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Josh Sargent, Tim Weah lead U.S. squad for Under-17 World Cup

Josh Sargent recently signed with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen at only 17. Taylor Twellman dives into his reasoning why.

United States under-17 national team manager John Hackworth has named his 23-player roster that will represent the U.S. at next month's FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Leading the line for the U.S. will be Josh Sargent, a product of St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri who announced this week that he will join Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in February when he turns 18.

Sargent also played in the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year, and is set to become the second male player in U.S. history after Freddy Adu to compete in both youth World Cups in the same calendar year.

Also included is forward Tim Weah -- the son of 1995 Ballon d'Or winner George Weah -- who signed his first professional contract with Paris Saint-Germain in July.

The roster features 12 players currently affiliated with MLS clubs, with six having signed professional contracts. MLS club Atlanta United FC has the largest representation of players with three: Andrew Carleton, Justin Garces and Chris Goslin.

FC Dallas forward Bryan Reynolds, who turned 16 in June, is the youngest player on the squad.

The team also includes performers currently playing with international clubs, including Weah, Ajax defender Sergino Dest, Monterrey forward Jacobo Reyes, Benfica goalkeeper Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos.

Tim Weah has already signed a pro deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

"This cycle of players is unique in terms of the quality, depth and work ethic of the group," Hackworth said. "The biggest challenge in selecting this roster was the competition for spots at almost every position. Our team is looking forward to this opportunity to compete for the U-17 World Cup and are motivated to prove themselves on the world stage."

The U.S. qualified for the tournament by finishing second in the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championships, falling to regional rivals Mexico on penalty kicks in the final. Seventeen players that played that tournament made the World Cup roster.

The U.S. will begin play in Group A on Oct. 6 against hosts India, take on Ghana three days later, and conclude the group stage on Oct. 12 against Colombia.

The tournament is comprised of six groups with four teams in each. The top two finishers in each group will automatically qualify for the knockout stages, along with the four best third-place finishers.

Goalkeepers: Alex Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (Benfica; Philadelphia, Penn.), Justin Garces (Atlanta United; Miami, Fla.)

Defenders: Sergino Dest (Ajax; Almere-stad, Netherlands), Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Tyler Shaver (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Akil Watts (Portland Timbers; Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Midfielders: George Acosta (North Carolina FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake; Eden, Utah), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club; Southlake, Texas), Chris Goslin (Atlanta United; Locust Grove, Ga.), Indiana Vassilev (Unattached; Savannah, Ga.)

Forwards: Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Jacobo Reyes (Monterrey; Houston, Texas), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallon, Mo.), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain, Rosedale, N.Y.)

Alternate: Ulysses Llanez (LA Galaxy; Lynwood, Calif.)

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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