CHICAGO (Oct. 4, 2019)— U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Jason Kreis has called 25 players to a training camp and match vs. El Salvador from Oct. 6-15 at Florida International University in Miami, Fla.
“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.”
The 25-player roster features 14 players who have represented the U.S. at a youth World Cup, including nine from the red, white and blue’s quarterfinal run at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. Sixteen players are based domestically at MLS clubs and many will be involved in the league’s annual Decision Day on Sunday.
U-23 USMNT Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Brady Scott (Koln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): 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 (7): Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas), Johnny Cardoso (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 (6): 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.)
The match vs. El Salvador will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15. It marks another step in the U-23 MNT’s path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the USA aims to qualify for its first Men’s Olympic Tournament since 2008. The game is closed to the public and will not be broadcast.
In March, the U.S. will join El Salvador and six other nations from North America, Central America and the Caribbean at the 2020 Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico. La Selecta qualified as one of the tournament’s three Central American participants after topping Panama 3-1 on aggregate in a July home-and-away series.
The USA faced El Salvador during the 2012 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, drawing 3-3 as Terrance Boyd bagged a brace and Joe Corona also scored for the U.S. in Nashville. The USA is an undefeated 3-0-3 in six matches against El Salvador at the pre-Olympic tournament, but the teams have met just once since it became an Under-23 event in 1992.
- Ten players make their first appearance with the U-23 MNT: goalkeepers David Ochoa and Brady Scott, defenders Chris Richards and Sam Vines, midfielders Christian Cappis, Johnny Cardoso, Chris Durkin and Richard Ledezma as well as forward Jonathan Lewis.
- All but Cardoso and Vines have represented the USA at some level this year. Lewis has earned five caps with the senior MNT, while the rest of the group saw time with the U-20 MNT.
- Sixteen players ply their trade domestically with MLS clubs, while nine are based abroad in Germany (three), Netherlands (three), Belgium, Brazil and Denmark (one each).
- The most players from a single club, five, come from Real Salt Lake.
- Two players have appeared in all three of the U-23’s games thus far in 2019: goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic.
- Maricnkowski is the lone player to appear in all four training camps this year, as well as the team’s June joint camp with the senior MNT.
- Last weekend, midfielder Hassani Dotson scored a thrilling 90th-minute game-winning goal to clinch Minnesota United FC’s first MLS playoff berth.
- Defender Miles Robinson, fresh off of earning his first two MNT caps during the senior team’s September camp, has appeared in every game for Atlanta United FC this season. He currently ranks 10th in the league in minutes played and is the youngest player in the top 15.
- Midfielder Christian Cappis has played all 11 games to start the year with Danish Superliga club Hobro IK.
- In the Eerste Divisie, 2019 U-20 World Cup alums Chris Gloster, Ledezma and Alex Mendez have all begun to see regular minutes with Jong PSV Eindhoven and Jong Ajax. Ledezma has played all eight games for Jong PSV this season and Gloster has played in the last four, while Mendez has appeared in six of eight matches for Jong Ajax.
- Cardoso made his debut for Internacional in the Brazilian first division on Sept. 15 vs. Atletico Mineiro.
- Midfielder Chris Durkin just completed his first month on loan at Belgian club Sint-Truiden.
- Two players (Cardoso and Ochoa) are age-eligible for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- Twenty-four of 25 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- Four players have won Academy Player of the Year honors: Cappis (Central U-17/18, 2017), Ledezma (West U-18/19, 2018), Richards (Central U-18/19, 2018) and forward Sebastian Saucedo (West U-15/16, 2014).
- Seven players have won an Academy Championship. The RSL quartet of Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo took home the U-15/16 national title in 2013. Cappis and Richards won in 2017 with Texans SC Houston U-17/18 while Mihailovic lifted the U-17/18 trophy in 2015 with the Fire.