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U-20 MNT Begins New Cycle at Stevan Vilotic Tournament in Serbia

CHICAGO (Aug. 28, 2015) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 23-player roster that will represent the United States at the 2015 Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament in Serbia.

The group will begin training on Aug. 30 in Subotica and begin tournament play against Serbia on Sept. 3, before traveling to Senta for a match against France on Sept. 4. The team will conclude the tournament with a placement match on Sept. 7.

“We’re giving a bunch of players an opportunity here to make an impression in the beginning, and I’m excited to be starting a new cycle that will hopefully end in the World Cup in South Korea in 2017,” Ramos said. “We’re taking 23 players in this camp, and the main reason for that is that we have back-to-back games. We play Serbia on Sept. 3 and we play France on Sept. 4, so those will be two completely different lineups and everybody will be able to get on the field and show themselves and show themselves against excellent competition.”

The Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament is the first test of a new U-20 cycle for the U.S. All 23 players from this group were born in 1997, although Erik Palmer-Brown has experience in this age group as he was a part of the 2015 U-20 MNT World Cup team. Thirteen other players participated in MNT camps with the U-18 team earlier this year.

Fourteen players from this roster represent clubs in Major League soccer, while five play in college, and the English Premier League, Bundesliga and USL each have single representatives on the squad. 22 players are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christian Herrera (Real Monarchs; Las Cruces, N.M.), Justin Vom Steeg (Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Nicholas Hinds (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Andrew Lombard (Northeastern; Montclair, N.J.), James Murphy (Players Development Academy; Scotch Plains, N.J.), Christian Onalfo (LA Galaxy; Redondo Beach, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Pablo Pelaez (Seattle Sounders FC; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.),
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amir Bashti (Stanford; Cupertino, Calif.), Collin Fernandez ( Chicago Fire, Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Abuchi Obinwa (Hannover 96; Orlando, Fla.), , Martin Salas (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Kyle Scott (Chelsea; Winterbourne, Bristol), Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew SC; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5):  Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Nebojsa Popovic (Saint Louis FC; Loznica, Serbia), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic PSG; Libertyville, Ill.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.)

U-18 MNT to Play at International Tournament in Portugal

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.)

Opportunity Knocks Chicago Magic PSG_s Maduabuchi Obinwa

Chicago Magic PSG defensive midfielder Maduabuchi Obinwa, an Orlando, Fla., native playing in his second Development Academy season, talks about how the Academy environment has shaped his technical abilities more quickly than he anticipated.
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