(CHICAGO) Nov. 9, 2015 - U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 19 players to Recife for two friendlies against Brazil. The teams will first square off on Nov. 11 in Recife in a match that kicks off at 6 p.m. ET, before traveling north to Belém, Brazil on Nov. 15 for the second head-to-head, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. Both games will be available on FOX Sports 1.
The USA is coming off a third-place finish in the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, a result that extended its quest for a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The team will face off with Colombia in March in a home-and-away playoff in one final qualifying opportunity. Nine players that competed for the U.S. in the qualifying tournament are back for this trip, including the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Jerome Kiesewetter.
"These matches against Brazil are a huge opportunity for us," Herzog said. "On one hand you have a strong challenging South American opponent in Brazil, with a playing style that's similar to that of Colombia, and on the other we'll get to experience playing in Brazil, which is where we hope to be next summer for the Olympics."
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (MK Dons; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Leeds United; Cleveland, Ohio), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), Shane O’Neill (Royal Mouscron; Boulder, Colo.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Dave Romney (LA Galaxy; Irvine, Calif.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire; Milwaukee, Wisc.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers; Bethesda, Md.)
FORWARDS (3): Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; Leander, Tex.), Maki Tall (FC Sion; Washington, D.C.)
- The U-23 MNT last competed against Brazil in Oct. 2014, falling to the Seleção 3-0 in Brasilia. Seven players that were with the team for that trip return to Brazil this time around.
- John Brooks joins the U-23 MNT for this first time in 2015. The Bundesliga defender started in 10 matches for the senior MNT this season. He scored in the senior team’s comeback victory against then sixth-ranked Netherlands in June. The World Cup goal scorer is making his way back from injury.
- At 17-years-old, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is the youngest player on the roster. The U-21 Tottenham Hotspur captain made his first appearances with the U-23 MNT in last year's match against Brazil and was also included during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October when he scored his first goal for the U-23s.
- Cody Cropper was unavailable for the qualifying tournament as he was recovering from injury. The MK Dons backstop returns for this camp. He has started in five games for the U-23’s and earned a shutout in the USA’s 3-0 win against Mexico in April.
- The call-up is the first for Dave Romeny to any U.S. Youth National Team. He is a product of the LA Galaxy Academy program.
- The roster is made up of a diverse mix of players from clubs around the world. Nine players represent MLS clubs, three play in England, three in Germany, and a player each from Mexico, Belgium, Scotland and Switzerland.