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Hugo Perez takes charge of U-14 camp
by Paul Kennedy, May 9th, 2012 4:42AM

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[U.S. UNDER-14 BOYS] Former U.S. World Cup midfielder Hugo Perez will be in charge of the U.S. under-14 national team when it heads to the Home Depot Center for training, beginning Monday, and he has named 36 players to the roster. The squad includes his nephew, 14-year-old Joshua Perez, who recently returned to Chivas USA's academy program after training at Italian club Fiorentina.

One of the other forwards is Chicago Magic PSG's Elijah Rice, who scored three goals against a Barcelona youth team on the id2 all-stars' winter trip to Spain.

Two players – midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez and defender Kyle Gruno – were born in 1999, while the other 34 camp participants were born in 1998.

U.S. U-14 Camp Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alan Carrillo (Chivas USA; La Mirada, Calif.), Abraham Romero (LA Galaxy; Altadena, Calif.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.), Andrew Verdi (FC Delco; Ivyland, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (12): Hugo Arellano (Southbay Gunners; Norwalk, Calif.), Daniel Barbir (PDA; Allentown, Pa.), George Braima (Columbus Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Kyle Gruno (New York Red Bulls; Saddle River, N.J.), Damian Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas Texas), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Franco Mestre (Albion; Coronado, Calif.), Luka Prpa (North Shore United; Wind Lake, Wis.), Juan Riley (Weston FC; Weston, Fla.), Joseph Schmidt (Internationals; Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Alexis Velela (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Trey Vinson (PWSI Courage Red; Manassas, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Eric Calvillo (Real SoCal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca De La Torre (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Athletico Santa Rosa; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (New York Red Bulls; Totowa, N.J.), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers; Watsonville, Calif.), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls; Trenton, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; St. Louis, Mo.), Emmanuel Perez (Sunrise Elite; Wellington, Fla.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Alexander Soto (TSF; Palisades Park, N.J.), Suniel Veerakone (Michigan Wolves; Caledonia, Mich.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; Allen, Texas)
FORWARDS (8): Sebastien des Pres (CV Manchester; Carlsbad, Calif.), Joe Gallardo (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Lagos Kunga (DDYSC Wolves Elite; Atlanta, Ga.), Dawson McCartney (FC Delco; Voorhees, N.J.), Joshua Perez (Chivas USA; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Sean Teixeira (New York Soccer Club; Trumbull, Conn.), Haji Wright (Galaxy Alliance; Los Angeles, Calif.)



25 comments
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.
    13 from California, 4 from Pensilvania, 3 from Texas, 5 New Jersey, 2 Michigan, 1 each from Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Connecticut, Florida.

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.
    I guess they forgot that Maryland have the number 3 ranked team in the nation and reigning region I champions the Bethesda U 14 team that have 14 players born in 1998 but I guess none of those kids is good enough for consideration.... Laughable to say the least!

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.
    Any american descendants were called to this camp??? Is this a U 14 USA national team or a Mexican national team???

  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
    "I guess they forgot that Maryland have the number 3 ranked team" Or perhaps they remembered that's irrelevant. "Any american descendants were called to this camp??? Is this a U 14 USA national team or a Mexican national team??? " Never mind the blatant racism of assuming Hispanic=Mexican, (Perez is Salvadoran if I recall), or that you can figure out how Americanized a kid is by his last name. . . Texeira/Silva are Portuguese names, Verdi/Gurrieri are Italian ones, McCartney/McKennie are Celtic, Panchot/des Pres are French, Schmidt is German, Pulisic and maybe Prpa is Slavic, Olosunde/Kunga sound African to me, and Veerakone sounds like. . . I don't know what, but not 'Mexican.'

  1. Jogo Bonito
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
    possible reverse racism warning :) just my observation here... finally a national selection that sounds like what the USA looks like to me! I guarantee the letter "Z" is represented more in this US selection than any before ... to me that equals progress

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
    Agreed Jogo. I counted 16 Hispanic names. I guess they are not accepted as American enough to Gonzalo who by his standards should not qualify himself for a U14 spot if he too were trying out. The Irony is dumbfounding.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.
    Hola Luis! I was wondering when something like this would happen, that is, the selection of what Jogo says is a "national selection that sounds like what the USA looks like..." And by any reach of the imagination vis-a-vis surnames, is Gonzalo Jouan's name Hispanic, Latino, Spanish, or does it fall under the category of a "Romance languages" origin? Sounds Portugese to me, but what do I know, my surname is of Portugese, Spanish, Italian origin, yet I am from Mexico. Go figure, and LOTS OF AND MUCHA SUERTE TO COACH PEREZ and the U14's! (Note: Jeez, it sure as heck took US Soccer a helluva long time to offer Hugo Perez an important position and recognized his contributions to US Soccer!)

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 1 p.m.
    Nothing to do with race! If you noticed I'm of Hispanic heritage also, did you noticed the name Gonzalo??? I was only curious. Ty!

  1. Horacio Garcia
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 2:15 p.m.
    So a national team only calls kids from 11 states??? My last count, the US had many more states than that.... The one that also mentioned that is irrelevant how good of a team is to have at least 1 player representing that team at the national team is wrong! I'm sure, that particular team as much as success that had the past few years, it had to have at least 1 kid that can play... How many players Real Madrid and Barcelona have in the National team in comparison with Malaga or Racing Santander??? So only those 11 states have kids that can get national level recognition??? If I recall well, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and many other states have very good soccer and not one kid from those states??? really???? either way... Good luck to Mr. Perez and the whole group!

  1. Horacio Garcia
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 2:21 p.m.
    Oh, one more. The Funes Mori twins that are both playing in the first team of colossal soccer club River Plate in Argentina grew up in Virginia but by US selectors standards and MLS visionaries were not good enough to be considered for a national team camp or MLS draft ,....hahaha but good enough to play at 19 years old for a club like River Plate of Argentina

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 3:47 p.m.
    Horacio, agreed. Lets create a list of Hispanic players overlooked by USA selection but recruited by other countries. The numbers are crazy.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 3:54 p.m.
    Careful commenters, Luis never played soccer and only looks for opportunities to race-bait.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.
    If anyone here takes Mr. College coach Gordon Hayes comment seriously check out late March blog about Olympic team. Ric let me know what you think about his rants. Gordon, Ric thinks this is a more adequate ethnic ratio on our U14. Any thoughts?

  1. Santiago
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
    But can they PLAY???? If they can play Half as Good, as Hugo, we are un for quite a treat. Those of us from the 88 Olympic Team, who were IN El Salvado, as the Bonfires were going Up in the Stadium, have NO doubt about Hugo's Loyalty or Ability... Mucho Suerte, Mi Amigo Hugo

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 4:44 p.m.
    Luis "I didn't even play soccer" Arreola - I have had enough of your race-baiting - just on here to warn others no matter what they say you will call them racist and your only goal is to have 11 starters on the US MNT as Mexican American.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
    What's your goal again Gordon? Sorry, Is that Race Baiting? All anyone has to do is check out that blog and they CA. Form their own opinion. Why you so worried? What do you think about 45% Hispanics on this team? O you think they picked the best athletes?

  1. Horacio Garcia
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 5:55 p.m.
    I don't really care where these kids are from. But shame on US youth soccer. To call a national team camp when in reality only 11 states are represented in this group is embarrassing! National team??? what is the selection criteria used to select these players?? Is anybody scouting players in other states???? How can somebody said that is irrelevant how a team is doing in order to invite a player to this camp?? Does the state of Connecticut who happen to have the number #1 ranked team in the nation, Beachside, it is possible that this team don't have a 98 player that can have any consideration for this camp?? or only California have talented 98 players??? Send scouters to watch kids play in their own environment, their own teams, follow them, get progress reports, don't select kids base on a 3 day invitation only camp. Allow minorities to have access to this so called "National team camps" What a freaking joke!!! Don't just invite kids because he is your nephew or your dad coach an academy team somewhere in PA and have some pull in US soccer. Politics, politics, politics.... Don't keep telling talented kids to leave their teams to go play BS US developmental academy in order to have a shot to a national team. Same shit! different day at US youth soccer.....

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: May 9, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.
    to Gonzalo, Luis, Horacio; It's really not fair to pick apart every U team out there and complain your region isn't properly represented. This is like referee calls: sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't and you just have to live with it. While I am gratified to see two CA-N players on this list, there are a dozen more CA-N kids out there who are (or will be) of equal quality. The challenge is determining the soccer IQ and vision of these kids. Perez is a short Hispanic ex-professional so my money is on him to chose talent over sprint times, creative with a good first touch over efficient defensive robots who can execute professional fouls. If our youth focus on the journey and not the destination, we can become a great football nation.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.
    I didn't pick em apart. I just made the head count. From what I have seen in the #3 ranked team in the nation for U13s(99/98) the 98s are surely not the strongest. To be a late 98 and play U13 with 99/98 is a disadvantage no matter how high you are ranked in the nation. You are better off playing on a U14 team of 98/97s to better raise your level. That being said, surely everyone agrees that the current system does not effectively target the best minorities. At least not in Illinois.

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 7:04 a.m.
    Luis I believe that the number #3 team in the nation that somebody mentioned in this post is a U 14, not a U 13 team and I do agree, for a 98 player is much better and challenging to be playing with the 97-98 group instead of the late 98-99 U 13,kids. Yes, most minorities in this country have no access to premier level soccer, since playing for a club in this area cost &1800-$2200.00 plus travel and so on and if you attempt to play per academy so cer, that cost. An increase to $3000.00 and those rosters have up to 30 kids, which only 18 can dress to play.... A real joke. Our great sport of soccer is the cheapest sport that you can play around the world, not here. If tevez

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 10:21 a.m.
    Given this current system it is clear that the 2 player identification venues have their own agendas. Odp wants the best players that are able to pay the $1500-$2000. ID2 holds 1 tryout and seems to consider Academy team players mostly. Maybe because it is not thorough enough or maybe because they believe these Academies have more credebility or maybe because they are all under US Club Soccer and there is a mutual interest. I don't know. What I do know is they both feed in to and recommend their players to the U.S.S.F. who has scouts out and about throughout the USA looking at U14s. If you strictly play in a Hispanic league there is very little chance you will know about any of these 3 things and it is so competitive that no one will let you know or recommend you unless there is a monetary interest. The top U14 team not having one player on the national team. Lets analize this. My son is the top 99 in Illinois and labeled top 10 by scouts. He chose to not play for the number one team in the region to further his development and undoubtedly made he right choice. He plays on 2 good teams ranked top 10-15 in Illinois but is a leader that many times is required to carry these teams. On the other #3 in the nation team he was only a goalie that many times would literally block 2 shots a game. He is now a top forward. He would have never achieved this on this top team and would probably not even be a top goalie with so little action. Don't you guys think that there are many players that wouldn't pick a lesser ranked team to achieve this type of development??

  1. Horacio Garcia
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
    R2 dad: I'm not deny that these group of kids are very good talented players, no doubt! and they well deserve to be called to this camp, my only concern is that only 11-12 states are represented in this group. In other major soccer powers, players are scouted and followed in their own clubs, of course, the teams that are doing the best will have more exposure to get the call, that is undeniable, just like any national team. Does blow my mind in the selection process in the US is that if a U13 team or U14 team is playing the finals of a regional tournament how can be possible that no one national team scouter is there????? They show up to ODP competitions were basically who is able to afford it gets in the ODP team, same goes for pre academy teams. If you can afford to pay up to 3K and pay for the travel expenses you are pretty much a pre academy player, at least here in the North East.... If somebody doubt this, just go check the level of a 98 pre academy team in this area....

  1. Horacio Garcia
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.
    Luis, agree with you about the cost of ODP (correct, money guarantee to pretty much a spot in the team) and to get invited to a ID2 camp, you better play for an academy team or be a PDA player! I still believe that if your team is pretty high up in the country year after year, I would imagine a scout will at least go to see this particular team once at least, specially when they play a Region I final or some other meaningful competition...

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
    I was under the impression that these scouts did attend these events. I know there is a big push to give Academies the credebility of being the only top player producing systgem even though they have not proven to be this effective. And now ID2 is recognized as an Olympic Identification something. Does this mean they will be more thorough in their search for top players? State Cup in Illinois costs about $200 a game per team if you play all 5 games to make it o finals. I know we won't be doing this tournament again at these prices. We have a good chance of making finals. We paid $65 for team parking for one day. That's crazy ancits going to get worse before it gets better. An IYSA official said there must be a fee for Odp so players will value the experience. ?? I told him that this is not the case on other countries and they semana to value it just fine. Is there any hope?

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: May 10, 2012 at 6:58 p.m.
    Luis, no hope here... Academy soccer in the US is a huge money making for some, in our area, DC UNITED have 30 roster players of 97/98 group at $3000.00 per kid, do the numbers...and only 18 dress to play. Baltimore bays 98 is one step above rec level, loosing to some D II teams by 4 goals, this is where IS scouts go get kids for national team recommendations.... I experienced academy soccer first hand where I'm from, we trained 5X per week, they bring us to practice in busses, provide the training gear each day and feed us a sandwich after training, the cost was 0!!!! zero, NADA!!!! Players that were there belong, period. Yes, no one scout was watching the finals of the Region I tournament, were the number #5 team in the nation (then, now #2, was playing against the #3 ranked team)no one.... Are you telling me that no one kid in that final was worth it of a look... Luis, no hope, still a freaking joke!


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