U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Omid Namazi has called 28 players for the program’s initial training camp of 2017. Included on the roster are Jack Maher and Aedan Stanley. Maher, part of the SLSG Illinois Academy program and Stanley, of SLSG Missouri Academy, are returning members of the squad. The two also partnered in the middle as part of a select squad that competed against the U17 Men’s team in October. Stanley was also named an NSCAA All-American in November.
The camp, which will run Jan. 23-30 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., marks the beginning of the second year of the group’s U-18 cycle, which consists of players born Jan. 1, 1999 or later. The team last gathered at a joint domestic training camp with the U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team in November.
“The purpose of this camp is to identify new talent and expand our pool of players,” Namazi said. “For this camp, we have invited back some of the core players that we’ve identified through the last year. More than half of the players are either newer players we are inviting back to see how they’ve developed since our player identification camp last January, or brand new players who have never been invited to a previous Youth National Team camp.”
Namazi has set up a few games for the team during the week against the U-17 National Team players currently in Residency at IMG Academy. The games will provide opportunity for the U-18’s to prove themselves against a talented and cohesive side. The camp as a whole will provide supplemental player development to the players in the pool outside of their club environments.
The U-18’s next meeting will be a domestic camp in March when the team will begin preparations for the Slovakia Cup, set to take place in April in Trnava, Slovakia.
Development Academy Ties:
Of the 28 players called into this camp, 24 have spent time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Twenty-three currently play in the Development Academy.
The two players who have spent the most time in the Development Academy are New England Revolution forward Justin Rennicks and LA Galaxy goalkeeper Eric Lopez, both of whom have been involved since the 2012-2013 Academy season.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders; Tukwila, Wash.), Alec Smir (NC Fusion; Greensboro, N.C.)
DEFENDERS (10): Jose Alfaro (Chicago Fire: West Chicago, Ill.), Jonathon Esparza (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution Academy; West Hartford, Conn.), Jack Maher (Scott Gallagher; Caseyville, Ill.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Jake Morris (Seattle Sounders; Kirkland, Wash.), Stirling Russell (Seattle Sounders; Bellevue, Wash.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC; Columbia, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif), Aristotle Zarris ( LA Galaxy; Casa Grande, Ariz.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Abdi Faris (IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.), Christian Cappis (Texans SC Houston; Katy, Texas), Jose Carranza (D.C. United; Manassas, Va.), Andrew Paoli (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Brian Perez (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Brimingham, Ala.), Noah Verhoeven (Vancouver Whitecaps; Surrey, B.C)
FORWARDS (8): Shaft Brewer (FC Dallas; Sacramento, Calif.), Griffen Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Colo.), Ernesto Espinoza (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Will Inalien (Portland Timbers; Taramac, Fla.), Justin McMaster (Philadelphia Union; King of Prussia, Pa.), Alfred Perez (Weston FC; Miami, Fla.), Emanuel Perez (CASL; Garner, N.C.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution Academy; Hamilton, Mass.)