The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will gather for its fourth training camp of the 2018-19 cycle from June 4-11 at the U.S. Soccer National Development Center in Kansas City, Kan.
U-18 MNT head coach Omid Namazi will run the camp and has called up 27 players, all born in 2001. This group of players is six months into its two-year cycle as U-18s before transitioning to U-20s in 2020 and will form the core of the group that will eventually attempt to qualify for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The group got off to an early start to its cycle with a training camp at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in November 2017, and took part in the first ever U.S. Soccer Men’s YNT Summit two months later. Most recently, the U-18 MNT defeated Costa Rica twice (2-1 and 3-0), as part of a domestic camp in Orlando, Fla.
A total of 14 players are being called up to the U-18 MNT for the first time: two goalkeepers, five defenders, three midfielders and four forwards. Three of those first-time call-ups currently play for international clubs: Michael Carmona (Atletico Madrid), Salvatore Esposito (S.S.C. Napoli) and Charlie Kelman (Southend United).
Of the 27 players brought into camp, all 24 of the domestic-based players have registered at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Forward Quincy Butler, midfielders Marcelo Palomino and Justin Haak, and goalkeeper John Pulskamp collectively lead the roster in that regard, each having competed in the Academy program for five seasons.
The roster also includes two Best XI conference selections from the 2016-17 Academy season in midfielder Cameron Duke (Central) and defender Leonardo Sepulveda (West), as well as defender Kendall Edwards, who helped bring home the national title for Atlanta United FC U-15/16 in 2017.
The camp marks the first time that any Men’s or Women’s Youth or Senior National Team will train at the NDC. Surrounded by three full size natural grass fields and two synthetic turf fields, the $75 million education and medical center was built in collaboration with MLS club Sporting Kansas City and Children’s Mercy Hospital.
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster by position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): *Owen Finnerty (Crew Sc Academy Wolves; Walled Lake, Mich.), *John Pulskamp (LA Galaxy; Bakersfield, Calif.), Alex Rando (New York City FC; New York, N.Y.)
DEFENDERS (9): Julian Araujo (Barca Academy; Lompoc, Calif.), *Edward Berumen (Sacramento Republic FC; Salida, Calif.), *Kendall Edwards (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Justin Haak (New York City FC; Brooklyn, N.Y.), *Julian Hinojosa (FC Dallas; Garland, Texas), *Erwin Martinez (Real Salt Lake; Gilbert, Ariz.), David Mendoza (Chicago Fire; Gage Park, Ill.), *Andre Reynolds (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Luis Arriaga (Real Salt Lake; Santa Rosa, Calif.), *Michael Carmona (Atletico Madrid; Madrid, Spain), *Jeffery Copper (Chargers SC; Tampa, Fla.), Cameron Duke (Sporting Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.), Hunter George (Sacramento Republic FC; Lincoln, Calif.), Azriel Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Aidan Morris (Crew SC Academy; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.), *Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
FORWARDS (6): Quincy Butler (Sacramento Republic FC; Sacramento, Calif.), *Salvatore Esposito (S.S.C. Napoli; Manhattan, N.Y.), *Charlie Kelman (Southend United; Wickford, England), *Gibran Rayo (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Gabe Segal (Bethesda SC; Bethesda, Md.), *Julian Vazquez (Real Salt Lake; Sandy, Utah)