Weah makes U.S.'s U20 World Cup roster, Sargent and Adams left off
Tim Weah made the United States roster for this month's FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland, while Josh Sargent and Tyler Adams were left off Friday, making it likely they will be with the senior national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Alex Mendez heads the 21-man roster after scoring eight goals with six assists at last year's CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Mendez left the LA Galaxy youth system last fall to sign with Germany's Freiburg.
Weah, a son of Liberia President and 1995 FIFA Player of the Year George Weah, scored three goals against Paraguay in the round of 16 at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup. He has one goal in eight appearances with the senior national team. Weah has spent this season on loan from Paris Saint-Germain to Scottish giants Celtic and has four goals in 17 matches.
According to U20 manager Tab Ramos, the decision to be included in the team largely came down to Weah, who was keen to join the group.
"Tim really wanted to participate in the U20 World Cup," Ramos said during a roundtable in New York on Friday. "I think when you have a player really looking forward to a competition, and he believes it's important to him, that makes it easier. Tim wants to have this type of competition under his belt."
Ramos, a former national team standout who will be coaching the Americans for the fourth straight U20 World Cup tournament, plans to use Weah mostly as a winger -- the position where he'll likely see the most time at the senior level -- but also as a No. 9.
In an Instagram post, Weah said Celtic manager Neil Lennon told him "that it is in the best interest of the team that I collect my things and go home rather than be apart of the game on Sunday," referencing Celtic's Old Firm derby against rivals Rangers.
Weah thanked Celtic fans for their support, adding: "It was a true honor playing for this club and also having the opportunity to interact with legends who paved the way for us."
RB Leipzig midfielder Adams was never considered for the tournament. However, Werder Bremen striker Sargent -- who scored five goals at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup and twice at the 2017 Under-20 World Cup -- appeared on the 50-man preliminary roster.
"I think it's clear that he's going to go into the summer with the senior team," Ramos said of Sargent's international plans this summer.
Mendez is among 14 players on Ramos' roster who played at the CONCACAF U20 tournament. And goalkeeper Brady Scott is the lone holdover from the 2017 U20 World Cup team.
Meanwhile, FC Dallas' Edwin Cerrillo played himself onto the squad with his consistency in Major League Soccer.
"[I like] his ability to cover ground and physically the level that he's at," Ramos said of the defensive midfielder. "I've been told that he's a little bit off the charts when it comes to the physical side of the game."
Barcelona's Konrad De La Fuente is another player to watch.
"Konrad is an excellent one v one player," Ramos said. "He can sometimes break down teams by himself... He can beat you by himself."
This is the first U20 World Cup roster without a single college player and Ramos said getting the team down to the required number of players necessitated some difficult cuts.
"No question, there are three or four guys who deserved to go and are not going," Ramos said.
Ramos specifically cited FC Nordsjælland's Jonathan Amon and Frankie Amaya from FC Cincinnati as a pair that was tough to leave home.
"I could bring in those two guys and take two guys out, and I think we could be for the most part the same team," he said.
Ramos added that he's taking a confident group of players to Poland.
"This group sometimes goes, 'We got this, coach,'" he said. "They are that kind of group, [who make me feel like] it's going to be okay. I really like that."
The U.S. opens against Ukraine on May 24, plays Nigeria three days later and closes the group stage against Qatar on May 30. The Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2015 and 2017.
Ramos expects his team to play with the ball, to try to dominate and impose their will.
"In terms of possession we are in a completely different world from when I played," he said. "We want to have the ball.
"I want to win everything. But right now, the goal is to beat Ukraine. That's all I have."
Full U.S. roster:
Goalkeepers: C.J. Dos Santos (Benfica, Portugal), David Ochoa (Salt Lake), Brady Scott (Cologne, Germany)
Defenders: Sergino Dest (Ajax, Netherlands), Chris Gloster (Hannover, Germany), Aboubacar Keita (Richmond), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia), Matthew Real (Philadelphia), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Forwards: Ayo Akinola (Toronto). Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona, Spain), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg, Germany), Justin Rennicks (New England), Sebastian Soto (Hannover, Germany), Tim Weah (Celtic, Scotland)
ESPN.com writer Noah Davis and the Associated Press contributed to this report.