Top Stories

Gatt, Acuña among those called into U.S. U-23 training camp

U.S. Soccer Federation

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:


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 (Stabæk), 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?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. There are probably 10 players who will be on the Olympic squad who are not in the U-23 camp, 2 Germans, 3 overage players,5 in the senior team camp and maybe Kitchen. So if you mean this group is a bit light-weight, you are right. If you think the 5 in the senior camp and the right 3 overage players will not have a significant impact and raise the level substantially, I think you are wrong. It is true that Porter is not tested as a coach at this level, but a lot of copaching is about managing personalities and he did that very well at Akron. I think Porter will do OK.

  2. you are making statement based on this camp selection, the meat and potatoes of this U-23 is not even in camp. I think you are jumping the gun. This U-23 class is one of the deepest the US ever had.

  3. I praise what he has done right, like getting the U-teams in line to the type of playing we will see in the future. I praise him for him scouting leg work and results. I criticise him for his game plan, player selection, formations and results. With me is not just one or the other.

  4. First of all lets be honest, there is a reason Mexico decided to drop him off U-23 squad like they did with Corona and lets not try to cover up the fact that they simply weren’t good enough. The USA did not necessarily beat Mexico to the punch because both players were discarded from Mexico already. Second of all, questioning my intelligence is a stupid move from yourself considering I’m well informed or simply better informed than you are. I’m not saying he cant get better, but he dint do much the past 2 years in Mexico and Corona ended up in the bench.

  5. Acuna plays primarily on the wing, especially the right. He has also been a forward in seasons past and played some CAM in his youth days. Not a bad prospect if he can gain some focus. Likely fringe player for USMNT, but could eventually be a good MLS player if his stock in Mexico continues to fall.


Leave a Comment