CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will take an 18-player roster to the U-18 International Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 6-11.
While at the four-team event, the U.S. will face Norway on June 6, Portugal on June 8 and Sweden on June 10 in a round-robin style competition. The U.S. U-18s will also play a pre-tournament friendly against Primeira Liga powerhouse Benfica’s U-19 squad on June 3.
Former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Eddie Lewis will guide the squad while U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez assists with the senior Men’s National Team as it prepares for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The U.S. roster features sixteen players who are currently registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy Clubs, including Minnesota Thunder midfielder Mukwelle Akale, who was named the tournament MVP at the Copa del Atlantico this past February in Canary Islands, Spain.
Akale’s 23 previous Youth National Team call-ups across all age levels are second on the roster only to FC Utrecht striker Rubio Rubin’s 35 and Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Ben Swanson’s 25.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, relative new-comer Mauricio Pineda is attending just his second event and first international competition with the U.S. YNT program. Pineda and midfielders Collin Fernandez and Cameron Lindley represent the largest contingent of players from one team; all three are part of the Chicago Fire Academy.
U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team International Tournament Schedule:
Date Opponent Time (Local)
June 3 vs. Benfica U-19 4:30 p.m.
June 6 vs. Norway U-18 4 p.m.
June 8 vs. Portugal U-18 6 p.m.
June 10 vs. Sweden U-18 4 p.m.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chase Gasper (Bethesda Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids; Longmont, Colo.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City; Oveido, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Brooks Lennon (RSL Arizona; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (RSL Arizona; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (4): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca, Fla.), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)
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.)