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Mendez, Ledezma and Soto headline USMNT U-23 squad for October camp

Nine members of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team that reached the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals in June have been called in as part of the latest U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team squad.

U.S. U-23 coach Jason Kreis has called in a 25-player squad for a camp that kicks off on Monday in Miami, and which will run through October 15 and include a friendly against El Salvador.

Among the players called in are European-based standouts Alex Mendez, Richie Ledezma and Sebastian Soto, as well as MLS standouts Miles Robinson, Mason Toye and Hassani Dotson.

“I am very happy that the majority of MLS and European clubs have continued to be supportive of our efforts by allowing their players to join us in camp,” Kreis said. “We’re continuing to build a team and a playing style that we feel will give us the best possible chance of qualifying for the Olympics in 2020. These last few camps of 2019 are meant to be about wrapping up evaluation and beginning to move towards some consistency, rhythm and understanding.”

Ledezma joins the group after having missed out on the September U-23 camp, and after recently revealing that the Mexican Football Federation had spoken to him about potentially playing for Mexico.

Kreis has the task of trying to identify the nucleus for the U-23 team that will eventually have the task of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, with the Concacaf qualifying tournament set for March.

It is unclear which age-eligible U-23 candidates were not released by their club teams for the October camp, but the squad is missing several top prospects, including Antonee Robinson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jeremy Ebobisse, Emmanuel Sabbi and Paxton Pomykal to name a few.

Here is the full USMNT Under-23 team that will take part in the October camp:

GOALKEEPERS: Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), J.T. Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Brady Scott (Koln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; New York, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Montclair, N.J.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)

MIDFIELDERS: Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas), JohnnyCardoso (Internacional/BRA; Porto Alegre, Brazil), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Chris Durkin (Sint-Truiden/BEL; Glen Allen, Va.), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.), Alex Mendez (Ajax/NED; Los Angeles, Calif.), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; Lemont, Ill.)

FORWARDS: Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls; Bronx, N.Y.),Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; Carlsbad, Calif.), Mason Toye (Minnesota United FC; South Orange, N.J.)


  1. One name I don’t see mentioned is Erik Palmer Brown who has become a starter in Austria. I checked the rules and his birth date and he is age eligible. I thought he was excellent for the US when he was on the U-20 team and now he’s playing first division European football. While it’s not the Bundesliga, it is a higher level than the Dutch youth league and I think he should be considered. Perhaps he wasn’t released for this camp, but I think he needs to be kept into consideration for the future.

    • My guess would be he didn’t get released since he’s with a first team. Or they’ve indicated they won’t release him in March so there is no point to work him in now. I wonder if the squad will meet in Europe in November as they did in March?

  2. I have Durkin and Reggie Cannon on my Angers career mode. He is hella underrated. Way better than SLOWROLDAN and Bradley and Trapp

  3. Probably the one really good/likable idea to come out of the last 18 months has been the idea of regular u-23 camps. Getting reps together as a group at a young age has been a core component of the success of most of the successful national teams over the last 15 years. US soccer will never be fortunate enough to have a club team like Bayern or Barcelona that basically serves as a year round training ground for the nats, but countries like Belgium have shown that getting the best young talent playing together competitively as a “class” can have massive benefits down the road. So at least we are doing something thoughtful here ….

  4. It’s interesting that Del La Torre, Antonee Robinson, or CCV wasn’t included this camp. Lennon @ LW & Torre @ RW would give great service to who’s ever playing the 9. Robinson & Gloster to compete for the LB, competition @ LB?, hadn’t seen or heard of that in awhile. Richards w/ CCV @ CB, would be nice to see. I know Richards isn’t left footed, but he knows how to read the game, if CCV is playing on the right. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Kreis calls in players age/eligible because the generation is deep with talent. At THIS moment, I’m not confident that he knows how to use his personnel.

    • The international window doesn’t apply to youth camps so clubs may have declined to let guys leave. Robinson and CCV were involved in March when the camp was in Spain. It could be that Stoke wasn’t as open as Swansea and Wigan said no now that they own Robinson or it could just be the travel.

  5. People need to remember that we’re not likely to get our top European players for the Olympic Qualification Tournament. I won’t say that its why we’ve failed to qualify the last couple cycles, but it is a contributing factor.
    Therefore don’t expect to see many of the following when the tournament starts…
    Gloster, Richards, EPB, CCV, Cappis, Durkin, Ledezma, Mendez, Soto, etc….

    We’re going to have to rely on domestic based players for the qualification and then integrate the European players afterwords.

    We should be OK defensively but I’m still worried about where our creativity and goals are going to come from.

    • If you look at the nearly all MLS forward set on this squad we shouldn’t have trouble scoring. Include Aaronson, Pomykal, Servania and perhaps Soto if Hannover doesn’t sell him in January since they seem to have no intention of playing him. Gloster, Mendez and Ledesma may also be available since the Jong squads cannot be promoted anyway.


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