Duka named to U.S. U-23 National Team roster for training camp in Frisco, Texas
CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2012) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Caleb Porter named a 23-player roster that includes Crew midfielder Dilly Duka as the group convenes Feb. 19 for a 10-day training camp in Frisco, Texas. The camp culminates with a match against Mexico’s U-23 National Team on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Univision. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
The training camp and Mexico match make up an important stretch for the U-23s as they get set for the Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, with group play kicking off March 22 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
“I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get,” Porter said. “We’re going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time.”
In addition to the Mexico match, the U.S. U-23s will hold scrimmages against FC Dallas of Major League Soccer on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and the North American Soccer League’s new franchise, the San Antonio Scorpions, on Friday, Feb. 24.
Five players who had not previously been in camp with the U-23 team will be on hand, including FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea, who has appeared in all nine of the U.S. Men’s National Team matches under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The 2011 U.S. Young Male Athlete of the Year and Bryan, Texas, native is coming off a strong season with FC Dallas that included MLS Best XI recognition and a nomination for MLS Most Valuable Player.
Juan Agudelo joins the camp after earning 14 appearances with the senior team last year. Agudelo was the first player to come out of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to earn a cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Fifteen of the 24 players are with MLS franchises, including Duka and Philadelphia Union teammates Freddy Adu, Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo.
CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins on March 22, with Group A games being played at LP Field in Nashville and Group B games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA was drawn into Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, while Group B is composed of Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
The semifinal and final matches will be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on March 31 and April 2, respectively. Individual tickets are on sale for the games in Nashville and Carson , and series tickets are available for the knockout phase in Kansas City.
U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Roster By Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (7): Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)