Roster: Six MLS homegrown signees in U.S. squad for U-17 World Cup qualifying

Coach Raphael Wicky  has named a 20-player roster for the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship (May 1-16 in Bradenton, Florida) that serves as qualifying for the 2019 U-17 World Cup (Sept 17-Oct 8) in Brazil. With six players who have signed MLS Homegrown contracts, including three who have already made MLS debuts, and several players who have already seen USL action, the roster is most experienced in U.S. U-17 history. Half the squad seen action at the pro level in 2019.

U.S. U-17 boys national team
Player (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire academy; Norridge, Ill.; 13/0)
12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps academy/CAN; Calgary, Alta.; 4/0)
4-Axel Alejandre (FC United academy; Chicago, Ill.; 14/0)
3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC academy; Cary, N.C.; 11/0)
13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy academy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 2/0)
14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC academy; Bronx, N.Y.; 10/0)
5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy academy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 14/1)
2-Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 14/1)
15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.; 3/0)
7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 7/2)
20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.; 13/0)
8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United academy; Poolesville, Md.; 0/0)
6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders; Las Vegas, Nev.; 0/0)
16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy academy; Panorama City, Calif.; 17/1)
18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union academy; Wayne, Pa.; 0/0)
17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.; 3/1)
19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Tacoma Defiance; Kent, Wash.; 14/5)
9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas; 6/1)
10-Giovanni Reyna (unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 8/1)
11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 6/3)

Joseph Scally (NYCFC), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City),  Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes), Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders), Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City) and Griffin Yow (D.C. United) have signed MLS homegrown contracts. Busio has made 13 MLS appearances, with four goals and one assist. Fuentes and Yow have each made one MLS appearance.

All the MLS Homegrowns besides Scally have played for their MLS teams' USL affiliates. Also having seen USL action are Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Tacoma Defiance), Kobe Hernandez (Galaxy II), Bryang Kayo (Loudoun United) and Jack de Vries (Bethlehem Steel). Pepi and Ocampo-Chavez are signed on pro contracts.

In the Seattle Sounders U-17 Generation adidas Cup title win last week, Leyva earned tournament MVP honors and Ocampo-Chavez won the Golden Boot with six goals in six games.

Giovanni Reyna, a longtime U.S. youth national team star, whose father, U.S. Hall of Famer Claudio Reyna, played at 1989 U-17 World Cup, trains at Borussia Dortmund but is not registered with the club.

• Atlanta United's George Bello, who made his MLS debut last season, is unavailable because of injury.

Sixteen players on the roster were born in 2002 and four in 2003: Mauricio Cuevas, Leyva, Freeman and Pepi. Players born in 2002 or later are eligible for the 2019 U-17 World Cup.

"I'm very excited about the team we've put together for this World Cup qualifying tournament," said Wicky, who was named U-17 head coach in March. "There's a lot of very good quality in this group. We brought together a strong roster for the mini-camp earlier this month, and now we've added a few more pieces with a lot of good characteristics. The players have brought a great mentality and we're excited and ready for a number of interesting games ahead."

Concacaf qualifying ...
The USA will face Canada (May 2), Barbados (May 4) and Guatemala (May 6) in Group F at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The top three teams will move into the round of 16. A team will need to win two knockout games to qualify for the 2019 Under-17 World Cup, which has been moved from Peru to Brazil. The Group F winner will face Guadeloupe, one of four teams that advanced from qualifying groups. The USA's group stage games will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and the Concacaf GO app.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications