photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com
U.S. Under-23 men's national team head coach Caleb Porter has called in a 23-man roster to take part in the February camp leading into a friendly with Mexico's U-23 side, and there are some new faces on the team.
Brek Shea, Juan Agudelo, Alfredo Morales and Ike Opara have been summoned for their first U-23 camp a little over a month before Olympic qualifying is set to take place. Team regulars like Bill Hamid, Zarek Valentin, Freddy Adu and Teal Bunbury have also been called into the 10-day camp that ends with a friendly against Mexico's U-23 team on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium.
"I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get," Porter said in a press release. "We're going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time."
Here is the full roster:
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson
Defenders: Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen, Alfredo Morales, Ike Opara, Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin, Jorge Villafana
Midfielders: Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Dilly Duka, Jared Jeffrey, Amobi Okugo, Michael Stephens
Forwards: Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, Terrence Boyd, Teal Bunbury, Joe Gyau, Jack McInerney, Brek Shea, Tony Taylor
Two of the more notable omissions from this roster are midfielder Sebastian Lletget and defender Gale Agbossoumonde. Both players are nursing injuries right now and hope to recover in time to be a part of the Olympic qualifying team next month. Sources confirmed to SBI that Agbossoumonde was originally called into this camp, but that he was not able to participate due to the injury that forced him to miss the one in January.
Josh Gatt is another eye-opening omission, but he just recovered from the injury picked up in the U.S. team's January camp and is still working his way back to full health.
A pair of defenders who return to the fold after not being called into a camp since the one in November are Greg Garza and Perry Kitchen.
In addition to playing Mexico's U-23 team, the U.S. team will hold scrimmages against FC Dallas of MLS and NASL's San Antonio Scorpions on Feb. 22 and 24, respectively.
What do you think of the roster? Whose omission/inclusion surprises you? Do you see this team beating Mexico's U-23 team?
Share your thoughts below.
When I mean expierence on the senior side I mean first team football with the union
Younger doesn’t mean anything, more likely younger means inexperience. Plus Sheanon Williams has experience on the senior side. Up to this point Williams has shown more in his first full season with the union than Kitchen and Valentin. Should I mention Williams throw in is more dangerous than Kitchen and Valentin. Also If you didn’t notice that William’s Union made the playoffs and neither Chivas or Dc made the playoffs. Come on your point is invalid for why williams doenst make the playoffs. But then again you are the guy that can’t tell the difference between Jozy Altidore and Juan Agedelo…
Will Caleb Porter select the best players or just his Akron buddies?”
Who is to say who are “the best players”?
Should the USSF take a poll and select the Under 23 team based on the results?
Do you think the Under 23’s should be run like a fantasy league operation?
National teams don’t get a lot of practice time. And from what I’ve seen this Under 23 squad has also had a manager who hasn’t been around all that much.
Calling in large numbers of players from one or two clubs has been SOP for national teams for many years. Part of that was because there have always been dominant clubs with the majority of the good players but another reason was that it’s a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page. Calling up many players from one club is a quick way to expedite chemistry and teamwork.
In the 70’s the great German teams had a heavy dose of Bayern and BMG players. The Dutch had an awful lot of Ajax and Feyenoord players. More recently, Spain goes heavy with Barca players along with the Real Madrid bunch. I never saw anyone accuse those managers of calling up their buddies for the sake of friendship.
In my experience most professional managers have favorites because the more players they have that they do not worry about, the more time they have to work on the players they do worry about.
Porter has stated many times that the Under 23’s will play a variation of the 4-3-3 Porter had at Akron.
So if any of his old Akron players are good enough he would be an idiot if he did not use them.
It’s a team game and I would pick player B, who is a little less talented than player A, if player B understood how to play in the system better than player A.
Lippi, manager of the 2006 World Cup champions Italy, always said, “It’s not the eleven best players , it’s the eleven who play together the best”.
4-3-3 Starting Line-up
GK: Hamid (But it doesn’t matter, both are amazing)
DEF: RB Morales, CB Opara, CB Valentin, LB Garza
MID: DCM Okugo, CM Diskerud, ACM Adu
FWD: RW: Gyau, CF Boyd, LW Shea
The point is that those guys are more talented NOW and are younger with more upside. Kitchen and Valentin are clearly better than Williams.
Just cause someone throws names out there, doesn’t mean they should get called up…have you ever seen the peruvian league? If you have you would know its ‘quality’ is subpar and this kid has to be above and beyond to be even considered…
+2…calling Wooten to the USMNT just validates how poor we are in the rankings…
Sorry b, with WC qualifiers looming this summer, JK is not gonna let anyone on your list go to the Olympics and maybe even Brek Shea on the U-23’s. Slap in the head McFly…
Proly more Akron players than is really called for, but every coach has some players he likes and does not see others as being particularly stronger, even if he thinks others may be slightly better at some things, the understanding of just what a particular player can and cannot do is valuable in building a team.
Even though this team will probably look a lot different in London with Altidore, Chandler and 3 senior players, Porter does need to shape the kind of team he wants now both for qualifying and for London.
why would you base it on information that is a year old? I would be very surprise if Okugo is not in the final 18.
perhaps because Morales was selected?
Been a fan of McInerney since his U-17 days. The kid shows up for international games just like Freddy does, but not so much for their clubs.. Play’em!
With Donovan recently expressing interest hopefully that means we’re taking three top guys and not players whose international careers are over (see Jay DeMerit above).
As far as all the criticism about the roster selection- I personally think they are in good hands with Porter. I’m glad to see Freddy in the mix- hopefully he can be a big part of the creative spark.. I’m excited about both these games… Go USA!
I’d say 3 out of:
Given how weak we are at CB I could see us taking two overage guys back there.
DeMerit is too injury prone to make an 18 man tournament roster. And when two of our full national team forwards are young enough to make the U-23 roster why would we waste a precious overage spot on Buddle? Think McFly.
Boy does McBride going to the last Olympics bring back bad memories. He wanted to be in an Olympics and he went. It was like playing a man down the whole tournament
Duka plays in mf.
Based on last year I don’t see him making the final 18 if they qualify.
Why would be younger be preferred on an U-23 Olympic camp? It’s a one time deal, an Olympic medal, not an academy.
I don’t see Sarkodie, Valentin, or Kitchen as better than Williams based on last years performances. I don’t know why Williams wasn’t selected?
Most reports out of camp say he’s been one of the best players at his position thus far. May not be a lock but he’s been putting in strong showings apparently.
Odd choices…if they do bring any overage players I would guess they would be centerbacks.
LOL, Brian McBride and John O’Brien would be really venturing. ;^)
No, he’s saying that we haven’t seen the guy play and we should probably trust the U-23 coaches who have seen him play and get paid to judge talent for a living.
Are Jozy and Chandler expected to play for the Olympic team?
blaise213 is the SBI owl. Under every USMNT post he cries “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOten” “WOOOOOOOOOOten”.
Does he really deserve a call up over any of the guys selected?
boy you are really venturing.
Not sure. Diego was injured for a while, and Peru has passed on him so far. Diego although fast is of jose torres size, not the type of player that can handle euro guys.
Anyone care to venture a guess who the over age players would be for the Olympics? My guess.
Yup always worth a try
Good observation, certainly if Sarkodie and Bunbury don’t do well here, their continued call-ups will look highly suspicious, (Bradleyesq.
What has Bunbury done to deserve you luv? Stole your girl? Messsed with your wife? Give it a rest! The kid was the in the top 5 in the mls for goals per minute with at least 1000 minutes of playing time. He has the most goals in a 2 year span from the 2010 superdraft. Find me another mls player that has scored 18 goals in all competition in his 1st 2 years after the superdraft/academy. Jk has him in the top 4 in his pool. Yet you post your nonsense concerning his game. You keep pimping the Euro players. Do you have any idea what the 3rd and 4th division is in Germany? Most of the competition can’t wait to go to the pubs after a game. Yes, it’s important that guys like Boyd and Wooten are kept on the radar, but they haven’t done s*** on any credible level. So stop the hate and appreciate!
Some of them are wingers (Shea, Gyau, etc.)
GK: Hamid or Johnson
Interesting to see where Danny Williams, Chandler, etc., etc. is going to fit in. If we don’t get Henley, having Chandler at LB and Morales at RB with Williams as the holding midfielder would be interesting, middle of defense is going to have some overage players
Opara would start for SJ if he didn’t have recurring foot injuries. Currently he is starting CB in pre-season. He also has a knack for scoring off of set pieces, so you get goal production out of him.