U.S. U-23 MNT roster set for final camp ahead of Olympic Qualifying
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 24 players to England for a final preparation camp before the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October.
The camp will run in Manchester, England, from Aug. 30-Sept. 8 and will feature friendlies against England on Sept. 3 at Deepdale Stadium in Preston, and Qatar on Sept. 8 at Gigg Lane in Bury.
“These are two important games here because they are our last before the Olympic Qualifying tournament,” Herzog said. “We have a strong group of players that we believe in, and now we are able to look as some of the guys who did very well with our U-20 team. This is really the last chance for all of the players to make an impression before we select the final roster for qualifying.”
The U-23’s were last in Europe in June, where they competed in the prestigious Toulon Tournament. With group stage wins against Netherlands and Qatar, the team advanced to the tournament’s third-place playoff, where it defeated England and matched its best ever finish in the tournament. The U-23’s are 5-3-0 in 2015, having also logged wins against Bosnia in March and Mexico in April.
The 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship will be played across the United States from Oct. 1-13. The U.S. was drawn into Group A and opens with a pair of games at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, against Canada on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. CT and Cuba on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. CT. The U.S. will conclude group play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on Oct. 6 against Panama at 7:30 p.m. MT.
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (MK Dons; Maple Grove, Minn.), Ethan Horvath (Molde; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zack Steffen (Freiburg; Downington, Pa.).
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Apollon Limassol; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Unattached; Concord, Mass.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Gboly Ariyibi (Chesterfield; Arlington County, Va.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Tex.), Benji Joya (Club Necaxa; San Jose, Calif.), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire; Milwaukee, Wisc.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers; Bethesda, Md.).
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.D. Juarez; El Paso, Texas), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Maki Tall (Scion; Washington, D.C.).
- Six players from the USA’s 2015 U-20 World Cup team that advanced to the quarterfinals in New Zealand now join the U-23 group: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Emerson Hyndman, Matt Miazga, Rubio Rubin, Zack Steffen and Gedion Zelalem.
- Five players from this roster have scored goals for the U-23’s in 2015: Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Jerome Kiesewetter, William Packwood and Mario Rodriguez.
- Three from this roster scored goals with the U-20’s in 2015: Hyndman, Rubin and Tall.
- Shane O’Neill was a force for the squad on the backline in the Toulon Tournament, and earned honors as the Third-Best player in the tournament.
- Hernandez and Joya both scored penalties in the third-place playoff of the Toulon Tournament. Hernandez’s strike was the first score of the game and Joya’s proved to be the game-winner.
- Rodriguez returns to the mix after missing the Toulon Tournament. The strong striker plays at Borussia Mönchengladbach, the same club as Men’s National Team defender Fabian Johnson. The North Hollywood-native has scored twice in as many games in 2015.
- Luis Gil also returns to the U-23’s after missing the Toulon Tournament. Gil wore the captain’s armband in each of the first three games of 2015, where he leads the team with four assists.
- Goalkeeper Cody Cropper (MK Dons), defender Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur) and midfielder Hyndman (Fulham) won’t have far to travel for this camp, coming over from their nearby English club teams.
- Eighteen-year-old Gedion Zelalem, who recently completed a loan move from Arsenal to Rangers, made his U.S. debut for the U-20’s in this summer’s World Cup.
- The roster is a diverse mix with the players coming from club teams of various leagues around the world. Nine players from this roster represent MLS clubs, three come from German club teams, four from English teams, two from Mexico, and a single player each from leagues in Cyprus, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, and Switzerland.
- Twelve players from this roster have ties to the Development Academy: Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado), Emerson Hyndman (FC Dallas), Benji Joya (De Anza Force), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Eric Miller (Minnesota Thunder Academy), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy & Pateadores), Zack Steffen (Continental FC DELCO), Wil Trapp (Crew SC Academy).