A healthy Josh Gatt and Mexican-American midfielder Isaac Acuña are among the 22 players called in for the next U.S. Under-23 training camp by coach Caleb Porter.
The camp will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., before the group departs for Costa Rica to play friendlies against Saprissa reserves on Jan. 21 and Alajuelense on Jan. 24. While at the Home Depot Center, the U-23s will overlap with the senior national team, and the two will play scrimmages on Jan. 13 and 17.
Gatt has yet to compete in a U-23 camp since Porter took over as head coach. He was included in the combined U-23/U-20 camp ran by Claudio Reyna and Tab Ramos in Duisburg, Germany, in November, but he was unable to participate while recovering from a hamstring injury. The 20-year-old winger was not called in for last month's camp in Florida, but he appears to be ready to go as one of the more intriguing attacking options in the U.S. youth pipeline.
The 22-year-old Acuña, meanwhile, is a one-time Mexican Under-22 national team member and will participate in the United States set-up for the first time. He currently plays for Merida FC in Mexico's second division, on loan from Club America.
Here is the full roster for the U-23 training camp:
U.S. U-23 JANUARY CAMP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union).
DEFENDERS: Gale Agbossoumonde (G.D. Estoril Praia), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA), Andrew Wenger (Duke), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union).
MIDFIELDERS: Isaac Acuña (Mérida; Calexico), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (StabÃ¦k), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz, Germany), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United F.C.), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy).
FORWARDS: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Josh Gatt (Molde, Norway), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Tony Taylor (Atletico Clube de Portugal).
"We are really looking to build as much continuity as possible and this will be reflected in our roster selections from this point forward," Porter said in a U.S. Soccer release. "Nothing is completely set yet, and you will see several more players sprinkled in until we make our final decisions. Things are taking shape quickly, which is very promising, and I'm eager to continue building on the great progress we made from the last camp."
- Age-eligible players such as Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson and Brek Shea are currently with the senior national team.
- The seven defenders are the same group from the previous U-23 training camp.
- The Philadephia Union have supplied five players to the roster.
- Tony Taylor rejoins the fold after competing in the camp in Germany but missing the camp in Florida.
- All but three players in camp are professionals. Two of the three, Duke's Andrew Wenger and UCLA's Kelyn Rowe, are MLS Generation adidas signings and will technically be pros in a matter of a week. Duke centerback Sebastien Ibeagha is a Houston Dynamo Homegrown Player candidate.
What do you think of the roster? Excited about some of the additions? Surprised to see anybody not make the cut for this camp?
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