The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team gathered for its first College Identification Camp last week at the National Training Center in Carson, California, concluding the event with a 3-1 win against Club Tijuana’s Segunda Premier Team.
Paul Salcedo (California) Mac Steeves (Providence) and Brandon Vincent (Stanford) scored goals to lead the U-23s.
U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog spent three days working with the group of 28 collegiate players, which allowed the coaching staff to scout a new crop of talent as they continue preparations ahead of October’s qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“It was the first time that U.S. Soccer has had college camp like this,” Herzog said. “I got the chance to learn more about all of these players. After an intra-squad scrimmage and especially after the game against Tijuana, I was really pleased because I saw a lot of talent. We will certainly be watching.”
The camp took place across three days in Carson, run by Herzog and assistant coaches John Hackworth and Matthias Hamann.
“It’s something I would want to do again. It was great and fun to work with these kids,” Herzog said. “They were really, really ambitious. After the camp I told them it was really nice to work with them and they were very interesting and maybe next time we’ll do it a bit longer and it will be even better. There’s a chance that we’ll see some of these players again.”
The 28 players from the group now return to their colleges where they will prepare for the start of the NCAA soccer season.
“It was great that the college coaches helped us out a lot, both me and Jurgen [Klinsmann] to make the roster. We asked them to suggest the three or four of the best players at each position and then selected from there. It was interesting because there were a few different age groups. There were players from the ’93 age group and the youngest were ’96 and ’97. These players are about to start preseason at their colleges and it was important to take this opportunity.”
The U-23’s will be back in action in September when they travel to England for friendlies against England and Qatar.