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Bulls Abroad: Matt Miazga called up for US U-20 Men's National Team provisional squad for CONCACAF U-20 Championship

The Red Bulls' defender has edged a little bit closer to playing for his country in January's CONCACAF U-20 Championship...

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Miazga is the youngest player on the New York Red Bulls' current roster (edging out Santiago Castano by about three months). He won't turn 20 until next July, by which time he might have more than most players his age to celebrate: 2015 is a big year for the U-20 age group.

Next year, New Zealand will host the FIFA U-20 World Cup, a biannual tournament traditionally won by Argentina or Brazil (the two nations combine for 11 of the 19 competition titles won to date). There is a lot of soccer to be played between then (May 30 is the start date) and now, and for any American players to participate will first require the US U-20 Men's National Team to qualify. That process is folded into the upcoming CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which kicks off in Jamaica on January 9 in Jamaica. And Matt Miazga is edging ever closer to being on a plane to Kingston as part of Tab Ramos's squad for the regional tournament.

Ramos has named a 35-man provisional roster, including not only Miazga, but also former Red Bull Amando Moreno (now with Club Tijuana) and RBNY Academy prospect Alex Muyl. Good news for RBNY's burgeoning talent pipeline, but particularly good news for Miazga (and Moreno), since Ramos has also gone ahead and named a 21-man squad to start training in Florida - and Miazga and Moreno are in that group.

The final 20-man roster for the Jamaica tournament will be named on Friday, January 2; it is fair to assume most of the team named will be drawn from those players already called into the coach's presence.

Miazga's place in the Jamaica-bound team is not inevitable, just highly probable. Since November, when Ramos started to focus attention on the CONCACAF Championship, Miazga has played every minute of every game the U-20s have contested: all three matches of the Marbella tournament in Marbella, and both of the run-outs against Honduras in the recently concluded December mini-tour. He is looking a lot like a key member of the team at the moment.

It is possible that will change in the five days between the provisional roster announcement and Friday's decision about the final squad, but Miazga is currently as close as anyone can get to playing for a CONCACAF U-20 title in January - and that is exactly where he will have hoped to be at this stage in the roster selection process.

EDIT: A few hours after the squad announcement, Miazga made it pretty clear that he's on the plane to Jamaica and he knows it...