More than Pulisic: Five U-20 USMNT prospects with bright futures

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Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tottenham defender

Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports

Making the jump from a Premier League’s youth academy to the first team is a difficult task for any player, no matter the level of talent. Center back Carter-Vickers has been knocking on the door for long stretches of the 2016-17 season for Tottenham.

The central defender has earned four starts for Spurs in the EFL and FA Cups, and has made the bench for Premier League, Champions League and Europa League matches this campaign. Finding regular playing time is key, though even without many first-team games, Carter-Vickers did get called into the full U.S. men’s national team for last fall’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica.

His quality at the back is easy to see, even if he’s struggled at times when playing against full professionals. A spot in this year’s U-20 World Cup isn’t out of the question, though there’s always potential that head coach Bruce Arena could call him for the Gold Cup. Carter-Vickers is the crown jewel of U-20 center backs, arguably the deepest position in the pool.

NEXT: The best attacking talent waiting in the wings