The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will embark on an international training camp featuring four games in San Jose, Costa Rica from Aug. 2-13, where the USA will play Concacaf counterparts Mexico and Costa Rica two times apiece.
The USA will first face Mexico on Aug. 6, followed by Costa Rica on Aug. 7. After two days of rest, the U-17 MNT will face Los Ticos on Aug. 10 before concluding with El Tri on the 12th.
U.S. head coach John Hackworth has called up 23 players for the international friendlies, including four players receiving their first call up to the U-17 player pool: Sagir David Arce (Monarcas Moreila), Jahlane Forbes (Orlando City SC), Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City) and Antino Lopez (Shattuck-Saint Mary's).
“Being able to travel to Central America and play two of the best teams in Concacaf gives our players and staff the opportunity to evaluate exactly where we are at in this point of the cycle,” Hackworth stated. “In addition, we continue to grow the 2002/2003 pool by selecting a few players that will represent the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team for the first time. As we move closer to World Cup qualifying, this experience is invaluable as it is impossible to replicate what playing opponents like Mexico and Costa Rica in Central America is really like until you actually do it. The lessons these young men will learn on this trip will help them tremendously as they continue to develop.”
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps; Calgary Alberta)
DEFENDERS (9): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Michael Barragan (Atlas FC; Guadalajara, Mexico), Jahlane Forbes (Orlando City SC; Clermont, Fla.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club, Tampa, Fla.), Antino Lopez (Shattuck-Saint Mary's; Las Vegas, Nev.), Joseph Scally (New York City F.C.; Lake Grove, N.Y.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Flores (Shattuck- Saint Mary's; Half Moon Bay, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (New York City FC; Bedford Corners, N.Y.), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (West Ham United; Chester, N.J.)
FORWARDS (7): Sagir David Arce (Monarcas Moreila; Chihuahua, Mexico), Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.), Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Diego Lopez (Atlanta United FC; Chino, Calif.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Fresno, Calif.), Benjamin Redzic (FC Dallas; Carrollton, Texas), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.)
The roster is mostly made up of players born in 2002 – the birth-year cutoff for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup – and one born in 2003 (Freeman).
The U-17 MNT is more than halfway through the first year of a two-year cycle that is focused on qualifying for the next U-17 World Cup, through the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. The camp marks the sixth gathering for the U-17’s during the cycle. The 2017 Nike International Friendlies marked the group’s first gathering and was followed shortly thereafter by the historic Men’s Youth National Team Summit. In February, the group assembled at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center for a domestic camp, which served as a preparation opportunity for the inaugural Sport-Chain Cup, where the USA claimed the title.
While the team’s most recent camp came at the beginning of June in Bradenton, most of the squad competed with their club teams in the 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs throughout June and July. At the culminating event for the highest-level youth players in the country, the Academy Championships, New York City FC teammates Andres Jasson, Giovanni Reyna and Joseph Scally took home the U-18/19 Championship, while Seattle Sounders FC duo Alfonso Ocampo Chavez and Ray Serrano collected the U-16/17 hardware.
- Development Academy Ties:
- Twenty-one of 23 players have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- Ocampo Chavez leads the way in seasons competed in the Academy program with five, competing three years at Merced Atlas Soccer Academy before moving on to Seattle Sounders FC.
- Eight players from the roster have earned Academy Best XI selections:
- Axel Alejandre (Central, U-15/16, 2017; Central, U-16/17, 2018)
- Luis Flores (Central, U-16/17, 2018)
- Kobe Hernandez (West, U-16/17, 2018)
- Mason Judge (East, U-15/16, 2017; East, U-16/17, 2018)
- Damian Las (Central, U-15/16, 2017; Central, U-16/17, 2018)
- Giovanni Reyna (East, U-15/16, 2017; East, U-16/17, 2018)
- Adam Saldana (West, U-16/17, 2018)
- Joseph Scally (East, U-16/17, 2018)
- Reyna also garnered 2018 Conference Player of the Year honors at the U-16/17 age level.
- Two U-17’s make up the cohort of MLS professionals called up:
- Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes)
- Joseph Scally (New York City FC)