U.S. Under-23 national team coach Peter Nowak has named the 22-man roster for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France, and as SBI told you would be the case last week (and some folks chose to ignore), the roster consists mainly of players on the fringes of a shot at the U.S. Olympic roster.
No, there is no Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu or Michael Bradley. In fact, none of the top stars of the U-23 age group were called up (well, one field player, Mr. Benny Feilhaber). The roster named by Nowak consists mainly of prospects with an outside chance of impressing the coaching staff enough to make it to Beijing.
There are some intriguing names to be sure, including Gabriel Ferrari, Lee Nguyen, Bryan Arguez and Kyle Davies, but there are also some long shots as well, such as Tony Beltran, Michael Gavin, Julian Valentin, Bryan Jordan and, yes Red Bulls fans, Eric Brunner.
“This tournament will give us an opportunity to have a look at some players we have had in previous camps, and also a look at the new faces,” Nowak said. “We don’t want to be short-sighted with our selection for the Olympics. We want a whole picture that includes a variety of players, and to make sure we see every option before we make final choices.”
Here is the full roster:
GOALKEEPERS – Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Quentin Westburg (Troyes
DEFENDERS – Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Eric Brunner (out of contract), Kyle Davies (Southampton), Michael Gavin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Jonathan Leathers (Kansas City Wizards), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Julian Valentin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Rob Valentino (New England Revolution), Blake Wagner (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS – Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Greg Dalby (SC Charleroi), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Lee Nguyen (Randers FC)
FORWARDS – Gabe Ferrari (Sampdoria), Bryan Jordan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ellis McLoughlin (Hertha Berlin), Sammy Ochoa (Tecos)
The U.S. team will face Turkey (May 21), Ivory Coast (May 23) and Italy (May 25) in the Toulon Tournament, taking place in France. All the matches will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel.
What do you think of the group? What names are you happy to see? What names are you surprised not to see? Share your thoughts below.