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Liverpool academy director: 'American soccer is improving'

Liverpool youth product Marc Pelosi and Santos Laguna's Benji Joya headline a 24-man group called in by U.S. Under-20 national team coach Tab Ramos for a training camp in Sunrise, Fla., from Dec. 15-22 as part of preparations for February's CONCACAF championship. The tournament doubles as the region's FIFA U-20 World Cup qualifying process for this summer's tournament in Turkey.

Other abroad-based players include Southampton goalkeeper Cody Cropper, SC Freiburg midfielder Caleb Stanko, Santos Laguna forward Daniel Cuevas and Kaiserslautern forward Mario Rodriguez.

MLS is represented by a trio of Los Angeles Galaxy Homegrown Players, with forwards Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal and new signing and defender Oscar Sorto getting the call. Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil, Colorado Rapids defender Shane O'Neill and Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp also represent the North American league. Half of the roster is college-based, including national finalists Tomas Gomez and Brandon Allen from Georgetown.

The U.S. will compete in group play in the CONCACAF championship against Costa Rica and Haiti, with the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals. The four semifinalists qualify for the World Cup.

Here is the 24-man roster for this month's training camp:

GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: Dakota Edwards (Maryland; Sayville, N.Y.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Unattached; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS: Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio)

FORWARDS: Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Darius Madison (Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

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