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
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"Being on the wrong side of an election result -- if that's what happens -- is ...
Concacaf in emergency mode -- again    
With Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb provisionally suspended by FIFA and Concacaf from all soccer activities for ...
What They're Saying: Jack Warner    
"I want to tell you, that whatever is planned for me, negatively, shall not succeed." -- ...
What They're Saying: Diego Maradona    
"I was treated like a crazy person. Now the FBI has told the truth. There is ...
NSCAA names Lynn Berling-Manuel as new CEO    
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has named Lynn Berling-Manuel as its new chief executive ...
Defiant Blatter: 'I cannot monitor everyone'    
Sepp Blatter spoke on Thursday for the first time since the raids of Wednesday morning by ...
ICYMI MLS: Timbers leader is back, San Jose gets ASG    
Will Johnson returned after missing eight months with a broken leg to lead Portland past D.C,. ...
Road to Vancouver: Oklahoman Dike makes Nigeria's squad    
Courtney Dike, youngster sister of MLS and NASL veteran Bright Dike and a sophomore at Oklahoma ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: Canada's Christine Sinclair    
No less a player than U.S. women's national team keeper Hope Solo says Christine Sinclair is ...
MLS: This week ...    
The Seattle Sounders moved into first place in the Western Conference and overall MLS standings with ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives