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Nowak names 22-man U.S. Under-23 roster for Toulon Tournament


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.


  1. Robble Robble,

    Well Seitz and Hill are pretty easy to figure. Since Seitz isn’t expected to get any first team time as a backup keeper, the games will do him good. Hill, I assume is still considered an experimental concept at right back. While he was okay going forward, his defense was suspect and his crossing was atrocious. Not sure where his time is coming at the club level, but surely Nowak needs to see more of him at righ back to make the call (though as you point out have to assume Wynne is a surety even if we call in 2 overage middle defenders and put Spector outside somewhere).

    Interestingly something like Boca/Middle Guy/Spector might make a ton of sense in a 3-5-2 which would allow us to get more of our midfield pieces on the pitch but i doubt BB lets PN go that route.

  2. Locks barring injury:

    1. overage

    2. overage

    3. overage

    4. Altidore

    5. Adu

    6. Bradley

    7. Edu

    8. Spector

    9. Seitz

    Most likely:

    10. Rogers

    11. Kljestan

    12. Orozco

    13. Wynne

    Likely if they want to play for USA:

    14. Torres

    15. Subotic

    Group 16-25 = top 10 candidates for final 3-5 spots:

    F: Alvarez, Davies, Barrett

    M: Holden, Feilhaber, McCarty, Zizzo

    D: Sturgis, Hill, Ianni

    group 26-35 = only an outside shot:

    F: Findley, Ferrari, Zimmerman

    M: Szetela, Gaven, Nguyen

    D: Freeman, Randolph, Myers

    GK: Hall

    To put Touloun roster in perspective:

    1-9/Locks: Seitz only

    10-15/Likely: none

    16-25: Hill, Feilhaber

    26-35: Ferrari, Zimmerman, Nguyen

    So, arguably only 6 from the top 35 players in this age group. 5 of those are playing in Europe where seasons are coming to an end. Everyone else has very long odds of sniffing the roster.

    Perhaps the real question is why these 6? Or, more narrowly, why bother calling in Seitz and Hill, especially Seitz? Maybe PN wants to look Hill up top again, given the relatively uninspiring play from Barrett, Findley, and Davies in the qualiies.

  3. “Probables: Sturgis, Alvarez, Orozco, Freeman (versatility)

    Fringe: Rogers, Gaven, Hill, Davies, etc, etc…”

    Really? Alvarez is probable when he got cut at full health and Rogers was injured… while Rogers is having a substantially better MLS season than Alvarez, but *Rogers* is on the fringe?

    I would actually proffer that if Rogers keeps this level of play up, given how stagnant the qualifying offense was, he is a mortal lock…. certainly ahead of Holden who is having trouble finding minutes with Houston (though I think he should be over Davis).

  4. Why are people shocked that Subotic isn’t included? If the guy is having reservation about committing to the US at all, why the hell would he play for us in a tournament meant to look at fringe players?? THINK PEOPLE!

    And Szetela’s season isn’t over, Brecia still has three league games left and if you look at the Serie B table, they are a likely playoff team (sitting 5th in the table), meaning that he could yet play three playoff games after that, if Brecia fail to finish in the top two. This means his season might not end until the 2nd week in June. That is why he wasn’t included!

    And why do people continually hate on Feilhaber?? Give the guy a chance to prove himself at this tournament, the guy had a rough season, hopefully he learns from it…

  5. People seem way too confused by this roster, despite Nowak and Ives’ clear explanations. FRINGE players with OUTSIDE SHOTS at making the team. The only genuine surprise omissions are guys like Zimmerman, Johan Smith, & Szetela whose seasons are over, who are also on the fringe, and who’ve had extensive youth nats experience.

    That being said, its great that FSC is telivising so that us die hards can get our own extended look at alot of these guys. It might inform some of the more baseless opinions thrown around here on the world wide web.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Nguyen, Arguez, Feilhaber, Ferrari, McLaughlin, Ochoa.

    I don’t think a single one of all those defenders has a shot at making the team outside of Hill. However, the guy who said Spector is our only non-weak defender is just wrong – Orozco, Wynne, Hill & Sturgis were all solid in qualifiying, and if Subotic & Soumare can be convinced to play for us, we’ll be more than talented enough in the back, especially with an overaged defender added in.

  6. Argi4,

    You’re analyzing it wrong. Beltran is not competing against Altidore for a spot on the team, he’s competing against other defensive wingbacks. Who are they?

  7. Argi4, that’s a good list. I would add D McCarty to “probables”, he was one of the best US players in qualifiers. Also add N Subotic as he’s been starting for Mainz in central defense for past one plus seasons. He was most likely excluded from this tournament due to his importance to his club who are still vying for promotion to Bundesliga this weekend. I’d bump-up to probable K Hill, he’s a lot more versatile than Freeman (who I like but think is more fringe). Zizzo looked improved in qualifiers, but I’d call him fringe also. A Alvarez is too one-dimensional to make it past fringe.

  8. elgodlenboy- i disagree with that statement…. Hill did VERY well playing a foreign position during the qualifiers…anyhow you are talking about players who play different positions…

    ur saying u’d do without a forward and a defender (assuming Nowak continues to use Hill as a defender) and rather substitute them with midfielders…. give me 1 reason Benny deserves an olympic ticket?? he’s getting rather low in the pecking order… if he performs stellar in this tourny then perhaps a look at the olympics is in order, but he’s currently in battle with bradley and edu as far as a starting spot would go…

  9. it’s dissapointing to not see Neven Subotic, he’s tall, strong and an excellent defender..I wonder if he chose not to play for US? Alvarez and Rodgers deserve to be on the MNOT team..Hill and Davies I don’t like they’re game at all, I’d rather have Szetela and will be an exciting tournament in France nontheless..

  10. Isn’t the league, serie-B, Szetela plays in still in season? That’s why he didn’t get called up for this tournament.

  11. Subotic has said on his website he will not make a decision regarding national teams until after the Bundesliga 2 season ends.

    I think this is good for Feilhaber, but I wouldn’t rule out him getting called up for the England camp.

    Gabe Ferrari has been oh so close to debuting in Serie A, so good on him. Nice to see Kamani Hill and Lee Nguyen again as well.

    The million dollar question remains- who will be the three Over 23 players selected for the Olympics?; That shapes all the other selections.


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