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19 players selected for U-23 USMNT camp in Bahamas

Cody Cropper

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U.S. Soccer have scheduled their first official Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team training camp ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics qualification.

Eighteen players have been called up for the five-day U-23 camp in the Bahamas, schedule to take place from Aug. 3-7 in Nassau, Bahamas. The camp includes a match against the Bahamas National Team on Aug. 6.

“The chance to get this group of players together and get ahead of the curve in preparation for Olympic Qualifying in two years’ time is huge,” U.S. Soccer technical director Jurgen Klinsmann said. “We began with the U-21 camp in April, and now it’s critical that we have as many camps and games as possible so we can build a deep pool of talent that can qualify for Brazil. The Olympics are an important opportunity for young players, and we have to capitalize on it. We also want to give a big thanks to the Bahamas Football Association for hosting us.”

Headlining the squad are Southampton goalkeeper Cody Cropper, Birmingham City defender Will Packwood, Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil, and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Omar Salgado. According to the U.S. Soccer press release, more players could be added to the squad “pending the approved release from their clubs.” (UPDATE: Monterrey forward Alonso Hernandez was added to the roster after the release was posted this afternoon.)

Nine of the players in this U-23 camp squad played under USMNT assistant coach Tab Ramos at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup. Ramos, USMNT assistant coaches Andreas Herzog and Chris Woods, and U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez will oversee the camp.

The squad includes two players who are receiving their first ever U.S. youth national team call-ups – Club Leon midfielder Dennis Flores and San Jose Earthquakes U-23 defender Ramon Martin del Campo.

The camp also represents Salgado’s first USYNT call up since injuring his foot in June 2012 while with the U.S. U-20s.

The squad is a little bit light due to the timing of the camp, which runs through the MLS Homegrown match as part of the MLS All Star Game festivities. Players such as Shane O’Neill, Wil Trapp, and DeAndre Yedlin were all included on the homegrown squad roster for the game on Monday in Portland, Ore.

Here’s a closer look at the U-23 USMNT training camp roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (7): AJ Cochran (Houston Dynamo; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Ramon Martin del Campo (San Jose Earthquakes; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bryan Gallego (Arizona United; Kinnelon, N.J.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (4): Dennis Flores (León; Pasadena, Calif.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.)

FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Alfred Koroma Shams (Internacional; Southlake, Texas), Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Indy Eleven; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas)


What do you think of this roster? What are your expectations for the training camp? Are there any surprises for you in the squad? Which players do you believe can make the 18-man Olympic squad in 2016?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Uhmm they have 2 u17 championship one final then a semifinal in u20 champinship and a hold medal in the Olympics meanwhile we have fail to qualify and our participation in tourneys lately being abysmal…I would have fired ramos or Reyna whoever was or still is the youth director…

  2. This is a depressing squad…the mexican based players wouldn’t even make the U-17 of Mexico…but hey we have 2 years to fix this…as long as we take this seriously and do not put a college coach we can fight for the 2nd spot…not with this squad though…

    • I love when the Mississippi boys represent our great country. Jermaine Jones, best U.S. -player in Brazil, making all of us here proud.

  3. for a random camp this squad is pretty great. Cropper, Ocegueda, Packwood, Gil, Joya, Cuevas, and Salgado will be good to see. hopefully Villarreal gets added because that dude has fallen off since he went on loan to Cruz Azul. Garza and Arriola would be good adds but i think Xolos will want to keep Garza around now that he is their starting LB. they could give Arriola permission though.

    • I don’t think thats allowed according to FIFA. But there is a chance they will be replaced by other Americans where they are old enough for the national team.

      • Technically he is right. The players replacing them are currently German players, but when they don’t make the move up to the full German team they will suddenly want to play for their father’s nation and will remember how that was always a lifelong goal.

  4. Our U-23 depth is really good. There are so many guys missing, Serna, Delgado, Green, Brooks and so on. I think there are the guys that have to fight for a higher spot in the player pool.

      • i actually think he will be. one strong season and he’s back in the picture. but how could i forget Agudelo?!

        who, by the way, is being linked with Sporting CP by Seltzer.

      • He’s not even good enough for MLS. Does not have physical tools for the professional game. i remember watching him live last year when Philly hosted LA, and thinking LA would have been better off playing with 10 and not attempting to pass the ball to the blackhole of turnovers that was Villreal.

      • i disagree.

        either way, he’s back in the US and will play for LAGII.

        “LA Galaxy Homegrown player Jose Villarreal has returned from a loan spell with Mexican side Cruz Azul and will join LA Galaxy II on loan, the club announced Friday.”

    • Packwood is quality and will probably start for Birmingham most of the season; a little surprised to see him with this squad, actually. Joya has some skill and Salgado is starting to get more minutes with Vancouver. Also read somewhere that Koroma is impressing so far in Brazil. I am actually pretty interested to see where some of these guys are at in their development.

      • I am also surprised that BCFC would let Packwood come to camp a week before the season starts. Great opportunity for him though. How can anyone not include him as one of the strongest of the call-ups? He was called up for the USMNT!

    • what?! Packwood is already a starter in the Championship. Cuevas, while he may have had to move down a division, is still a promising player. Koroma is now in Brazil with Inter. Joya is always fun to keep tabs on. and say what you want about Salgado, but the kid is still a very promising player.

      • What is the psychological reasoning for being an internet message board troll? Depression from chronic unemployment or self-confidence issues from having no real talent?

  5. When watching him with the U-17s, I was always fascinated with Koroma’s game; very raw, but explosive athletically, much like Zardes with the Galaxy. I will be interested to see where his development is at.

    • funny you should ask, here is an update from 7 days ago:

      “In February we reported the former US U17 star was with Fluminense, attempting to join there reserve (U-23) side. Koroma impressed Flu coaches with the organization keen to sign him to a professional deal.

      However, OWTY has learned that ‘paperwork documentation’ derailed the US youth strikers move to the Rio de Janeiro side.

      Koroma’s strong play in matches for Fluminense reserve side has opened eyes of other top Brazilian outfits including Porto Alegre side Internacional.

      Internacional has offered Koroma a 60 day trial, which OWTY has learned was given so the Brazilian side can clear up the paperwork. Sources close to the situation claim Inter is hopeful to sign the powerful attacker from Texas, following his extended trial.

      According to the Internacional coaches are impressed not only by Koroma’s size, speed and skill with the ball but his ability to read the field is excellent for his age. Koroma has already featured for Inter in a few friendly matches, playing on both outside wings and up top as a center forward. His movement in the attacking third has drawn praise of the entire Inter technical staff.”

  6. I still find it surprising that college kids are on the squad. I guess I would have thought that the academies would be pumping out talent at a higher rate by now. Maybe other players just weren’t released by their clubs? I’m sure many of the Euro based players stayed home due to travel time. What about getting some of our best U-20s there too just to get them some experience against older/better competition.

    • I’ve seen many academy players go to college. I figure most aren’t offered homegrown contracts and I think clubs retain the right to give such contracts during or after their college careers, so it’s a good avenue for them to continue development.

      • I think it’s more of “a venue to continue development” rather than “a good venue for them to continue development.”

        Certainly some academy players go to college and stay connected to their clubs, but I think it will be a good sign when more players go pro and skip college.

        I wonder how much a feeling that you need a good education as a “fallback” or something plays into those decisions made by individual players…

      • They both seem talented enough to become very good players, especially Morris. He looks like he has the quality to become special.

    • Academies are not yet superior to clubs, nor is homegrown any guarantee of the first team. All the MLS ROY but Najar went to college. It’s currently the more reliable process for immediately getting a shovel-ready player. Like MLB looking at college vs. HS. You trade a few years of career for a player who has been a focal point and got playing time at a college, as opposed to rarely dressing or playing but nominally on a MLS roster.

      When MLS starts growing its own — instead of parasitism — and has a U-23 bridge built to deliver homegrowns to the first team, then it will likely shove college aside. But for the time being it’s roughly even overall, and most of the signees making an initial impact are older college players.


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