U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Caleb Porter has named 31 players to the roster for the upcoming training camp in Duisburg, Germany, which also features several players who are age-eligible for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team. The camp will be held from Nov. 7-16 at the Sportschule Wedau, a German sporting school where the players will train and stay. More players may be added to the roster based on the results of the upcoming MLS playoff matches.
“The goal was to put together a comprehensive group of players to further evaluate the pool while building towards Olympic qualifying,” said Porter. “By having a mix of domestic and overseas-based professionals, we can develop a clearer picture of who can help us in qualifying and hopefully the 2012 Olympic Games.”
The U-23 camp is taking place at the same time the full Men’s National Team will be gathered in France and Slovenia. U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann worked with Porter and the rest of the coaching staff in order to structure the program in a similar fashion to the full team, including the approach to style of play, training sessions, and fitness testing.
“It is very important that we are all on the same page in how we are working with the national teams and that we are all pulling in the same direction, since all roads lead to the senior team,” said Klinsmann. “They will have full support from the National Team, and their camps will be run just like ours. In this initial camp they will gather as much information as possible. As this group gets together, it is important for all these players to understand that they have a very unique opportunity.”
As part of the coordination between the national team programs, several players who are age-eligible for the 2012 Olympics will continue to participate with the full team for the friendlies against France and Slovenia. There are no schedule conflicts between the U-23 team and the full team for either the Olympic Qualifying Tournament or the 2012 Olympic Games.
U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna will direct the U-23s during the camp while U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos will lead his age group of players. Due to previous scheduling commitments, Porter will remain with the University of Akron men’s soccer team. Newly appointed Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams is also among the staff that will travel to Germany.
Clubs from seven different countries are represented in this roster. Twenty of the players called into camp play in Europe, including 12 who are based in Germany. Josh Gatt, who recently won the Norwegian Championship with Molde, is joining the group but will not participate as he recovers from injury. The roster also features eight players who play for MLS teams: David Bingham, Dilly Duka, Sean Johnson, Jon Kempin, Perry Kitchen, Omar Salgado, Zarek Valentin and Ethan White.
The roster includes nine former U.S. Soccer Development Academy players: Gale Agbossoumonde, Joe Corona, Sean Cunningham, Conor Doyle, Gatt, Kempin, Caleb Stanko, Valentin and White. Jose Villarreal, the only current Development Academy player, scored both goals for Pateadores in the 2011 Development Academy U-17/18 Championship against FC Dallas. Shortly after, he was invited to the Milk Cup with the U-18 MNT.
Three players have also made appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Agbossoumonde has one cap, appearing in the 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010, in Johannesburg. Mixx Diskerud has appeared twice, including a complete game against Chile on Jan. 22, 2011. Johnson earned his first cap as a second-half substitute in the same game.
The team is loaded with players with previous youth national team experience, a total of 22 players having played at either the U-20 or U-17 level. Six players appeared in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, while Kitchen and William Packwood played in the 2009 U-17 FIFA World Cup. Nine players competed in 2011 U-20 World Cup qualifying.
Porter plans to have additional domestic camps early next year as the U-23 Men prepare for 2012 Olympic qualifying beginning in March.On Thursday, U.S. Soccer will release the roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s games against France and Slovenia. U.S. MNT captain Carlos Bocanegra will take over U.S. Soccer’s twitter account – @ussoccer – at 1 p.m. ET to release the names of players on Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad and answer questions from fans.
U.S. UNDER-23 ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4) : David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; Pleasanton, Calif.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire, Lilburn, Ga.), Jon Kempin (Sporting KC; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (9) : Gale Agbossoumonde (Eintracht Frankfurt; Syracuse, N.Y.), Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin; Berlin, Germany), Sean Cunningham (Molde; Troy, Mich.), Royal-Dominique Fennell (Stuttgarter Kickers; Göppingen, Germany), Greg Garza (Out of Contract; Grapevine, Texas), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Will Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA; Lancaster, Pa.), Ethan White (D.C. United; Kensington, Md.)
MIDFIELDERS (9) : Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mixx Diskerud (Stabæk; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Tyrone McCargo (Nürnberg; Nürnberg, Germany), Charles Renken (Hoffenheim; Edwardsville, Ill.), Caleb Stanko (Freiburg: Holly, Mich.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
FORWARDS (9) : Terrence Boyd (Hertha Berlin; Berlin, Germany), Conor Doyle (Derby County; McKinney, Texas), Josh Gatt (Molde; Plymouth, Mich.), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim; Silver Springs, Md.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha Berlin; Berlin, Germany), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas), Tony Taylor (Atlético Clube de Portugal; Jacksonville, Fla.), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich; Irvine, Calif.), Andrew Wooten (Kaiserslautern; Worms, Germany)