The Philadelphia Union's Eric Ayuk has been called up to Cameroon's U20 side ahead of their 2017 Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifier versus Zimbabwe. Ayuk, who is currently on loan with Bethlehem Steel FC of the USL, is the only player on the 31-man squad who is based in the United States. 27 of the 31 players on the roster currently play in Cameroon.
In seven appearances for Steel FC, Ayuk has scored two goals and tacked on an assist. He played a substantial number of minutes (1320) for the Union last season, but that was largely because they were incredibly thin on the wings. With the additions of Ilsinho, Chris Pontius, and Walter Restrepo, and the return of Leo Fernandes, Ayuk is now free to work on his game with the Union's affiliate in Bethlehem.
Next year's Africa U20 Cup of Nations, set to be held in Zambia, will contain eight teams. Since Zambia is assured a spot in the tournament, the qualifiers will determine which seven teams join them. The qualification process consists of three rounds of two-legged series. Cameroon is entering in the second round, where they will take on Zimbabwe twice: on May 20th and June 10th. If they emerge from that round, they will advance to the third and final round, which will be played in July.