UPDATE: The Union announced Wednesday that Warren Creavealle has had to withdraw from Guyana’s national team camp due to a left hamstring strain. Also, Cory Burke has returned to Jamaica’s national team. The Union have loaned Burke to Jamaican club Portmore United for the rest of the calendar year, having been unable to secure a deal with any clubs in Europe.
Eight Union players have left town to join their national teams for a FIFA international window which runs through next Tuesday.
Four of them went to the U.S. under-23 team, meaning they’re under consideration for next year’s Olympic squad: goalkeeper Matt Freese, defenders Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie, and midfielder Brenden Aaronson. The camp in suburban San Diego concludes with a friendly against Japan’s under-23 team
Trusty has been seen as a near-lock for the age group squad for nearly a year, even amid his recent struggles with the Union. McKenzie and Aaronson, both a few years younger, earned their call-ups with good play this year. Aaronson will just barely miss the age cutoff for the next Under-20 World Cup, so the under-23 squad is the only youth national team he has left.
Freese is the most interesting pick, and believe it or not, he might be more likely than McKenzie and Aaronson to make the Olympic team. U.S. coach Jason Kreis thinks highly of the Harvard-bred Wayne native, and the American depth chart is a bit thin at goalkeeper right now.
Concacaf’s Olympic qualifying tournament will take place March 20-April 1, 2020 in Guadalajara, Mexico. It will be the first time since 2004 and just the third time in the event’s modern era that the U.S. won’t host; the tournament also will fall in the early part of next year’s MLS campaign.
Olympic qualifying will be a big deal here, because the U.S. men haven’t made it to the Olympics since 2008. Next summer’s Games in Tokyo are set for July 24-Aug. 9, with the soccer tournament starting July 22 in order to fit in all the games.
At the under-17 level, Jack de Vries is with the U.S. team for a four-nation tournament in the Netherlands that’s the last major warmup before the World Cup in Brazil Oct. 26-Nov. 17.
Headlining the four going to senior squads is midfielder Marco Fabián, who was summoned to Mexico’s team for Friday’s friendly against the United States at MetLife Stadium (8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1, Univision and TUDN). Mexico then faces an Argentina squad without Lionel Messi (he’s suspended for calling South American governing body CONMEBOL corrupt) next Tuesday in San Antonio.
Goalkeeper Andre Blake’s Jamaica hosts hosts Antigua & Barbuda in the Concacaf Nations League’s tier B on Friday, then visits Guyana next Monday, (7 p.m., TUDN). Cory Burke is also on the Jamaican squad, his first time with the Reggae Boyz since being kicked out of the United States due to visa issues. So is Bethlehem Steel’s Chavany Willis, a 21-year-old midfielder.
Guyana visits Aruba on Friday, as it aims to take a step toward its second consecutive Gold Cup.
Lastly, Olivier Mbaizo is with Cameroon’s under-23 team for an Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations home-and-away qualifying series with Tunisia. The games are Sept. 6 in Cameroon and Sept. 10 in Tunisia (they won’t be broadcast here). If Cameroon wins the series, they’ll book a berth in the tournament, set for Nov. 8-22 in Egypt.
All of those players will all miss the Union’s international friendly against Mexican club Pumas UNAM on Saturday. It was already going to be a meaningless game, and is even more so now. Hopefully some homegrown prospects from the Union and Bethlehem Steel will get playing time.
Coach Gregg Berhalter’s squad has many noteworthy young players: striker Josh Sargent (fresh off a superb goal for Germany’s Werder Bremen), midfielders Weston McKennie and Paxton Pomykal, and defenders Reggie Cannon, Sergiño Dest and Miles Robinson.
And there’s a Union player on the U.S. under-20 squad for a trip to Slovenia this week which starts that age group’s new biennial cycle: defender Nathan Harriel. Though he hasn’t signed a pro contract yet, he has played 16 games for Bethlehem Steel this year. He’s joined by a local native, George Campbell of Atlanta United. Campbell was born in Chester but has lived in the Atlanta area for years.
12:30 p.m.: U.S. under-17 vs. Mexico under-17 at Assen, Netherlands (no broadcast)
Time unannounced: U.S. under-20 vs. Croatia under-20 (no broadcast)
9:30 a.m.: Cameroon under-23 vs. Tunisia under-23, Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations qualifying (no broadcast)
8 p.m.: Jamaica vs. Antigua & Barbuda (TUDN.com, Flo FC)
8:30 p.m.: United States vs. Mexico, friendly, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. (Fox Sports 1, Univision, TUDN)
9 a.m.: Netherlands under-17 vs. United States under-17 (no broadcast)
7:30 p.m.: Union vs. Pumas UNAM, friendly, Talen Energy Stadium (live stream on the team’s website)
8 p.m.: Canada vs. Cuba, Concacaf Nations League A (TUDN; the U.S. is also in this group)
12:30 p.m.: U.S. under-17 vs Denmark under-17 at Assen, Netherlands (no broadcast)
1 p.m.: Tunisia under-23 vs. Cameroon under-23, Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations qualifying (no broadcast0
7 p.m.: U.S. under-23 vs. Japan under-23, friendly at Chula Vista, Calif. (no broadcast)
7 p.m.: Jamaica vs. Guyana, Concacaf Nations League B (TUDN, Flo FC)
Time unannounced: U.S. under-20 men vs. United Arab Emirates under-23 men (no broadcast)
8 p.m.: U.S. vs. Uruguay, friendly, Busch Stadium at St. Louis, Mo. (Fox Sports 1, Univision, TUDN)
10 p.m.: Mexico vs. Argentina, friendly at The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas (Univision, TUDN)
Goalkeepers (4): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf, Germany/Coatesville)
Defenders (9): John Brooks (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Sergiño Dest (Ajax, Netherlands), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/Wyndmoor), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles FC)
Midfielders (7): Sebastian Lletget (Los Angeles Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04, Germany), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf. Germany), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards (6): Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş, Turkey), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea, England/Hershey), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen, Germany), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)
Goalkeepers (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Andrew Thomas (Stanford University)
Defenders (8): Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Niko Hamalainen (Kilmarnock, Scotland), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Donovan Pines (D.C. United), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders (6): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United.), Alex Mendez (Ajax, Netherlands), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)
Forwards (7): Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96, Germany), Mason Toye (Minnesota United), Haji Wright (VVV-Venlo, Netherlands)
Goalkeepers (2): David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Patrick Schulte (Saint Louis University; St. Charles, Mo.)
Defenders (8): Kwabena Boateng (UC-Irvine), Jose Kevin Bonilla (FC Dallas), George Campbell (Atlanta United/Chester), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union), Ian Hoffmann (Karlsruher, Germany.), Stuart Ritchie (Hannover 96, Germany.), Leonardo Sepulveda (Salamanca, Spain), Travian Sousa (Hamburg, Germany)
Midfielders (7): Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Justin Haak (New York City FC), Marcelo Palomino (Unattached), Matteo Ritaccio (Liverpool, England), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas), Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa, England)
Forwards (5): Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona, Spain), Johan Gomez (Unattached), Cameron Harper (Celtic, Scotland.), Jalen Hawkins (Ingolstadt, Germany), Charlie Kelman (Southend United, England)
U.S. under-17 team roster
Goalkeepers (3): Aaron Cervantes (Orange County Soccer Club), Damian Las (Unattached), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City, England )
Defenders (8): Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC), George Bello (Atlanta United), Nicolas Carrera (FC Dallas), Mauricio Cuevas (Los Angeles Galaxy), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC), Kobe Hernandez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich City, England)
Midfielders (5): Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg, Germany), Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes), Bryang Kayo (D.C. United), Adam Saldana (Los Angeles Galaxy)