CHICAGO (Jan. 28, 2014) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez named an 18-player squad for the Copa del Atlantico that runs from Jan. 30 – Feb. 8 in Las Palmas, Spain.
Making its first appearance at the prestigious tournament, the USA will open its Copa del Atlantico schedule against Spain on Feb. 4, before facing Argentina on Feb. 5 and the Canary Islands on Feb. 7.
Seventeen players on the U.S. roster have ties to U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, with 13 currently registered with Academy teams. Omar Castro of Eintracht Braunschweig, who has been named to his first camp or tournament roster under Perez, is the only player on the squad never to have played for an Academy team.
Four MLS Academies are represented on the roster with Real Salt Lake AZ sending two players (Christian Herrera and Sebastian Saucedo) and the Crew Soccer Academy (Ben Swanson), Sporting Kansas City (Erik Palmer-Brown) and San Jose Earthquakes (JT Marcinkowski) all sending one.
The USA will be one of the youngest teams at the tournament as it fields a mixed squad of 1996- and 1997-born players. Eight ’97-born players have been included after impressing Perez at the team’s last training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., earlier this month.
Five of the team’s ’97-born players (Mukwelle Akale, Marcinkowski, Palmer-Brown, Tommy Redding and Swanson) were also included for the U.S. U-18 MNT’s last international tournament in Limoges, France. In total, 14 players on the current roster featured at the Limoges tournament last October, helping the team finish second to host France with an unbeaten 2-0-1 record.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chase Gasper (Bethesda-Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Shaquell Moore (IMG Academy; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic PSG; Oviedo, Fla.), Tyler Turner (IMG Academy; Meriden, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Omar Castro (Eintracht Braunschweig; Plant City, Fla.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC; Plano, Texas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (5): Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG; Muskego, Wis.), Rubio Rubin (Unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC; Garland, Texas), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)