Lopez, Allen named to US U-20 squad; RSL influence on national team at high level

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Benji Lopez and Jordan Allen have been called up to the United States U-20 national team for the Dallas Cup, rendering Real Salt Lake one of the most relevant clubs to the national team right now.

Lopez and Allen being named to Tab Ramos's roster speaks well to their progression and ability. They'll miss training with us for a bit, but they'll be involved against some very talented young players from across the world.

With four players called up to Jurgen Klinsmann's full side last week (Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, and Luis Gil), three called up last Monday from the academy to the under-18s, and these two now part of the U-20 setup, it's difficult to dispute the RSL influence.

It's a remarkable thing, really. If you'd looked at Real Salt Lake five years ago and asked whether we'd be in this position, where we are not only sending players regularly to these three levels of the national setup, but sending more than any club - well, I think we'd all have had a good laugh and had a little dream about things. But here we are, and it's all been about development.

Two of the players involved, goalkeeper Christian Herrera and attacking midfielder Sebastian Saucedo, may never join the club on a full-time basis; they may never really pan out at all. These are the perils of sport at any level, but that we're consistently sending players to the U-18s speaks well to our academy. (The third player is Justen Glad, who we, quite happily, signed to a full-time contract.)

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