U.S. Youth National Teams

U.S. U-20s to hold January camp in Mexico

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is not waiting until February to familiarize itself with Puebla, Mexico.

The U.S. will hold a week-long training camp from Jan. 14-22 in the Mexican city where the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championionship will be held, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday. As part of the camp, the Americans will face Panama on Jan. 19 and 21, though location for those matches have not yet been determined.

Head coach Tab Ramos will name a roster at a later date but it seems likely that many of players summoned into this preparatory camp will be on the roster for next month’s tournament. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship is set to run from Feb. 18 through March 3 and the four semifinalists will advance to this summer’s  World Cup.

Think it is a wise move for the U.S. U-20s to train in Mexico later this month? Expecting most of the players called in to this camp to be on the roster for next month’s tournament? Which players do you want to see called in?

Share your thoughts below.

  • The Imperative Voice

    A scientist amongst us could perhaps tell us what the lingering value of a high altitude camp is a month after the fact. Maybe it’s a boost still, maybe not.

    It might also be valuable for players lacking in big game experience to train and play where the games will be next month, get some sense of what it might be like. Although then you have to bring the same bunch back to really get the value of altitude training or other venue “acclimation.” Granted, maybe if you have some stud players at big clubs they don’t need it as much but the value of training at the venue goes down if the campers aren’t brought back.

    It also might in theory be a sneaky way of making it easier for Mexican-Americans signed in LMX to make camp. Just like the U23s had a Europe camp. Move the mountain to them.

    Far as the players to call in….I dunno…..the good ones?


    • Brian

      I agree that this is being done to help US-eligible players in Mexico.

      On the flip side, we might lose a couple promising players to defection while they are down there. lol.


    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

      Having played in Mexico City before (during high school) I can tell you it will be a good experience. I’m not sure about how long the science of it all or if the (increased red blood cells ect) will last a month?? but can say it will let the players know what to expect when they return for the tournament. The altitude certainly takes some time to acclimate to both in terms of having less oxygen to breathe and the ball actually flies differently in the thinner air. I think my body was kind of shocked after my first couple of sprints winded me, and it will be a huge advantage for our players just to know what to expect when they take the field for the tournament. Avoiding the potential shock of a first match at high altitude in a competitive game is a good idea.


      • The Imperative Voice

        I trained and played in a Denver tournament one summer before returning to lower environs for my junior college season, always thought it helped. But that was just a couple weeks preseason, a month? And like I said, you can’t train at altitude with x and then call in y instead, it’s not transferable. =p


      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        I think the biggest take always from this camp will be 1) allowing a core group of players to know what to expect playing at altitude and 2) allowing them to familiarize themselves with the atmosphere of the foreign country (stadiums, hotels, culture ect..)

        This should help soften the shock of all these new things which can be a huge distraction and a bad result in your first game or 2.

        Our boys will be comfortable in their surroundings and ready to go come qualification time


  • MikeG

    Not a scientist but air is thinner at altitude. As the body copes with altitude training it makes more red blood cells available to compensate and make more oxygen available to the body. As a result when the body returns to sea level it is performing at a higher level. Just ask Lance Armstrong.


      • Hogatroge

        Average RBC lifetime is ~100 days, so any boost they get ought to still be in effect w/in a month. A better question is, will a week be enough time to up the number of RBCs significantly.


      • Darwin

        From an old 1969 paper, surely we know more now but you can follow up:

        Effect of Altitude on Erythropoiesis
        Measurements were made to characterize the relationship between erythropoietin output and erythropoiesis in two groups of subjects, one moved from a sea level habitat to high altitude, and the second moved from a high altitude habitat to sea level. In the first group, there was a latent period of 6 hours followed by a rapid increase in erythropoietin, and a secondary fall to a level of approximately twice normal. The increased erythropoietin stimulus was also reflected in a shortened marrow radioiron transit time. In the second group, there was an initial unexplained rise, after which erythropoietin fell within 8 hours to undetectable amounts.

        Elevated erythropoietin was associated in Group I with an increased iron uptake within 24 hours of the stimulus, suggesting a direct action of erythropoietin on hemoglobin synthesis by the existing marrow population. Limitation in erythropoiesis to a rate of less than twice normal was tentatively explained by a restricted iron supply. In the second group, marrow activity continued for 3 days despite a marked fall in erythropoietin, indicating that cells in the maturation phase completed their normal development.


      • chris_thebassplayer

        Have mercy…for what it’s worth, when I go on vacation to Tahoe for a week and play pick up games, then come back to SJ on a Saturday and play my Sunday morning game, I’m unstoppable. By the next Sunday, it’s back to reality. I think you lose the benefit within a week.


  • Goalscorer24

    Great to practice in the country the tournament is going to be held in. It can only help.


  • ec

    I like the move, both strategically in the long-term battle for keeping Mexican-American talent in the US pool, but also holding camp in another country seems exciting to a lot of the players, and builds the sense that they are really part of something.


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