***UPDATE: Caleb Porter added three players to the U-23 camp, which is currently in progress at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The three players added were goalkeepers Matt Lampson of the Columbus Crew and Brian Perk of the LA Galaxy, and Stuttgarter Kickers defender Royal-Dominique Fennell.
Porter made this roster adjustments after goalkeeper David Bingham and defender Gale Agbossoumonde both did not make it to camp due to injuries.
Caleb Porter, head coach for the U.S. Under 23 Men's National Team, has called up 22 players for the upcoming camp that will take place in Carson, California and San Jose, Costa Rica from January 8-25. They will train for 11 days at the Home Depot Center and then get the competitive juices flowing with a couple matches against local club teams in Costa Rica. The 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament is quickly approaching and hopefully Porter and company can put together a strong showing.
18 of the 22 players called up were a part of the December training session and it is nice to see some form of continuity. Also, in an effort to maintain a smooth transition for players making their way up to the senior squad, the U-23's will scrimmage against Klinsmann and the big boys while at the Home Depot Center.
The future of US soccer is on its way.
US U-23 Roster By Position as per ussoccer.com:
GOALKEEPERS (2): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril Praia), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA), Andrew Wenger (Duke), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Isaac Acuña (Mérida), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabæk), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (4): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Josh Gatt (Molde), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Tony Taylor (Atletico Clube de Portugal)
Remember Josh Gatt? The young US winger/striker that was on the tip of everyone's tongue this summer as he made dazzling run after dazzling run for Norwegian champions, Molde FK. Well, he's backkkkk. After suffering a nagging injury, followed up by the conclusion of the Norwegian season, Gatt has been out of the mainstream US soccer conversation of late. However he still has a very bright future in US Soccer and it will be exciting to see what he can do during the upcoming Olympic qualifying matches, as I expect him to make the squad. Keep an eye out for this kid.
The other point I must make, which I have made repeatedly, is how this roster indicates how good the Philadelphia Union can be over the next 3-5 years. Five out of the 22 players selected to Porter's roster are members of the Philadelphia Union- MacMath (GK), Williams (D), Okugo (M), McInerney (F), and Adu (M/F). Even with the slim chances that Adu stays in Philly for the long term, the combination of Okugo in the midfielder and Williams in the back could represent a recipe for success for some time. Kudos to their front office for assembling a young, talented squad and for playing a small, yet integral role in helping grow the US game.
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