of professional experience to New Zealand. This will also be the second U-20 World Cup for the 19-year-old who can feature at outside back or defensive midfield for the team.

4. Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht, Forward) – It looks like this tournament will be a showcase for Rubin, who had a great first professional season at Utrecht – a campaign in which he featured 22 times, and scored three goals in the Eredivisie. In New Zealand, most of the offensive play will go through the pacey forward, so expect to see his name on the score sheet. The 19-year-old has been called up three times to the senior national team, as he seems to be a favorite of Jurgen Klinsmann.

3. Emerson Hyndman (Fulham, Midfielder) – Many know of this prospect through his grandfather, former FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. Emerson has been a mainstay in the U.S. youth setup for many years know, gathering a good amount of experience. His domestic season started well for Fulham in the English Championship, but injuries forced him to only make eleven appearances for the first team. The central midfielder has a lot to prove on the field in New Zealand, his play will likely be a big indication of where he will stand domestically next season.

2. Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham, Defender) – Relatively new to United States fans, Carter-Vickers is definitely a player to watch over the next month. The 6-0 center back is a crucial piece of the U.S. defense. While the 17-year-old has made a first team appearance for Spurs, he has been highly praised for his role in defense on the Tottenham U-18 and U-21 teams. Carter-Vickers is the youngest player on this U.S. roster, but there will be no doubts on how he will fit in, as he started all six qualifying matches for the team.

1. Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal, Midfielder) – Here it is, American soccer fans: the chance to finally see this kid in action wearing the red, white and blue. Zelalem has been on the minds of many since Julian Green switched allegiances last summer for the World Cup. Look for Zelalem to feature centrally alongside Hyndman, creating a solid partnership that should make easy work of group stage opponents Myanmar, Ukraine, and New Zealand. Plenty will be expected of the 18-year-old, but if he can mesh well with his brand new teammates, it could be quite the show.

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