Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-19 Academy defender Gabriel Escobar has been selected to El Salvador's final roster for the upcoming 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship tournament from November 1 to 21 in Bradenton, Florida.
El Salvador will play in Group F alongside Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Guatemala, and Guyana. The top four teams from the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Escobar, 18, joined the Whitecaps FC Academy in August of 2015 after previously playing with Mountain United FC. So far this season the young left back has made four starts with the U-19 team in the Development Academy, as well as starting with the ‘Caps development group in a September friendly match against USL affiliate Fresno FC.
Born in El Salvador, Escobar moved to Canada when he was six years old. Previously, he has been called up to Canadian camps at the U-15, U-16, and U-17 levels.
34 teams will begin the tournament, divided into four groups of six teams and two groups of five, with only the winner of each group advancing.
The six group winners will then move into the classification stage, divided into two groups of three teams each. Classification games will take place on November 13, 16, and 19. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, with the top team from each group meeting in the final on Wednesday, November 21 to decide the Concacaf U-20 champion. The tournament will also be used to determine qualifiers for the 2019 Pan American Games.