US U-23 coach Jason Chris names CONCACAF players to Men’s Olympic qualifiers

US U-23 coach Jason Chris names CONCACAF players to Men's Olympic qualifiers

CHICAGO (March 11, 2021) – US Under-23 coach Jason Chris has selected 20 players to represent the United States at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers, which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico from March 18-30.

Chris picked the team from a training camp roster of 28 players that began training on March 1 in Mexico.

“We know that qualifying will be a challenge, but it is a challenge that we are ready for. We will need all 20 players on this list to contribute to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics,” said Chris. “We have a fruitful training camp in Guadalajara and our players are hungry for the opportunity to compete. After starting this journey nearly two years ago, we are excited to start the tournament.”

The tournament includes eight countries divided into two groups of four teams. The first place winners in each group will advance to the pivot matches in the semi-finals that will send winners to the Olympics in Tokyo as representatives of CONCACAF. The two winners will also meet in the final on March 30th.

The USA trip to Japan begins when the Group A match begins on Thursday March 18th against Costa Rica (4:30 PM ET; FS1, TUDN). The US will then face the Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 21 (7 PM EST; FS1, TUDN) and conclude the group stage against Mexico on Wednesday, March 24 (9:30 PM EST; FS1, TUDN). U-23 USMNT aims to qualify for its first Olympic Games since 2008.

List of CONCACAF qualifying Olympic tournaments for men by position (club, Muscat):

Goalkeepers (3):
Matt Frieze (Philadelphia Union, Wayne, Pennsylvania), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, California), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake, Oxnard, CA)

Defenders (6):
Julian Araujo (Los Angeles Galaxy, Lombok, California), Justin Glad (Real Salt Lake, Tucson, Arizona), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake, Las Cruces, New Mexico), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution, New York, New York), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC, Bolingbrook, Ill.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids, Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Mediators (7):
Johnny Cardoso (Internationale / Brazil; Denville, NJ), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Washington), Ulysses Lenez (Heerenveen / NED; Linwood, California), Djordji Mihailovic (CF Montreal / Cannes, Jacksonville) , Florida.), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas / MEX; Park City, Utah), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)

Attackers (4):
Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas, McKinney, Texas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids, Plantation, Florida), Benji Michel (Orlando City, Orlando, Florida), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City / England; San Diego, California)

The final list includes 11 players who have qualified for the USMNT senior level and 10 who have competed in the finalists at the FIFA Youth World Cup. Ten players previously won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in 2017 and 2018.

Six members of the roster were part of USMNT’s 7-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in January, with strikers Jes Ferrera and Jonathan Lewis scoring their first full international goals while defender Aaron Herrera and midfielder Andres Beria earned their first-team debut. The qualifying tournament for the Olympics will be the first official competition between Ferreira and Beria with the USA after the dual-national players were elected to represent the United States in January 2019 and 2021 respectively.

The qualifying tournament for the Olympics was originally scheduled for March 2020 but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players born on January 1, 1997 or thereafter are eligible to participate in the competition, and Chris has selected players from five different birthdays: nine born in 1997, three born in 1998, one born in 1999, three born in 2000 and four born in 2001.

List notes

  • The team includes players from 11 Major League Soccer clubs, with Real Salt Lake contributing the most (3). Colorado Rapids, Orlando City and San Jose Earthquakes each had two players on the list.

  • Four players compete in countries outside the MLS: Cardoso (Brazil), Soto (England), Saucedo (Mexico) and Llanez (Netherlands).

  • Eighteen of the 20 players spent time playing at the NFDA, including all current domestic players.

  • Twelve players have also been shortlisted for the March 2020 US Olympic Qualifiers tournament.

  • In addition to the ten MLS players who appeared through their academies, the remaining eight last played for the following DA teams: Dotson (Crossfire Premier), Kessler (Beachside FC), Lewis (Kendall SC), Llanez (LA Galaxy), Mihailovic (Chicago Fire) FC), Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Soto (Real Salt Lake), and Yueill (Minnesota Thunder Academy).

  • There are ten MLS local players on the list. Striker Sebastian Sociedo started his career as a home player with Real Salt Lake.

  • With five international matches under 23 years old, striker Djorje Mihajlovic has the most experience at this age level. He has captained the team in their last three international matches.

  • Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski appeared in all nine U-23 USMNT training camps during this session, including the joint team camp in June 2019 with the first team.

  • Internacional midfielder Johnny Cardoso scored his goal The first professional goal On March 4, against Pelotas in the Brazilian League match.

  • Along with directing Real Salt Lake to the 2009 MLS Cup, Chris also had federation success in the professional club game, leading RSL to the highest score ever for a US-based team in the CONCACAF Champions League. The team reached the final of the 2010-11 tournament, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Mexican Monterrey.

  • In addition to the 10 players with CONCACAF U-20 Championship experience, strikers Jonathan Lewis and Djurgi Mihajlovic were part of USMNT’s second-place finish in the 2019 Gold Cup.

  • Defender Justin Glad was named Best XI at the 2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship, while Ulysses Llanez was named Best XI in 2018 as one of the tournament’s top scorers.

  • The four players born in 2001 are eligible for ages 2024 for the Olympic Games.

  • CJ Brown, Jeff Cassar and Steve Ralston will act as assistant coaches for Chris during the tournament, and Rob Vartughian will be the goalkeeper coach.

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