Under-20 prospects making a splash; more Americans Abroad
With the dust continuing to settle after the United States Under-20 national team's failure to qualify for this summer's World Cup, one silver lining still holds true after the mammoth collective disappointment.
The future is full of potential for a number of the U.S. youth prospects.
During this past week, a bevy of U-20 players, both in Major League Soccer and abroad, continue their professional development with first-team appearances.
Take 19-year-old center back Gale Agbossoumonde, for example, who earned his initial start for Swedish outfit Djurgardens IF and by all accounts put forth a Man of the Match performance in his European club first-team debut.
Left back Greg Garza, who was shifted into an attacking role in the loss to Guatemala, earned another appearance off the bench for Estoril Praia in Portugal's second division. The 19-year-old Texas native has become more of a regular on the matchday roster at Estoril after a dormant first half of the season.
Two players who weren't with the U-20s in Guatemala but would have been in the running for roster spots had the team qualified for the World Cup are attackers Josh Gatt and Adrian Ruelas. Gatt, 19, continues to see regular minutes for Molde FK in Norway, while Ruelas, a 20-year-old forward who starred at the Milk Cup and trialed with Celtic FC over the winter, earned his second appearance for Santos Laguna in Mexico.
As for some of the senior-team internationals, Pachuca's Herculez Gomez and Orebro's Alejandro Bedoya each scored for a second consecutive match, and Timmy Chandler contributed an assist off a top-notch cross in a FC Nurnberg victory to highlight the past week for all of the Americans playing abroad. Here's how everybody fared (statistics encompass all competitions):