The road to the Revelations Cup has been a stressful one for the United States. The under-20 soccer tournament which features the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia was a source of panic as the United States waited longer than most would have liked to not only name a roster for the tournament, but also hire a coach.
The federation had a quick fix, hiring former FC Dallas assistant Mikey Varas to coach the team and a roster was named not long after. With United States soccer potentially entering a golden generation, depth will be key for the Americans in future international tournaments and with more young talent than ever, this tournament has the potential to launch multiple young players into the depth chart of the senior national team.
Gabriel Slonina GK (Chicago Fire)
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/4Hd4ol4a9r
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) October 28, 2021
Slonina at only 17-years-old may be the brightest prospect in the continually potent line of American goalkeepers. Seemingly out of nowhere, Slonina rose from the Fire’s academy and took over the starting goalkeeper spot midway through the season, posting four shutouts in 11 starts and was named to the MLS Team of the Week multiple times. An imposing 6-foot-4, Slonina is adequate in distribution completing 75.4% of his passes in his debut season and had a save percentage of 74.2 which is superior to many that surpass his professional experience, including NYCFC starter and current member of the senior US National Team, Sean Johnson. There are only two goalkeepers on the roster, the other being Fulham’s Alexander Borto. With Slonina expecting to be the starter, his distribution ability and shot-stopping intellect that’s well beyond his years will only make fans more excited to watch him get opportunities in the future.
Justin Che CB (FC Dallas)
Genuinely kinda shocked this run from Justin Che — which came right before his assist on Pepi's goal — hasn't been tweeted and gone viral yet. pic.twitter.com/CRk92Q6qEu
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) September 12, 2021
Che was one of the stories of United States soccer over the summer. After going on trial with German giants Bayern Munich, it seemed like he was set for a move to the German capital, but after a mini transfer saga, Che did not become the latest product of the FC Dallas academy to find his way overseas. However, he did break through Dallas’ first team this season, playing more than 1,000 minutes, dishing out three assists and making 12 starts. Che may be in the MLS for now, but at only 17-years-old he’s on his way to a long career in Europe and for the national team.
Caden Clark MF (New York Red Bulls)
17-YEAR-OLD CADEN CLARK DOES IT AGAIN!
WHAT A RIP! pic.twitter.com/AE3djAVdmo
— ESPN (@espn) October 15, 2020
Clark just has a feel for the game, he knows how to create magic on the field. His first two MLS starts were marked with goals and at only 18-years-old the attacking midfielder is on his way to Germany to play for Jesse Marsch and Red Bull Leipzig at the end of the season. A dynamic playmaker with a youthful freedom to his game, there’s been growing clamors for Clark to get a call up to the senior team. Fans and pundits alike were outraged by his exclusion from the Olympic Qualifying that ultimately ended in disaster. The Revelations Cup is the first true opportunity that Clark has to prove himself as a part of the future for the national team.
Cade Cowell FWD (San Jose Earthquakes)
So I did not know that Cade Cowell had that in his bag. Pass of the Week. pic.twitter.com/jliE4Rl54M
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) April 24, 2021
Cowell is a very naturally gifted centre-forward, who also has the ability to be deployed on the wings or as an attacking midfielder. At 18-years-old, Cowell is the obvious heir to the recently retired Chris Wondolowski’s throne as the face of the Earthquakes franchise. Already having made 50 MLS appearances and 18 starts, along with being responsible for six goals and seven assists. Cowell has a unique blend of size and speed that already has the potential to torture defenses in the MLS. A good showing over the next week would give Gregg Berhalter a reason for him to be excited for the future of the California-born youngster.