The World Cup is, and should be, the priority of any national soccer team for men or women. But the U.S. men’s national team program also needs to focus on qualifying for and participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
U.S. U-23 coach Caleb Porter has revealed the list of the players that will focus on preparing for the Olympic qualifier tournament to take place in the U.S. in March.
The players that stand out are the goalkeeper Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire and midfielder Joe Corona of the Mexican League (considered by many to deserve a spot on the senior national team).
The players, and coaches, need to show a commitment to youth development by competing strongly in these tournaments.
It seems a changing of the guard is coming for the U.S. men’s national team with some of its star players reaching their mid and late 30s, and the U.S. needs to prepare the next generation.
Olympic qualifiers and tournaments will offer preparation against some of the best youth players around the world, and a medal in competition would also be a great step to increasing the ever-growing profile of soccer in the United States.
Below is the complete list of U-23 team players.
Goalkeepers: David Bingham (San Jose), Cody Cropper (Ipswich, England), Sean Johnson (Chicago) and Jon Kempin (Sporting KC).
Defenders: Gale Agbossoumonde (Eintracht Frankfurt-GER), Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin-GER), Sean Cunningham (Molde-NOR), Royal-Dominique Fennell (Stuttgarter Kickers-GER), Greg Garza (sin club), Perry Kitchen (D.C.), Will Packwood (Birmingham-GBR), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), Ethan White (D.C.)
Midfielders: Joe Corona (Tijuana-MEX), Mixx Diskerud (Stabaek-NOR), Dilly Duka (Columbus), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz-GER), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham-GBR), Tyrone McCargo (Nuremberg-GER), Charles Renken (Hoffenheim-GER), Caleb Stanko (Freiburg-GER), Jose Villarreal (Los Angeles)
Forwards: Terrence Boyd (Hertha Berlin-GER), Conor Doyle (Derby-GBR), Josh Gatt (Molde-NOR), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim-GER), Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha Berlin-GER), Omar Salgado (Vancouver-CAN), Tony Taylor (Atletico Clube-POR), Bobby Wood (1860 Múnich-GER), Andrew Wooten (Kaiserslautern-GER).
For more sports news, visit Terra.com.