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Matt Kassel called in to U.S. Under-20 camp in England


Red Bulls youth prospect Matt Kassel was one of 18 players selected to take part in a U.S. Under-20 national team camp in Manchester, England next week. The U.S. team will play friendlies against the reserve teams from Bolton (May 7), Manchester United (May 8) and Liverpool (May 10).

Also on the squad are former U.S. Under-17 standout and New Jersey native Billy Schuler, U.S. Under-20 World Cup reserve goalkeeper Brian Perk as well as Wake Forest standout defender Ike Opara.

Here is the rest of the roster for the U.S. Under-20 camp:

GOALKEEPERS– Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS- Kyle Davies (Southampton), Greg Eckhardt (Clemson), Taylor Kemp (Real Colorado), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), Zarek Valentin (IMG Academy), Sheanon Williams (North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS– Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Richard Balchan (Indiana), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Matt Kassel (New York Red Bulls), Derek Markheim (Ameins FC), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin)
FORWARDS- Steven Cabas (Florida International), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Peri Marosevic (Michigan), Billy Schuler (North Carolina)


  1. My first post was on Felix Garcia who was came out of the blue from a high school and PDA squad out of Laredo, TX. Garcia isn’t part of Houston’s academy (I don’t believe).

    My question related to calling him in to train with the team and using a discovery on him ala NE with Jose Angulo some months back. Could Houston put a discovery on him if Garcia has been called up twice by the U-20s team? Does anyone know if they’ve even looked at the kid either pre or post call-ups?

  2. LMAO ! nice onion!!!!! it just kills me to see that a club with so much support doesnt have the brains or vision to recognize talent and build a championship winning team how many good players are they gonna let go? as a fan it gets frustrating man !!!!!

  3. Aslo, how much you want to bet Kassel plays very well and catches they eyes of some pro scouts in England and is offered a deal. Now since RB declined to sign him 2 weeks ago, the club will get NOTHING.

    Such is the way of Metro. If that does happen Agoos should be strung up by this thumbs, tared and feathered, then dumped into the Hudson River with a cement block tied to his legs. Or fired/resigned…his choice…since i beleive everyone should have a fair choice. 🙂

  4. Bishop,

    Your half right. Academies cannot claim “cherrypick” the USA youth players and claim them as their own, HOWEVER, if said player was already a part of the academy before getting called in then the player is still eligable to be a homegrown player. Kassel fits this exception for example, not sure about the other kid mentioned.

  5. Anyone have the scoop on Zarek Valentin? I guess he’s Julien Valentin’s brother. Rongen loved Julian and kept playing him in last summer’s U-20 WC despite some poor performances that I feel were mainly due to his weak athletic ability. Hopefully Zarek has the athleticism that lets a select few younger siblings kick the crap out of their older brothers. Thankfully, my brother does not have that edge on me!

  6. Eugene – I’m not sure about direct discovery claims, but I have heard that MLS teams can not take players who have played for a U-17/U-20 team and put them on their academy teams.

    Other tidbits – I think Morales assisted on all 3 goals in Portugal on that U-20 trip, and Giallombardo is rumored not to be coming either due to recent injury or because he feels he is close to 1st team minutes.

    This also definitely isn’t the A-squad. Either Rongen said or it was inferred he would bring in close to 100 players to camps and tournaments over the next year+ before choosing the final roster.

  7. The ’09 team will be very good again if Rongen gets to use Adu and Altidore. If not there are still some very talented kids in this cycle.

    Arguez – Hertha Berlin

    Wallace – FC Dallas

    Flores – Chivas USA

    Shea – FC Dallas

    Ibrahim – FC Dallas

    Diskerund – Stabak(Norway)

    Bernardo – Napoli

    Morales – Hertha Berlin

    McLoughlin – Hertha Berlin

    Jeffrey – Club Brugge

    Davies – Southampton

    Giallombardo – Southampton

  8. The ’09 team won’t look like this.

    I’m looking at Brian Perk, Ike Opara, and Alfredo Morales (based on the pedigree of Hertha Berlin alone) as players who have a chance to make the roster in ’09.

    That said, I am an idiot because I am making a prediction on a tournament roster almost 18 months in advance (and a youth tournament to boot).

    I’m looking forward to what Vincenzo Bernardo does in Napoli’s Primavera squad next season.

  9. The roster does have 3 players on European squads and 4 players with MLS ties. The last under 20 squad had some players that definitely drew a lot of media attention but I look forward to seeing what this new group has to offer. U20 squads in most countries aren’t going to normally be well known players except in a few exceptional instances.

  10. Eric,

    Rongen is still in “research mode,” but I’m fully confident that the team that takes the field in Egypt in summer of ’09 will be *better* than the 2007 edition.

    Re: Kassel, Red Bull should NOT have passed on him. The logic of saying he’s not good because Red Bull passed on him is like saying Jozy Altidore wasn’t good because he went 16th in the draft in his year. The situation is actually the opposite, Kassel is good, its just the Red Bull have dumb and dumber running the team at present.

  11. I don’t think I was quite clear enough in stating that I don’t believe this team we’re sending to England is a great replacement for our “A” u20 squad; but I do believe this is a good team to test young players against tough opposition without costing us a world cup title.

  12. eric,

    Obviously this is nowhere near the talent of the u20 world cup team we had; however, the camp in Manchester, England isn’t nearly the same kind of tournament or competition.

    this is a great idea to see who “stands out” and can make the jump (add more depth) to our national team pool, and fortify our squads.

    If there is any way to see the games (or settle for highlights) this is a good chance to see up-and-coming talent. it’s always nice to get excited about future talent.

  13. Who are these guys? What a step down from the U-20 WC less than a year ago. Look who we trotted out:

    USA: 1-Chris Seitz; 5-Nathan Sturgis, 14-Anthony Wallace, 13 – Ofori Sarkodi, 19-Tony Beltran (2-Tim Ward, 89); 6-Michael Bradley, 7-Danny Szetela, 11-Freddy Adu (c); 8-Robbie Rogers (4-Amaechi Igwe, 82), 12-Josmer Altidore (10-Dax McCarty, 92), 15 – Sal Zizzo

    Is this our U-20 ‘C’ Team, or are we on a down cycle of prospects?

  14. Red Bull didn’t sign him because Agoos is a damn fool and our team doesn’t know what they are doing half the time. Shocking i know.

  15. Awful? Hardly. No offense to Kassel, I’m sure he’s got talent, but if he’s the next Jozy how come the red bull didn’t sign him? I mean, sure, it lets the scouts there see him, but he’d have to be very impressive in order for any of them to even start to think about signing him.

    The experience will be good for him.

  16. Ives,

    Considering Houston are in need of a forward, any word on whether they have called Felix Garcia into training yet? The kid showed some promise against MLS pros his age in the Copa Chivas tournament, leading the team in scoring. He lives closest to Houston. Why wouldn’t Houston put a discovery on him? Can they?


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