BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
US U-23 head coach Caleb Porter today announced his 19-man roster for the Olympic qualifying tournament that will take place later this month in Nashville and Kansas City.
Porter further announced that one more player would be added soon once he secured a release from the player's club.
There are no real surprises to the roster as a majority of the players have already taken part in numerous camps so far.
The United States team is a strong roster but the team will be without three of its best U-23 players since Hoffenheim's Danny Williams, Nurnberg's Timothy Chandler, and AZ Alkmaar's Jozy Altidore were not released by their club.
In defense, the team will be lead by Montreal's Zarek Valentin and San Jose's Ike Opara who are expected to start in central defense.
In the midfield, the core will be Philadelphia's Amobi Okugo and Gent's Mix Diskerud who have been consistent since the first camp in November. Long-time veteran Freddy Adu is also expected to play a big role after being a standout at the 2008 Olympics.
On the wings the US will have a huge speed advantage with Josh Gatt who is a regular with the Norwegian champion Molde, Hoffenheim's Joe Gyau, and FC Dallas' Brek Shea.
In the forward positions, the US will be lead by New York's Juan Agudelo and Borussia Dortmund's Terrence Boyd who have both been capped by the senior US national team.
As for the one player that is to be added, the most likely name is Herth Berlin's Alfredo Morales but his release could be complicated since he is regularly in the matchday 18 for the Bundesliga club.
The United States will open up group play on March 22 with a game against Cuba. On March 24 they will take on Canada. They will then conclude group play on March 26 against El Salvador. All games will take place in Nashville.
Should the United States finish in the top two of their group, they will head to Kansas City for semifinal game that will determine whether or not they qualify for the 2012 Olympic games this summer in London.
United States U-23 Roster
Hamid, Bill - DC United (MLS)
Johnson, Sean - Chicago Fire (MLS)
Gatt, Josh - Molde (Norway)
Kitchen, Perry - DC United (MLS)
Opara, Ike - San Jose (MLS)
Sarkodie, Kofi - Houston (MLS)
Valentin, Zarek - Montreal (MLS)
Villafana, Jorge - Chivas USA (MLS)
Adu, Freddy - Philadelphia (MLS)
Corona, Joe - Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Diskerud, Mix - Gent (Belgium)
Jeffrey, Jared - Mainz (Germany)
Okugo, Amobi - Philadelphia (MLS)
Stephens, Michael - Los Angeles (MLS)
Agudelo, Juan - New York (MLS)
Boyd, Terrence - Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Bunbury, Teal - Kansas City (MLS)
Gyau, Joe - Hoffenheim (Germany)
Shea, Brek - FC Dallas (MLS)