13 March 2012
UPDATE: It was announced Tuesday that Tony Taylor would be added to the final US U-23 camp ahead of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. Taylor is set to arrive in Nashville on Wednesday. The official 20-man roster for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament does not have to be submitted until March 20th, but it is believed that this is the roster Porter will use for the tournament.
Taylor last played for the U-23s in the Yanks 2-0 win over Mexico in February, as he played the final 23 minutes of that match.
Caleb Porter announced who he will take to battle with him when the U.S. fights for its right to be a part of the 2012 summer Olympics in London. Porter announced a roster of 19 players on Monday that will congregate on March 13th to begin their final preparations for Olympic qualifying, which begins on March 22nd for the U.S.
Here is a look at the full roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United; Annandale, Va.), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire; Lilburn, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (6): Josh Gatt (Molde; Plymouth, Mich.), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes; Durham, N.C.), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact; Lancaster, Pa.), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union; Potomac, Md.), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mix Diskerud (Gent; Oslo, Norway), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund; Berlin, Germany), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City; Prior Lake, Minn.), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; Bryan, Texas)
Normally, a coach would name his full squad of 20 players for the penultimate training camp, but in this case Porter appears to be holding out to see whether or not Dilly Duka will be fully fit and able to contribute to the U.S.'s qualifying attempt. Duka said "he heard his hamstring snap during the game(against Colorado over the weekend," while an MRI revealed it’s a pull and he could be out for at least several weeks.
If Duka is not able to be a part of the this team, Porter has a few other options he can look to. One of them being Alferdo Morales, who surprisingly did not make the initial roster. One would have figured he would be a part of the squad after he was in the starting XI in 23's most recent friendly against Mexico. Porter could also opt for West Ham United midfielder, Sebastian Lleteget, who has been called in for a number of camps during the past few months.
Overall, there are no real surprises to this roster, in fact it is almost exactly what I expected it to be. The frontline is overflowing with young and exuberant talent with the likes of Shea, Agudelo, Bunbury, Gyau, and Boyd. It is certainly going to be a battle for minutes amongst that group, although I do not really envision Gyau or Shea being used as a forward, they will most likely play in the wide attacking role.
The midfield is also stacked with talent with Freddy Adu and Mix Diskerud leading the charge. These two combined very well in the exhibition against Mexico and made just about every US fans mouth salivate at the idea what these two can accomplish together.
The backline is the only real area of concern in this squad, come to think of it, the backline is pretty much the only area of concern in every US squad. In the previous match Ike "the freak" Opara and Perry Kitchen held down the central defense in a solid effort, but I am not so sure they will be abel to handle the level presented to them.
Josh Gatt is certainly a welcomed addition to this squad. Gatt has not previously been able to train with the squad due to injury, but he has recently returned and appears to be in good form. Expect to see Gatt hold down the right back position as Porter likes his full backs to use their pace and skill to aid in the attack. If the US qualify, better yet, when the US qualify, look for Porter to add some veteran leadership to this backline as the there is no real dominating force in that backline.
Lastly, we come to the keepers. There isn't much to say about them other than they have been very very impressive in their outings with U-23's and full USMNT. The interesting sub-plot here is, who does Porter go with as his number 1?? Personally, I am fine with either, but if i had to go out on a limb I think Hamid gets the job.
What do you think of the roster?
Any roster snubs?
Players you think don't deserve the call-up?