CHICAGO (April 18, 2017) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Omid Namazi has named a 23-player roster for the 2017 Slovakia Cup, running April 24-28 in Trnava, Slovakia.
The USA begins its quest for back-to-back Slovakia Cup titles in Group B along with Hungary, Belarus, and Slovakia. The U-18 MNT opens the tournament against Hungary on April 24 at 11 a.m. ET, followed by Belarus on April 25 at 11 a.m. ET, and Slovakia on April 27 at 5 a.m. ET. The U.S. will wrap up the competition on April 28 in either the final or a consolation bracket, pending the team’s finish in Group B.
"The Slovakia Cup has been held for many years now,” Namazi said. “We entered the tournament last year with our U-19 group, Brad Friedel's group, and Brad's group was able to win it. And now this year, with the U-18's, our goal is the same. We are going with a very good group of players. Obviously, we are coming to the end of this (U-18 player pool) cycle, so our aim is to evaluate the players more, but also have some good performances and hopefully win the tournament."
The U.S. travels to Slovakia on Tuesday, April 18, for five days of training before taking on Hungary. The U-18 MNT, which consists of players born Jan. 1, 1999 or later, held a 28-player domestic training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. in January, marking the team’s lone meeting this year.
2017 Slovakia Cup Groups:
Group A: Russia, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland, Turkey
Group B: Slovakia, USA, Hungary, Belarus
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brandon Austin (Tottenham Spurs; U.S. Virgins Islands) Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders; Tukwila, Wash.), Brady Scott (DeAnza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): Jonathan Esparza (Club Tijuana: Chula Vista, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Leicester City; Wyckoff, N.J.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution Academy; West Hartford, Conn.), Jack Maher (Scott Gallagher; Caseyville, Ill.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; Columbia, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Paolo Belloni (Genoa FC; Delray Beach, Fla.), Koby Carr (Texas Rush; San Antonio, Texas), Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC; Manassas, Va.), Brian Perez (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
FORWARDS (7): Shaft Brewer (FC Dallas; Sacramento, Calif.), Lucas del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Colo.), Jonathan Gonzalez (FC Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Will Inalien (Portland Timbers; Tamarac, Fla.), Emanuel Perez (CASL; Garner, N.C.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution Academy; Hamilton, Mass.)
- Seventeen players on the roster have registered at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, while 16 players have spent time with an Academy team during the 2016-17 season.
- Forward Justin Rennicks leads the roster with five seasons in the Development Academy, all with the New England Revolution.
- M.L.S. club FC Dallas and Club Tijuana of Liga MX have the largest representation of players on the roster with three each: Brewer, Servania and Pomykal (FC Dallas); and Esparza, Perez and Uribe (Club Tijuana).