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Chris Durkin named to USA U-20 World Cup squad

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The midfielder is part of Tab Ramos’ squad for the tournament in Poland

MLS: New York City FC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A year and a half after being an integral part in the USA’s success at the 2017 U-17 World Cup, D.C. United’s Chris Durkin was named by Tab Ramos to the squad for the upcoming U-20 World Cup, kicking off later this month in Poland.

Durkin and the US side kick off their first game on May 24th, against Ukraine. The US will also face Nigeria and Qatar in their group, with the first two games being shown on FS1, and the group finale on FS2.

Since moving on from the U-17 set up after a run to the quarterfinals back in October 2017, Durkin has been a prominent part of the U-20 squad. Durkin was not part of the squad that qualified for the World Cup last November, with playoff commitments demanding his time with the Black-and-Red. But since then, Durkin has been part of a couple of camps with the U-20s, including playing two games with the team in Spain in March.

“I’m excited for it,” Durkin recently told B&RU about the prospects of playing at the World Cup. “In Spain, I had several discussions with Tab, he talked to me and said you’re doing really well, great mentality, but now we need to make sure you get games. I’ve been happy with the games I’ve been getting, and Tab is too.”

Last year, Durkin played in 23 games with United, filling in for much of the first half of the season for an injured Russell Canouse and Junior Moreno. However, with that midfield duo healthy this year, minutes haven’t been quite as easy to come by for the 19-year-old.

But a recent injury to Canouse allowed Durkin to start four games in a row, during which the midfielder scored his first goal for United, in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids. That will have helped alievate some of Ramos’ worries about Durkin’s playing time, chronicled earlier in the season by The Athletic.

Durkin will head to join up with his teammates next week, and will miss four games while in Poland.

The full squad called up by Tab Ramos:

GOALKEEPERS (3): CJ Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Foxchase, Pa.; 2/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.; 4/0), Brady Scott (Köln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.; 9/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands; 8/1), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; Montclair, N.J.; 11/0), Aboubacar Keita (Richmond Kickers; Columbus, Ohio; 2/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.; 10/3), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.; 10/0), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.; 8/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 0/0), Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.; 2/0), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.; 4/0), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.; 15/8), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas; 9/3), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas; 8/2)

FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Brampton, Ont.; 12/9), Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Miami, Fla.; 2/1), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; Lynwood, Calif.; 11/7), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; South Hamilton, Mass.; 13/6), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.; 5/2), Tim Weah (Celtic FC/SCO; Rosedale, N.Y.; 0/0)