CHICAGO (Sept. 24, 2012) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the team’s upcoming trip to Alicante, Spain from Sept. 29-Oct. 6 to compete in the 2012 AGS Cup.
The U.S., which finished in second place at the 2011 AGS Cup, was placed into Group B of the tournament along with the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Group A features the USA’s CONCACAF rivals Mexico and Canada paired with Morocco and Russia.
Tournament play begins on Sept. 29 as the U.S. squares off against Azerbaijan at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET). The U.S. faces Georgia on Sept. 30 at 12 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) and ends group play on Oct. 1 against the United Arab Emirates at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).
Depending on the team’s results in group play, the U.S. will contest a playoff match against a team from Group A on either Oct. 3 or 4 before finishing the tournament with a placement match on Oct. 6.
All 20 players are part of the 2012 Fall Semester roster at the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program and train full-time in Bradenton, Fla., under the guidance of head coach Richie Williams.
Eighteen of the players selected to travel for the AGS Cup were born in 1996, with midfielders Mukwelle Akale and Ben Swanson as the only players born in 1997.
Six players represent the state of California, while two each hail from North Carolina and New Jersey, and Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut and Texas are represented by one player apiece.
Forward Wesley Wade, who won the 2011-12 U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship as part of the New York Red Bulls Academy, earned the 2011 AGS Cup Golden Boot with four goals in last year’s competition.
On a club level, U.S. Soccer Development Academy sides LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls are represented by two players each. Sixteen players on the roster are currently registered with Development Academy teams for the 2012-13 season.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders FC; Woodinville, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Bryce Cregan (PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (LA Galaxy; Van Nuys, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)