Tsakiris, the U.S. U-16 boys head coach, in charge in the wake of John Hackworth having left U.S. Soccer in August for the USL's Louisville City FC, picked a 20-player roster for the Sept. 30-Oct. 8 trip during which the USA faces Argentina Oct. 4, Mexico Oct. 5 and and Chile Oct. 7. The U-17s are nine months into their two-year cycle and are preparing for the the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship that serves as qualifying for the 2019 U-17 World Cup.
“At this time of the cycle, it’s about trying to identify players to make the depth chart a little bit deeper,” Tsakiris said. “Any opportunity that we have to give players a chance to show they deserve to be in the pool and in the cycle at this important time is imperative. We want to reward guys who have done well for the U-16 boys national team. Tyler Freeman did very well in Costa Rica and now we’ll get a chance to evaluate if Cade Cowell and Mauricio Cuevas could potentially help our U-17s as they get closer to qualifying.”
• Six players are making their U-17 debits: Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Cuevas (LA Galaxy), James Dunning (Feyenoord), Mario Penagos (Sacramento Republic), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders academy) and Aiden Weaver (PA Classics).
• Three of the nation's top U-17s are not part of the trip. The 16-year-old Gianluca Busio has been playing for Sporting Kansas City, for which he has made six MLS appearances this season; George Bello, who started last weekend in Atlanta United's 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake; and NYCFC academy's Giovanni Reyna, who is reportedly headed to Borussia Dortmund when he turns 16 in November.
U.S. U-17 boys roster
Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.)
Damian Las (Chicago Fire academy; Norridge, Ill.).
Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.)
Adam Armour (North Carolina FC academy; Cary, N.C.)
Michael Barragan (Atlas Fuerzas Basicas; Guadalajara, Mexico)
Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Antino Lopez (Shattuck-St. Mary's; Las Vegas, Nev.)
Kenny Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.).
Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders academy; Bellevue, Wash.)
James Dunning (Feyenoord academy; Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.)
Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders academy; White Center, Wash.)
Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy academy; Panorama City, Calif.)
Aiden Weaver (PA Classics; Elizabethtown, Pa.)
Sagir David Arce (Monarcas Morelia Fuerzas Basicas; Chihuahua, Mexico)
Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes academy; Ceres, Calif.)
Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Sounders FC II; Kent, Wash.)
Mario Penagos (Sacramento Republic FC academy; Elk Grove, Calif.)
Ray Serrano (Sounders FC II; Graham, Wash.).