Commentary

U.S. U-18 boys kick off new cycle with Sweden trip

By Mike Woitalla

U.S. U-18 boys national team coach Javier Perez has named a 20-player roster for the 2015 Open Nordic Cup Tournament in Sweden, where the USA will face the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, followed by games against Iceland Wednesday and Sweden Friday, and a Sunday placement game.

The trip kicks off a new cycle for these U-18 players. All the players, besides 2000-born Georgia product Andrew Carleton, were born in 1999. They had been previously competing with the U-15 and U-16 national teams.

Carelton played up when he helped Georgia United reach the 2015 U-15/16 Development Academy semifinals. He was the USA's leading scorer with six goals when the John Hackworth-coached U-15s won the Torneo Delle Nazioni in May.

Goalkeeper Eric Lopez, also a member of the Torneo Delle Nazioni champs, last year became the youngest player to sign a USL professional contract when at age 15 he inked with LA Galaxy II. The only foriegn-based player on the squad is Northern Californian midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez, who joined Monterrey's youth program after earning MVP honors at the 2013 Alianza de Futbol finals.

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U.S. U-18 men’s national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (6): Jordi Avila (Kendall SC; Hialeah Gardens, Fla.), Calvin Aroh (New England Revolution; Glastonbury, Conn.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution; West Hartford, Conn.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; Columbia, Ill.), Callum Stretch (Unattached; Encino, Calif.), Carson Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Raul Aguilera Jr. (Orlando City; Sanford, Fla.), Jose Carranza (DC United; Manassas, Va.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey/Mexico; Santa Rosa, Calif), Gabriel Paniagua (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Juan Torres (Georgia United; Lilburn, Ga.).
FORWARDS (6): Andrew Carleton (Georgia United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Lucas Del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Col.), Wilson Harris (Real So Cal; Encino, Calif.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; Boston, Mass.), Aristotle Zarris (RSL Arizona; Casa Grande, Ariz.).

U.S. U-18 girls head to Mexico City

The U.S. U-18 girls national team's Mexico City training camp Aug. 8-16 will include games against Mexico's U-20 women Aug. 13 and Aug. 15. The 20-player U.S. squad will be led by U.S. Soccer Women’s Youth Technical Director April Heinrichs.

The U.S. players were all born in 1998, thus eligible for the 2016 and 2018 U-20 Women's World Cup, the latter being the main goal for this group.


Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer.

U.S. U-18 women’s national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.), Gabrielle Kouzelos (Internationals SC; Wadsworth, Ohio.).
DEFENDERS (6): Malia Berkely (Fairfield Optimist SC; Liberty Township, Ohio.), Tierna Davidson (De Anza Force; Menlo Park, Calif.), Julie Doyle (San Diego Surf; Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Taylor Hallmon (Concorde Fire; Panama City, Fla.), Samantha Hiatt (Crossfire Premier; Newcastle, Wash.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Grace Bahr (Internationals SC; Wadsworth, Broadview Heights, Ohio), Marissa Bosco (Eclipse SC; St. Charles, Ill.), Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Jordan Harr (Dallas Sting; Sachse, Texas), Arlie Jones (San Diego Surf; Las Vegas, Nev.), Daria Petredes (Beach FC; Yorba Linda, Calif.), Haley Schueppert (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.).
FORWARDS (5): Jenna Bike (Connecticut FC; Trumbull, Conn.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Mia Gyau (Bethesda Lions; Silver Springs, Md.), Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa United; Santa Rosa, Calif.).

Taliaferro trains U.S. U-16 girls in California

The U.S. U-16 girls national team, with 21 players born in 2000 and three 2001s, are training in Chula Vista, Calif., Aug. 1-9 under Coach Tricia Taliaferro, U.S. Soccer’s main scout for the 2000 birth year.

This marks the U-16s' third camp of the year. All the players are age-eligible for the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016, but the main birth year for that tournament is 1999. This age group is in a two-year cycle that will graduate players to the U-18 and then the U-20 national teams with the goal of playing in the 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

U.S. U-16 girls national team:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Katherine Asman (Tophat SC; Roswell, Ga.), Hensley Hancuff (Oklahoma FC; Edmond, Okla.), Katie Meyer (Eagles SC; Newbury Park, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (7): Maycee Bell (Sporting FC Blue Valley; Wichita, Kans.), Emily Crocco (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Margot Ridgeway (Match Fit Academy; Fair Haven, N.J.), Skylar Smith (SoCal Blues; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Julietta Thron (Albertson Fury; Caldwell, N.J.), Madeline Vergura (FC Stars of Mass.; Concord, Mass.), Kennedy Wesley (SoCal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Ravin Alexander (Ohio Elite; Fairfield, Ohio), Corianna Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Sierra Enge (Carlsbad Elite; Cardiff, Calif.), Brianna Martinez (New Mexico Rush; Albuquerque, N.M.), Kylie Minamishin (Honolulu Bulls; Mililani, Hawaii), Ashlynn Serepca (Carolina Rapids; Cornelius, N.C.), Kali Trevithick (Crossfire Premier; Sammamish, Wash.).
FORWARDS (7): Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Lia Godfrey (Oklahoma FC; Edmond, Okla.), Sophie Hirst (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.), Nohemi Mendoza (Heat FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Allison Schlegel (Colorado Storm; Parker, Colo.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Fort Collins, Colo.), Brooke Wilson (San Diego Surf; Vista, Calif.).

D.C. United to play in U-13 Concacaf Champions League Tournament

D.C. United will represent the USA at the U-13 Concacaf Champions League Tournament in Mexico City Aug. 4-8.

U.S. Soccer chose D.C. United to represent the Development Academy at the eight-team tournament because of its record of developing players and its senior team’s history in Concacaf play. D.C. United became the first MLS team to win the Concacaf club title, winning the Champions Cup in 1998, and it has made an MLS record 10 appearances in what became the Concacaf Champions League in 2008.

Since 2007, the D.C. United Academy has placed 38 players on U.S. youth national teams from the U-14 to U-23 age groups and has helped develop professional players such as Bill Hamid, Andy Najar, Romain Gall, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton and Conor Shanosky.

“It’s a great honor for our club to be selected and represent U.S. Soccer in this tournament,” said D.C. United U-13 Academy head coach John Bello. "For them it’ll be a real eye-opener. … Sometimes because these guys play for an MLS Academy, they’ll think they’ve already achieved everything, when the reality is they need to keep working really hard on their development in order to compete at an international standard, which is what their overall objective is. Seeing where they stack up internationally should give them a good gauge of where they stand and what they need to build on.”

U-13 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Tournament Teams
Montreal Impact (Canada), Herediano (Costa Rica), Chalatenango (El Salvador), Harbour View (Jamaica), Aguilas UAS (Mexico), Toluca (Mexico), Chepo FC (Panama), D.C. United.

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