72 Players Invited to US U-18 Camp

CHICAGO – Seventy-two players were invited to the U.S. Under-18 men's soccer team's January mega-camp at the IMG Academies in Brandenton, Fla., with intentions of developing a few to join the U-10 squad for the 2009 Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico.

U.S. U-18 coach Bob Jenkins and 10 assistants will instruct and evaluate the players -- all of whom were born on or after Jan. 1, 1990 -- during the week-long camp held from Jan.17-24.

Players on this roster will be the core age-group for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt with U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen. Rongen will take as many as five players from the mega-camp with the Under-20 squad that will travel to Mexico for the Copa Chivas tournament from Jan. 24-Feb. 3.

“If you look at our player pool from our last U-18 group, it was about 70 players, so what we’re trying to do this year is get an early look at a large portion of our player pool,” said Jenkins. “The best environment to evaluate players is when the best players are with the best players. This camp will give us a good handle on which players we will continue to have in later camps.”

Along with training during the week, the U-18s will play a handful of scrimmages against each other and possibly the U-17 or U-20 national teams or club teams in the area.

The ultimate goal of the U-18 program is to provide these players with the opportunity to continue to grow and improve, so they have the ability to make the jump to the U-20s, the U-23s and ultimately the full Men’s National Team. During their time with the U-18s, the players are immersed in top-level training and games against some of the best club and national teams around the world to help them reach those goals.

Out of the 72 players invited into the camp, 43 are from clubs that are a part of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Program. A total of 20 Development Academy teams are represented.

“Continuing player development is still the most important aspect at this level,” said Jenkins. “I’m sure there are a large number of talented players in this group. I have no doubt over the next few years they will continue to progress through the national team programs.”

The full U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team Mega-Camp Roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Rafael Diaz (Rockaway, N.J.), Jason Dodson (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Preston Langholz (Tulsa, Okla.), Alex Long (Cary, N.C.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Cody Mizell (Woodstock, Ga.), Marc Pais (Frontenac, Mo.), David Sarabia (Miami, Fla.)

DEFENDERS: Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Colin Anderson (Tucson, Ariz.), Chad Barson (Lewis Center, Ohio), Nick Bibbs (Ardmore, Pa.), Steven Birnbaum (Irvine, Calif.), Paolo Del Piccolo (Lakewood, Colo.), Jose Diaz (Fontana, Calif.), Kevin Garcia (Flushing, N.Y.), Eric Martinez (Fort Mill, S.C.), Patrick Matchett (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Andrew Quintana (Miami, Fla.), Jossimar Sanchez (Patterson, N.J.), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Andrew Savage (Eagle, Idaho), Chris Smith (Chula Vista, Calif.), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Norris White (Kensington, Md.), Nick Yin (Bethesda, Md.)

MIDFIELDERS: Kwese Alleyne (Miramar, Fla.), Jon Aguirre (Madison, N.J.), John Brown (Clinton, Miss.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Pablo Cruz (Azusa, Calif.), Kareem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y.), Brian Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Eddie Gonzales (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Jesus Landeros (Oxnard, Calif.), James Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y,), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Christopher Ortega (Chula Vista, Calif.), Tanner Petrick (Carolton, Tex.), Harrison Petts (Zionsville, Ind.), Christian Ramos (Miami, Fla.), Mike Roman (Oxnard, Calif.), Nicholas Ryan (San Jose, Calif.), Anthony Salciccia (San Jose, Calif.), Steve Saballos (Miami, Fla.), Cody Snyder (Pasco, Wash.), Alec Sundly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Jose Tamayo (La Puente, Calif.), Paul Torres (Bethesda, Md.), Korey Veeder (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Parker Walsh (Roanoke, Va.), Raul Yepez (Oxnard, Calif.), Cesar Zamora (Sylmar, Calif.)

FORWARDS: Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Rodney Ahkeel (Elmont, N.Y.), Akinsanya Adedoja (Sacramento, Calif.), Jose Altimarino (San Diego, Calif.), Eder Arreola (Chino Hills, Calif.), Will Bates (Chester, Va.), Tristan Bowen (Van Nuys, Calif.), John Chavez (Tulsa, Okla.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Josh Gatt (Plymouth, Mich.), Adam Jahn (El Macero, Calif.), Andrew Lubahn (Erie, Pa.), Zach Portillos (Aurora, Colo.), Christian Quevedo (Smithtown, N.Y.), Kelyn Rowe (Federal Way, Wash.), Hasani Sinclair (Coral Springs, Fla.), Ben Speas (Stow, Ohio)

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