[U.S. UNDER-23 MEN] U.S. under-23 national team coach Caleb Porter called up what is expected to be close to his squad for Olympic qualifying for a 10-day training camp that will conclude with a match against Mexico's U-23s Feb. 29 in Frisco, Texas.
Feb. 29 is an international fixture date so Porter has the chance to bring in just about any player he wishes. Five foreign-based players will miss the start of camp because of club commitments.
Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Bill Hamid and Brek Shea have all played for Jurgen Klinsmann's senior national team.
Four players were called up from Germany: defenders Alfredo Morales, who has recently been starting for Hertha Berlin, Mainz II midfielder Jared Jeffrey, who impressed at the recent U-23 camp, and forwards Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund) and Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), both promoted to their respective first teams this winter.
Freddy Adu, who played on the 2008 Olympic team, is one of three Philadelphia Union players in camp along with Amobi Okugo and Jack McInerney.
Bunbury was one of four former Porter players at Akron along with defenders Perry Kitchen, Kofi Sarkodie and Zarek Valentin.
Josh Gatt, who is playing again after suffering an ankle injury at the January U-23 camp, was not released by Norwegian champion Molde.
Several other U.S. senior internationals are eligible as U-23s -- Jozy Altidore, another 2008 holdover, and German-Americans Timmy Chandlerand Danny Williams -- but they are not expected to be called up for qualifying.
“I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get,” Porter said of the Feb. 29 friendly. “We’re going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time.”
The U.S. U-23s will scrimmage FC Dallas Feb. 22 and the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions Feb. 24.
“The No. 1 priority in this camp is to see our guys in games and to build a little bit of that rhythm by playing multiple games in a short amount of time,” Porter said. “Everything is geared toward the Mexico game, but we want to get a couple of games early in the week to get guys minutes so we can look at everybody to help with those final roster decisions leading into qualifying.”
U.S. U-23 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2):Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire).
DEFENDERS (7):Greg Garza (Club Tijuana/MEX), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin/GER), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafana (Chivas USA).
MIDFIELDERS (6):Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX), Mix Diskerud (Gent/BEL), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz/GER), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (Los Angeles Galaxy).
FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim/GER), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia/POR).