Eight active MLS players have been called in by new United States Under-23 head coach Caleb Porter as part of his 31-man roster for his first camp in charge of the side.
The camp is scheduled to be held in Duisberg, Germany, from Nov. 7-16 at the Sportschule Wedau, a German sporting school.
"The goal was to put together a comprehensive group of players to further evaluate the pool while building towards Olympic qualifying," said Porter in a press release put out by US Soccer. "By having a mix of domestic and overseas-based professionals, we can develop a clearer picture of who can help us in qualifying and hopefully the 2012 Olympic Games."
Three MLS goalkeepers are on Porter’s roster, including Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire, David Bingham of the San Jose Earthquakes and Home Grown signee Jon Kempin of Sporting KC. In defense, Porter called up D.C. United pair Ethan White and Perry Kitchen as well as Zarek Valetin of Chivas USA.
Kitchen and Valentin played for Porter in college at the University of Akron.
The MLS midfield representative is Dilly Duka of the Columbus Crew, while 2011 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 overall pick Omar Salgado of the Vancouver Whitecaps is the lone MLS forward called in.
LA Galaxy Academy midfielder Jose Villarreal also got an invite, and there could be more MLS representatives joining Porter’s squad as the playoffs shake out. Possible additions include Freddy Adu, Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo, Michael Stephens, Danny Cruz, Luis Gil, Amobi Okugo and Sheannon Williams.
As the camp is running concurrently with Jurgen Klinsmann’s full national team camp in France and Slovenia, national team regulars who are age-eligible for the U-23s such as Jozy Altidore, Brek Shea, Timothy Chandler, Bill Hamid and Danny Williams aren’t likely to join Porter’s group.
Nonetheless, Klinsmann says the two camps will be in constant contact.
"It is very important that we are all on the same page in how we are working with the national teams and that we are all pulling in the same direction, since all roads lead to the senior team," said Klinsmann in the release. "They will have full support from the national team, and their camps will be run just like ours. In this initial camp, they will gather as much information as possible. As this group gets together, it is important for all these players to understand that they have a very unique opportunity."
Of the overseas contingent called up by Porter, Germany is the best-represented country with 12 of Porter’s 31 calling German clubs home. That includes one-time midfield wunderkind Charles Renken of Hoffenheim, who has recovered from a pair of severe knee injuries, as well as forwards Terrence Boyd of Borussia Dortmund and Bobby Wood of 1860 Munich, both of whom are on the fringes of their respective club’s first team.
Two other names that will attract attention are winger Joe Corona of Club Tijuana, who has previously accepted call-ups to the Mexican U-23s but is not cap-tied, and forward Conor Doyle of Derby County. Doyle has previously stated that he’s open to a call-up by Ireland.
FULL US U-23 ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; Pleasanton, Calif.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire, Lilburn, Ga.), Jon Kempin (Sporting KC; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (9): Gale Agbossoumonde (Eintracht Frankfurt; Syracuse, N.Y.), Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin; Berlin), Sean Cunningham (Molde; Troy, Mich.), Royal-Dominique Fennell (Stuttgarter Kickers; Göppingen, Germany), Greg Garza (out of contract; Grapevine, Texas), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis), Will Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA; Lancaster, Pa.), Ethan White (D.C. United; Kensington, Md.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mixx Diskerud (Stabæk; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco), Tyrone McCargo (Nürnberg; Nürnberg, Germany), Charles Renken (Hoffenheim; Edwardsville, Ill.), Caleb Stanko (Freiburg: Holly, Mich.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
FORWARDS (9): Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund, Dortmund), Conor Doyle (Derby County; McKinney, Texas), Josh Gatt (Molde; Plymouth, Mich.), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim; Silver Springs, Md.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha Berlin; Berlin), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas), Tony Taylor (Atlético Clube de Portugal; Jacksonville, Fla.), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich; Irvine, Calif.), Andrew Wooten (Kaiserslautern; Worms, Germany)