CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Caleb Porter has named Sheanon Williams to the Olympic Qualifying Roster for the upcoming tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.
The 22-year-old Philadelphia Union defender was brought in to replace speedster Josh Gatt who was recalled earlier in the week by his club team in Norway. Molde FK had suffered a spate of recent injuries, forcing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to cancel Gatt's opportunity to help secure the U-23's advancement to London.
Williams has played in recent camps for Porter and is a veteran of the Youth National Team program, having played also with the U-17 and U-20 teams. Two Team of the Week awards with Philadelphia last season showed why he was locked in as a starter from the beginning of the season, and that parlayed into a three year contract extension signed last month.
Losing Gatt and gaining Williams will change the complexion of the team by a certain amount as the speed and attacking ability of Gatt is lost, but stronger defensive ability is gained with Williams. How Porter adjusts his tactics will be a focal point in the tournament, which begins on Thursday against Cuba.