Hot on the heels of scoring his first goal for the full national team last Wednesday night against Mexico, U.S.Soccer’s current “It” boy Jordan Morris leads a 20 player squad called into U23 training camp in California by coach Andi Herzog.
U.S. Soccer supremo Jurgen Klinsmann has made it clear that this team, the Olympic team, is a top priority for national team program, to that end assigning his long time confidant Herzog with the task of securing qualification for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
This camp will run from April 19-21, culminating with a match against the Mexico U23 side on April 22 at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California.
Morris was not the only collegiate athlete called into camp by Herzog, U.C. Santa Barbara defender Sam Strong also received an invitation. The remainder of Herzog’s roster has been culled from the paid ranks, with nine players from MLS, the largest contingent from any professional league.
11 of these players were in Herzog’s European camp in March, and nine of this group represented the U.S. at the 2013 U20 World Cup.
With his goal against Mexico still fresh, all eyes will be on Morris, but seven other players on this roster have been in U.S. MNT senior camps this year. In addition to the Stanford speedster, Cody Cropper, Christian Dean, Luis Gil, Jon Kempin, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna and Oscar Sorto have all been part of a U.S. MNT senior camp this year, although only Gil and O’Neill have joined Morris in earning senior caps in 2015.
The CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification Championship will be held throughout the United States from October 1-13, at venues still to be determined.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)