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Zimmerman, Paredes, Cremaschi headline USMNT Olympic roster for June friendly

The U.S. Olympic Men’s National Team has one final preparation match coming this June and Marko Mitrovic named his roster on Wednesday for that showdown with Japan.

Walker Zimmerman, Kevin Paredes, and Ben Cremaschi headlined Mitrovic’s 25-playe roster for June 11th’s friendly vs. Japan at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. This will be the final tune-up match for the Americans before heading to Paris, France this summer.

A total of 15 players on the final Olympic roster will be under the ages of 23-years-old, while three players can be over that age range. Nashville SC defender Zimmerman is currently the lone player on June’s roster that is over the age of 23.

A total of 19 players on this current roster have earned senior caps with the USMNT.

Nine players have been a part of all four Men’s Olympic Team training camps held thus far: including Nathan Harriel, Bryan Reynolds, Tanner Tessmann and Esmir Bajraktarevic.

Tessmann, Griffin Yow, and Gianluca Busio are among the American players that enjoyed strong club campaigns in Europe. Both Tessmann and Busio are currently still involved with their club season with Italian Serie B side Venezia, who are in the promotion playoff final.

Diego Luna, Chris Brady, and Brian Gutierrez were among the American players not included in the roster despite past U.S. youth national team involvement.

Here is a closer look at the full USMNT Olympic roster for June’s friendly vs. Japan:

GOALKEEPERS: Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew; St. Charles, Mo.), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.) 
DEFENDERS: Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union; Oldsmar, Fla.), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; Lakewood, Calif.), Bryan Reynolds (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Fort Worth, Texas), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich City/ENG; Plano, Texas), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.) 
MIDFIELDERS: Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; Greensboro, N.C.), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF; Key Biscayne, Fla.), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Queens, N.Y.), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia/ITA; Birmingham, Ala.) 
FORWARDS: Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Medford, N.J.), Esmir Bajraktarevic (New England Revolution; Appleton, Wisc.), Taylor Booth (Utrecht/NED; Eden, Utah), Cade Cowell (Guadalajara/MEX; Ceres, Calif.), Damion Downs (Köln/GER; Schwebenried, Germany), Johan Gomez (Eintracht Braunschweig/GER; Keller, Texas), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC; Omaha, Neb.), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Clifton, Va.) 


  1. Fulham selling a CB to Chelsea so maybe some people shouldn’t read too much in Ream being moved to the bench. If we apply it to Turner, Reyna, or Weah shouldn’t it apply to others.

    • so now we’re so desperate to theorize anti-TIV conspiracy theories that FFC benched him the whole last third of the season, as their GA ballooned and their table standing dropped, because they were secretly planning to bring back a 36 year old CB when the new starter was sold. as opposed to they intend to blow the whole central defense up because the dude is old and they allowed 61 goals.

      whatever floats your boat, man, that is not in connection with reality. i get if the last couple games ream sits, season is about over, they try something, doesn’t mean anything. but dude disappeared like a dozen games.

      it’s over. he will be shown the door this window or the next. it will be delicate for his long service. but it will happen nonetheless.

  2. Correct me, if I’m wrong. There’s 7 players that participated in the U20Concacaf & U20 WC tournaments. And 3 more (Cremaschi, Esmir, & Downs) who were/is available for U20s also. So that’s 10 players in this roster for a friendly that’s U20 age, correct?
    2 questions from me.
    How many more U20 players do we want in this squad? Did you think countries that win gold bring U20 players to the Olympics?

    • Well those 7 guys that played last year in the U20 WC are no longer U20. Downs will be 20 before the Olympics. France has 4 players 19 and under on its roster for the March friendly. Guinea had 4 on its roster for the Olympic playoff, Indonesia that they defeated had 4 as well. Japan had 2 in Asian qualifying. Ukraine played Japan in March had 2. Uzbekistan had 0 at the Asian Championships. You’d think probably some of those teenagers lose out when overage players come in and rosters drop to 18.

    • if you think the team is young, it generally is what it is. i don’t think they are trialing U20s. i think they simply prefer this set. the march set isn’t markedly different than the june set. this is the team.

      i think people are going hook line sinker for the debate among peripheral U23s, or about how supposedly good the overage are. to me the real debate is are we getting a fairly comprehensive U23 all star team, and are we getting the best overage. z is not a good overage choice, he’s a leftover after copa america is sorted. likewise, there are about a half dozen U23 eligibles like pepi and reyna with the seniors instead of the olympic team.

      hence they are encouraging fans to debate the margins instead of ask why some of the senior guys under 23 aren’t with the olympic team instead, and why the overage likely will not feel like keller or mcbride is being seconded to the olympics.

      to me it’s all kind of a muddle. the CA senior team is fairly usual suspects in nature, and we didn’t risk taking a bunch of U23s there instead to see if we could improve our chances. conversely, the U23s are a leftovers team, the good age group guys are graduated out, and the overage will not be any? many? of the usual suspects ticketed to copa camp. not more than one, for logical/math certainty.

      • Generally besides the host overage players are veteran leaders. France last time took Gignac, Savanier, and Thuavin. None of whom had a senior cap after, Savanier never did. They didn’t bring Mbappe who was age eligible. Argentina took a GK who never played for their national team, and didn’t bring either Martinez or Romero who were eligible. They’re sending who they think is the best possible team to the Copa America and the best 15-18U23s to the Olympics with 1-3 overage players who can solidify areas of need. This age group is weak on CBs especially with Dietz injured and striker. It’s only hard to figure out if you want to feign confusion.

    • IO2T,

      Winning Gold most likely is not the USSF’s first priority. They are trying to “blood” as many kids as possible and are using the Olympics w that in mind.

      • Tele57

        “What does blood mean?”

        For these kids? First blood.

        blooded; blooding; bloods
        transitive verb
        : to expose (a hunting dog) to sight, scent, or taste of the blood of its prey from an earlier sense, meaning “to smear the face of an inexperienced fox hunter with blood of the fox killed on his first hunt”
        : to give experience to
        troops blooded in battle
        Middle English, from Old English blōd; akin to Old High German bluot blood

  3. For the people saying their confused as to why certain players aren’t in this camp, for instance Luna, I’d just say this isn’t the final roster for the Olympics and may just be Mitrovic taking a look at a few players he’s yet to see up close before finaling things.

    • Yeah, perhaps but he wasn’t called in for either fall camp and only played 27 minutes in March. That doesn’t sound like a guy with his spot wrapped up.

      • that’s totally plausible….I just wanted to get the message out that this was not the final roster, so nothing is settled by any means!

      • RT: if you’ve been around the block more than once, with a certain type of coach, “the roster isn’t set in stone” means the same thing as “barring injury these are the guys.” some coaches will be more direct with that, at least with the players, some coaches will string people along.

        i generally agree with JR, he is probably well down the list based on when he gets called and how much he gets used when he is called. but this is also the country where miles and richards was going to be the backline and then suddenly it’s z, ream, and CCV. you never know. which is why i think the door is open, injuries, luna scores 10 goals in 3 games or something.

        to me bradley and arena, and perhaps even klinsi, were fairly blunt, while GB and his regime tend to sugar coat and speak in euphemism. they also tend to have a weird mix of quirky personnel ideas and then confirmation bias about them. luna has been a better pro and U20 than mcglynn has. but mcglynn is supposed to be better.

      • McGlynn and Luna don’t play the same position it’s not really an accurate comparison. I also don’t think too many people rate McGlynn above Luna at least not outside Philly. Luna has been pretty hyped for years. Esmir is the closer comparison same league same position.

  4. it is so arrogant to call precisely 19 people for prep games for a future 19 man roster, when a lot of the list is on break. ditto the senior team calling 27 people to make a 26 man list not required to be finalized until after the friendlies. do we not do roster competition anymore? is it all decided on spreadsheets and the backs of envelopes?

    people can now commence with “but coach watches the practices” (except there will be little stakes when there is no room to cut), “club form” (but how do they actually compare to the eye when in the same place), and other such excuses and personal attacks. it’s been coaching 101 for decades to call in a few more than you need for both injury purposes and so there is some “reality check” on the abstractions and pecking orders.

    yeah, you “thought” x was better than y, but they show up to camp and y is out of shape and rusty, or x more impressive than you had scouted him as. or we play the games and x simply outplays y. but x can’t make the team on vacation because you assumed your conclusion and called 19 men for prep games to pick 19 for paris.

    • “Walker Zimmerman, Kevin Paredes, and Ben Cremaschi headlined Mitrovic’s 25-player roster for June 11th’s friendly vs. Japan at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. ”

      25 players have been called in for the friendly.
      Two more overage players can be added. So 27 players are fighting for 18 roster spots.

  5. Interesting squad. A bit bummed not to see Luna. He has something different that could be useful. Very interested to see Downs. Who continues to break in at Koln.

    • i’d like to see them dump some of the tepid U20 guys and get both downs and campbell on the team. if you like downs, campbell outproduced him in the same lower division when they were both playing U19.

      the explanation per usual is going to be that campbell, by being at dortmund, as a U19 and senior team will probably come next season. so downs has some B.1 experience, makes it, campbell gets treated as worse than guys who can’t finish. so he will dutifully serve a stint on the U20 team this summer while i watch worse guys at the olympics. because they are “experienced” and “first team,” same thing we did to reyna and richards. (just forget the fact campbell had a brace on england U19.)

      • U19 stats
        Downs 25 app 14g 8a
        Campbell 32 app 11g 12a
        Downs is a year and half older and has played in the Bundesliga. Downs is also an CF a position of need in the age group, Campbell can play a false 9 but is more a winger/10. Another factor is Campbell is cap tied having filed his one time switch, Downs is not having not represented either country in an official match.

      • JR: first, i think you’re playing the coach’s game by making this downs vs. campbell instead of someone else. as i clearly said, take both — i think we’re gonna find they are both excellent — dump some of the regular people. but we don’t have the guys to squeeze the guy with dortmund U19 and a brace on england U19 into the roster. and so mcglynn, paxten, etc.

        second, if we are going to play right into the coach’s game, you do get that 11+12=23 > 14+8=22? or are we so obsessed with goals on this team we don’t see which players are involved in more production, total, period? including assists. “contributions?”

        third, we really need senior wings and not yet another CF. it’s cool they identified downs, and maybe the U23s need a striker. i don’t even see him as really competing with campbell who is more of a wing. but personally i think we need more senior wings ergo err on the side of getting wings ready. to me the age groups should serve the senior needs. if the seniors need wings and CB, you lean a little that way at U23 and U20.

        last, i expect campbell plays U20 in their regional championship but i also think that’s gutless. and as with reyna, richards, and others, he will make first team this year, and be having this same discussion on a time delay with the delay driven by folks who can’t take risks and follow clubs around by the nose.

      • IV: Paredes, Yow, Booth, and Aaronson are producing at the wing position in top divisions. As I said above I’d rather have Luna than Esmir or Buff Arriola but an 18 man roster isn’t going to have more than 4 wing backs anyway. I’d probably choose Cole over Cowell or Bajraktervic too.
        I’ve watched several Campbell matches (not just highlights). I actually think if BvB don’t sell anyone it might be longer for Cole to get to the first team. Not that he isn’t talented, he certainly is. However Dortmund has a lot of young attackers. Duranville, B.Gittens, Adayemi are all under 23. Even Mallen and Sancho are 25 or younger. Brunner 20g 6a for their U19s can play wing as well as his preferred CF. Their U23 team doesn’t have much for wing prospects, but with their CL final run they’re more likely to spend for attacking talent as well. People could get sold or loaned of course but if Gio can’t get minutes there I don’t see Cole jumping in quickly.

    • I agree about Luna. I think that he is clearly one of the better US youth players and don’t understand his exclusion.

    • No Luna is strange. He’s only played 27 minutes off the bench for this group. I get not rating him above say Paxten or Yow but when you include Bajraktarevic? Maybe RSL said they won’t release him for the Olympics?

      • I agree. Esmir has talent but for me he should be with US U20’s. Luna is also playing quite well for RSL. Just strange in my opinion. Luna can play multiple attacking positions as well.

    • I wonder if Luna’s absence means he is a lock, RSL is not going to release him for the Olympics, or the coach thinks the other players called in are better. It is kind of hard to think it is the last option based on his prior performances for the US at the U20 level where he was pretty clearly one of the top players.

  6. Zimmerman’s a no-brainer for this group; he’s a Super-Alpha and a physically dominant CB that young attacking players shrink from. No, he is not as technically proficient as you’d like, but Jalen Neil is and is an exceptional distributor out of the back to boot; that’s a very strong pair that covers up one anothers’ weaknesses.

    There’s also 25 guys and they’re going to have to get than number down to 15 plus Zimmerman and two other overage players for the Olympics, so at least nine of these guys – or ten, if the squad brings Pepi, which I increasingly doubt – will be going home. It’ll be fascinating to see which ones end up cut and who fills those last two overage spots.

    I think Brandon Vasquez is also no-brainer for one of the other overage spots, for much the same reason as Zimmerman: you’d better be able to match the guy physically or he just shoulders you aside or jumps over your head. Or both. And like Zimmerman, he brings fire and you need every bit of that for a grueling tournament.

    Be interesting to see who the third is. I’ve seen Darlington Nagbe and Lennard Maloney suggested and either would definitely add something.

    • why are we picking an overage guy whose NT status these days is basically B team, star in the descent? i’ve gotten bashed about wanting to call U23s to help the senior side. ok, if we’re leaving all the “good” U23s down to chase the olympics, why are we picking the worst CB from qatar, the one who got tooled up?

      but then i don’t buy this is all the best U23s. cause for all the supposed seriousness of the U23 mission, reyna, musah, johnny, scally, lund, aaronson, balogun, pepi, are all the right age for the olympics.

      nah, since they are all “up,” “graduated” as i call them, and we are taking copa america super serious, this is actually a U23 of “what’s left,” and if a guy is U23 or overage, should be taken as critique. “z” is on the team not because we are aggressively going all in, but precisely the opposite. he’s surplus to senior needs and thus available.

      to underline something, there is 1 extra guy in senior camp over the copa america limit. we don’t even have a lot of room to shift them one to the other if we wanted to. so for all the talk this isn’t going to be the equivalent of keller or mcbride as the overage. nor are we even pushing all chips in on the age group players. meanwhile the senior team is more or less the same guys who did “ok” in march. which to me isn’t really aggressive about copa america. you don’t have to be a genius to see where this passivity and “everyone stay in their lanes” likely gets you this summer.

      • You pick your best players for the senior team, period. The Euros and Copa America are arguably the two biggest events in International soccer behind a World Cup. We can quibble about a guy here or there – well, most of us would only quibble with a guy here or there of the group selected – but it is very clear from the roster selected Gregg picked what he thought was his best available group.

        After that, you pick the strongest group of 18 for the Olympics based exactly on what’s available, and that means 15 of-age guys and three guys you think can help you the most. And I absolutely, 100% agree Zimmerman is the obvious guy for this group. Until you’ve seen the guy up close, people just do not understand what a physical presence and personality this guy is.

        How is that “staying in your lane”, and how would not picking the best 26 for Copa America and then fielding the strongest U23 (plus three overage) group from what’s then available help anyone? That’s pretty much what, well, everybody does, yes?

      • I don’t recall Zimmerman getting “tooled up”(whatever that means)in Qatar, he made a mistake on a slide tackle in the box that led to a penalty, which to be fair he should have known better given his experience internationally up to that point but I think he just panicked! Otherwise I don’t think he put a foot wrong considering we gave up only ONE goal in the group stage, which again was that penalty! None of the goals against the Netherlands were his fault either, those were the product of boneheaded mistakes from Adams/Musah on the first, Dest on the second and Jedi on the third, and if you don’t believe me all you need to do is revert back to the highlights

      • Q: all due respect but “z” is a leftover who has generally been left off the senior roster — and is likely on his way out at 31 — not a core senior guy seconded to Oly because we are taking it so serious. you also ignored my point that we have several U23s on the senior team, this isn’t even close to the best age group team we can muster. i then explained how not calling the U23s means the senior team is “less than,” while leaving the U23s on senior makes the remaining U23s “less than.” to me we haven’t really committed either way and will get results accordingly.

        i mean, i think they’d say the regulars are their best chance at copa, but that’s not objectively true.

        at some point US fans need to wake up that if the “guys they like” or “guys they trust” — the regulars — can barely beat jamaica, lose to TnT and germany — they by definition can’t be our “best chance to win.” the average fanboy tries to square this circle by saying the team is simply limited. which is a joke. this is one of the best 1 or 2 talent cohorts we have ever had together at one time. if you are confused at all, look at the last U20 unit compared to this bunch, ie, all the guys still playing age group ball going to the olympics.

        no, we need to try some new things, but we’re paralyzed because they thought these were the guys. but to me the results since wales 2020 should suggest otherwise. this conception of the unit has never taken off and flown as hoped. so tinker a little.

  7. I am very interested as to the reason Walker Zimmerman was included in this pool.
    The interwebs tells me that he is 31 years old and SBI says that he was the only over age player included.

    • Trusty and Vazquez seem to be the other two if you are reading the tea leaves. The Olympics are at the end of July. It would make sense to leave those two out of this camp since they will go straight into their 24/25 season following the Olympics. I’m just guessing on that though.


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