Rokas Pukstas U-turn! Midfielder to join U.S. at U20 World Cup despite Hajduk Split previously saying he couldn't go

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Rokas Pukstas Hajduk Split 2022-23
United States men's national team prospect Rokas Pukstas was not expected to be on the U20 World Cup roster, but has made the official squad.

WHAT HAPPENED: Pukstas is listed in the U.S. squad list for the U20 World Cup that was named on Wednesday.

Hajduk Split's sporting director had said Pukstas would not be allowed to attend because of his importance to the club, however there has apparently been a change of plans. It's worth noting that the club has a Croatian Cup final on May 24, four days after the start of the U20 World Cup. It's possible that Pukstas won't join up with his international team-mates until that match.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Paxten Aaronson a late exclusion, the presence of Pukstas is a lift for the U.S. in its quest to earn its best-ever finish at the U20 World Cup (fourth place). Pukstas will join Kevin Paredes, Cade Cowell and Jack McGlynn in a collection of promising outfield youth players in Argentina.

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Kevin Paredes

Cade Cowell dribble USMNT Serbia friendly 2023

Jack McGlynn Philadelphia Union 2021

WHAT NEXT? The U.S. will begin the U20 World Cup on May 20 against Ecuador.

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