SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC 2 defender Sam Rogers today was named to the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team roster for the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Rogers is one of seven defenders named to the 20-player roster by U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Head Coach Tab Ramos. The tournament takes place from November 1-21 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Rogers, 19, started in all 11 of his appearances for S2 this season and recorded 45 clearances and 22 interceptions despite missing several games due to injury and call-ups to the U.S. U-20 National Team. He was recently named to the USL’s 20 Under 20 squad for the second consecutive season.
The 2018 tournament marks CONCACAF largest U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament ever, with 34 member associations participating. The top four teams will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, set for May 23 to June 15 in Poland. As the tournament’s top seed, the U.S. was drawn into Group A and opens the tournament against Puerto Rico (November 1), followed by U.S. Virgin Islands (November 3), Trinidad and Tobago (November 5) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (November 7) before finishing up against Suriname (November 9).
The new CONCACAF U-20 Championship format features four groups of six teams and two groups of five teams. Following round-robin group play, the top team in each of the six groups advances to the qualification stage, where they will be divided into two groups of three. After a second edition of round-robin play, the two group winners plus the second-place finishers qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Additionally, the two group winners advance to the tournament final to determine the regional champion.
Teams qualifying for the qualification stage of the tournament are permitted to amend the 20-player roster and replace up to six players within 24 hours following completion of their final group stage match.
The U.S. returns to the confederation tournament as defending champion after capturing its first title at the U-20 level in March of 2017, defeating Honduras via penalty kicks in the final. The team went on to reach the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic, where it lost to eventual tournament runners-up Venezuela, 2-1, in extra time.