CHICAGO (March 1, 2021)—U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Jason Kreis has called 31 players to a training camp ahead of the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The U-23 USMNT will train together in Mexico before Kreis selects the final 20-player tournament roster later this month. The USA kicks off Olympic qualifying Thursday, March 18 vs. Costa Rica at 5 p.m. ET, faces Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 21 at 7 p.m. ET and wraps up the group stage vs. Mexico on Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30 p.m. ET. All three U.S. group stage games will be broadcast on FS1 and TUDN.
“We’re excited to finally return to Guadalajara ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament,” Kreis said. “A lot has changed since March 2020, but we’ve seen our player pool grow and gain invaluable experience over the last year. We’re looking forward to a few weeks of preparation ahead of the tournament and we’re thankful for the cooperation of the clubs in releasing their players for this very important training camp. I'm confident that the group we’ve assembled can achieve our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo.”
U-23 USMNT Training Camp Roster by Position (Club; Hometown):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Jonathan Klinsmann (LA Galaxy; Munich, Germany), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (10): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Marco Farfan (LAFC; Gresham, Ore.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Austin Trusty (Colorado Rapids; Media, Pa.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati; Santa Ana, Calif.), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Hoover, Ala.), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; Alexandria, Va.), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (9): Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United FC; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; Lynwood, Calif.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Jacksonville, Fla.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)
The training camp roster features 15 players who have been capped by the senior USMNT and 16 who have played at a youth World Cup.
A total of 14 players were a part of the USMNT’s gameday roster against Trinidad and Tobago last month, a 7-0 victory. Defenders George Bello and Aaron Herrera as well as midfielders Andrés Perea and Tanner Tessmann earned their senior team debuts, while forwards Jesús Ferreira and Jonathan Lewis netted their first full international goals. Prior to the match, 18 players took part in the U-23 USMNT’s January training camp. All but six players have been involved with the USMNT program since it returned to action in Nov. 2020.
The Olympic qualifying tournament was originally scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are age-eligible for the competition, and Kreis selected 13 players born in 1997, five born in 1998, one born in 1999, four born in 2000, six born in 2001, one born in 2002 and one born in 2003 for the training camp.
The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the pivotal semifinals that will send two winners to the Olympics in Tokyo as representatives of Concacaf. The two winners will also meet in the final on March 30.
- The vast majority of the roster competes domestically, with just five players based outside of the United States from the following countries: Brazil, Canada, England, Mexico and Netherlands.
- The squad features players from 15 MLS clubs, with the Colorado Rapids contributing the most (4). Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake (3), the LA Galaxy, Orlando City SC and the San Jose Earthquakes (2) also had multiple players named to the roster.
- Twenty-nine of 31 players spent time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including all current domestic-based players.
- In addition to the 15 MLS players that came up through their respective academies, the remaining 14 last played for the following DA teams: Amaya (Pateadores), Dotson (Crossfire Premier), Farfan (Portland Timbers), Kessler (Beachside FC), Klinsmann (Strikers FC), Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Lewis (Kendall SC), Llanez (LA Galaxy), Mihailovic (Chicago Fire FC), Robinson (Boston Bolts), Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Soto (Real Salt Lake), Trusty (Philadelphia Union), Williamson (D.C. United) and Yueill (Minnesota Thunder Academy).
- Seventeen MLS Homegrown players are on the roster. Forward Sebastian Saucedo also started his career as a Homegrown player with Real Salt Lake.
- With five U-23 caps, forward Djordje Mihailovic has the most experience on the roster at this age level. He has captained the squad in its last three international matches.
- Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski has appeared in all nine training camps for the U-23 USMNT this cycle, including the team’s June 2019 joint camp with the senior team.
- Defender George Bello, midfielders Frankie Amaya and Cole Bassett as well as forwards Ulysses Llanez and Ricardo Pepi will take part in their first U-23 USMNT training camp. Last March, Llanez was named as part of the roster for Olympic qualifying but did not arrive in camp before the tournament was postponed.
- Along with guiding Real Salt Lake to the 2009 MLS Cup, Kreis has had success at the regional level in the club game, leading RSL to the highest-ever finish for a U.S.-based team in the Concacaf Champions League. The team reached the 2010-11 tournament final, dropping a tight 3-2 aggregate result to Mexican power Monterrey.
- Fourteen players have won a Concacaf Championship at the U-20 level, nine in 2017 and five in 2018.
- Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann was awarded the Golden Glove at the 2017 tournament while defender Justen Glad and forward Brooks Lennon were named to the Best XI. Ulysses Llanez was named to the 2018 Best XI as one of the tournament’s leading scorers.
- The eight players born in 2001 or later are age-eligible for the 2024 Olympic Games.