photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com
U.S. Under-23 men's national team head coach Caleb Porter has called in a 23-man roster to take part in the February camp leading into a friendly with Mexico's U-23 side, and there are some new faces on the team.
Brek Shea, Juan Agudelo, Alfredo Morales and Ike Opara have been summoned for their first U-23 camp a little over a month before Olympic qualifying is set to take place. Team regulars like Bill Hamid, Zarek Valentin, Freddy Adu and Teal Bunbury have also been called into the 10-day camp that ends with a friendly against Mexico's U-23 team on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium.
"I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get," Porter said in a press release. "We're going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time."
Here is the full roster:
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson
Defenders: Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen, Alfredo Morales, Ike Opara, Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin, Jorge Villafana
Midfielders: Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Dilly Duka, Jared Jeffrey, Amobi Okugo, Michael Stephens
Forwards: Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, Terrence Boyd, Teal Bunbury, Joe Gyau, Jack McInerney, Brek Shea, Tony Taylor
Two of the more notable omissions from this roster are midfielder Sebastian Lletget and defender Gale Agbossoumonde. Both players are nursing injuries right now and hope to recover in time to be a part of the Olympic qualifying team next month. Sources confirmed to SBI that Agbossoumonde was originally called into this camp, but that he was not able to participate due to the injury that forced him to miss the one in January.
Josh Gatt is another eye-opening omission, but he just recovered from the injury picked up in the U.S. team's January camp and is still working his way back to full health.
A pair of defenders who return to the fold after not being called into a camp since the one in November are Greg Garza and Perry Kitchen.
In addition to playing Mexico's U-23 team, the U.S. team will hold scrimmages against FC Dallas of MLS and NASL's San Antonio Scorpions on Feb. 22 and 24, respectively.
What do you think of the roster? Whose omission/inclusion surprises you? Do you see this team beating Mexico's U-23 team?
Share your thoughts below.