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Three players with local ties on United States roster for U20 World Cup

Philadelphia Union teammates Mark McKenzie and Matt Real and their former Philadelphia Union Academy teammate CJ dos Santos are heading to Poland

MLS: Knockout Round-Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Three players with ties to the Philadelphia area and the Philadelphia Union will be representing the United States at the U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Philadelphia Union teammates Mark McKenzie and Matt Real and Benfica goalkeeper CJ dos Santos are part of the 21-player roster that was announced on Friday. The tournament begins May 23.

“It is an incredible honor for both Mark and Matt to represent their country at this tournament, and all of us at the Union are proud of their achievements thus far,” Union Sporting Director said in a news release. “The U-20 World Cup will be a difficult test, but one that Mark and Matt have earned the right to take on through their talent and hard work here with Philadelphia. We look forward to watching the tournament and we know that both players will represent the Union well.”

Real and McKenzie are the third and fourth Philadelphia Union players to receive call-ups for the competition, joining Auston Trusty and Derrick Jones, who were on the team in 2017. Bethlehem Steel FC forward Saed Diaz is already in Poland with Panama preparing for the tournament.

Dos Santos, a Philadelphia native, was a member of the Philadelphia Union Academy prior to signing a professional contract with Benfica in Portugal in 2016. He made his debut with the Benfica U23 team last month.

“I am excited for the players who will get the chance to be able to participate in a World Cup. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that they will value forever,” U-20 head coach Tab Ramos said in a news release. “This is always an extremely tough decision to make as a coach. There were an additional four or five players who also really deserve to go this time.”

The U.S. opens the competition on Friday, May 24 against Ukraine (2:30 p.m. ET; FS1), faces Nigeria on Monday, May 27 (2:30 p.m. ET; FS1) and finishes up the group stage on Thursday, May 30 vs. Qatar (2:30 p.m. ET; FS2).

2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-20 Caps/Goals)

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)