Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Porter confident about U-23 defenders
by Paul Kennedy, March 13th, 2012 10:36PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, olympics

MOST COMMENTED

[OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN] The USA heads into the Olympic qualifying tournament in Nashville, Tenn., with lots of attacking options. Does it have enough defensively? U.S. U-23 coach Caleb Porter likes the pairing of Ike Opara and Perry Kitchen in the middle, even though neither played there this past weekend in MLS.

"We really like Ike and Perry," said Porter. "Obviously, everybody in the camp still has to win a job, there's no decision made at this point on the starting lineup. The next eight days will determine that. But Ike and Perry did well as a tandem against Mexico [2-0 U.S. win on Feb. 29]. They did solid and together they provide a balance of what we want in those positions."

Opara, who has been injured much of his first two MLS seasons, didn't play in San Jose's 1-0 win over New England. Kitchen is playing as a holding midfielder this season for D.C. United, which fell to Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, on Saturday.

Porter says other players can play at center back.

"Zarek Valentin can also shift in there," he said. "He played in the last two camps in [Los Angeles] and Costa Rica and a little bit in this last camp in Dallas in that position and in numerous games. He's played in that spot with Montreal. Obviously, I've seen him there with my team at Akron. That's where he played for two years. He's a guy I think can shift in there along with Amobi Okugo. He can drop down there and play in that spot."

Versatility was a key factor in his selection of players for the tournament -- three group matches in five days and five games in 12 games overall.

"We feel good about our cover," said Porter. "What I like about our backs is they're very versatile. We can shift guys left and right back, like I said Zarek can go in the centerback, Perry can go to the outside back or even holding mid. Amobi has even seen some time in training and for a short period in one of the games at centerback. I think we're covered there."

Porter was expected to name a midfielder as the 20th player to his roster, but he went instead with an out-and-out striker in Tony Taylor of Portuguese Second Division leader Estoril.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Report: Frisco favorite for Hall of Fame site    
The late Lamar Hunt settled on Frisco, Texas, as the home for his MLS team, FC ...
MLS's new gold standard    
Heading into the final two months of the MLS regular season, D.C. United leads the Eastern ...
Giovinco out of Italy's Euro 2016 qualifiers    
Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco's return to the Italian national team after an absence of almost ...
What They're Saying: Mesut Ozil    
"Basti showed the entire world what kind of a leader he is at the World Cup. ...
Spector recalled for first time in 18 months    
Short on outside backs, U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called veteran defender Jonathan ...
What They're Saying: Brad Guzan    
"You always have someone either pushing you, or you're pushing someone else. That's the nature of ...
New York City FC gets Nemec off its books    
Slovakian Adam Nemec, the symbol of New York City FC's troubled season, is gone. The club ...
Making a List: European Summer Transfers, U.S. Abroad    
The European transfer market closed with little summer activity among Americans. Only a handful of Americans ...
Video Pick: Five fabulous misses from the Bundesliga    
Schadenfreude from the folks Bundesliga, who compiled the "best" squandered chances to score easy goals from ...
DeAndre Yedlin loaned to Sunderland     
American defender DeAndre Yedlin, who last January left the Seattle Sounders for Tottenham Hotspur, has moved ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives