Henry Kessler and Matt Turner might realize some of their international-soccer ambitions sooner, rather than later.
The New England Revolution defender and goalkeeper received call-ups to the United States men’s national team’s January camp Tuesday, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced. Turner is set to be among 12 senior-national-team players who’ll practice alongside with the U.S. U-23 men’s team between Saturday and Jan. 24 in Bradenton, Fla., at IMG Academy. Kessler initially has U-23 designation, but the senior national team might decide to elevate him for its planned exhibition game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent at the end of the camp.
This marks Turner’s third call-up to national-team duty. He was in Team USA’s Concacaf Nations League squads in November 2019 but didn’t appear in a game. He also participated in Team USA’s January 2020 camp. The 26-year-old stopper enjoyed a stellar 2020 MLS season, in which he finished second in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting and also garnered Revolution Team MVP and Players’ Player of the Year honors.
Kessler, 22, was ever-present in central defense for New England in 2020, his rookie year. He was second in games (22) and minutes (1,823) played among all MLS rookies last season.
The U.S. men’s senior national team faces a busy 2021, with the Concacaf Nations League Final Four, the Concacaf Gold Cup and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on the calendar.
This is the last camp the U.S. men’s U-23 team will hold before the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which is expected to take place in March. That’s when the U-23s will vie to book a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Should Turner and Kessler impress their respective U.S. coaches, they might establish themselves as Olympians and/or senior international soccer players this year.
Boston-area native Miles Robinson, who plays for MLS’ Atlanta United, also received a call-up to the U.S. national team camp.