U-20 World Cup hosts will feature three U.S. college players


New Zealand’s U-20 World Cup squad will have more American college players on its roster than the U.S. team.

New Zealand U-20 coach Darren Bazely recently announced his 21-man roster for the tournament and it includes Xavier University defender Cory Brown, Akron University forward Stuart Holthusen and incoming Wisconsin defender Sam Brotherton.

Holthusen was second on the Zips in goals in his first season in 2014 with four and added three assists in 20 games and 9 starts. Cory Brown scored three goals and delivered three assists while starting all 23 of the Musketeers games in 2014. Brotherton is a highly-touted recruit who has already been called up to the full national team. Top Drawer Soccer recently named him one of the top international recruits for college soccer.

While the World Cup hosts will have three college players, the U.S. roster features just two: Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell and San Diego goalkeeper Thomas Olsen. Both keepers will be backing up Zack Steffen, who played at Maryland for two seasons before signing with SC Freiburg in December.

New Zealand and the U.S. are in the same group, Group A, for the group stage. They play each other on June 2. Ukraine and Myanmar are also in the Group.

Panama’s team has also has a college connection with two college players on the roster in Villanova defender Christopher Bared and James Madison midfielder Francisco Narbon. Bared made 19 appearances and 15 starts for the Wildcats in his first season in 2014, registering a pair of assists. Narbon made 16 appearances and 14 starts for James Madison, registering one assist in his first season in Harrisonburg. Panama is in Group B with Argentina, Ghana and Austria.

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