USMNT U-23 Roster Announced For The Toulon Tournament


While many Americans will be eating hot dogs and hamburgers this Memorial Day, the United States under-23 Men’s National Team will be running windsprints and doing 2 on 1 drills. Although it might sound like the most relaxing holiday, there is a reason for their work: to be prepared for the Toulon Tournament.

With Olympic Qualifying less than six month away and few opportunities to show USMNT U-23 coach Andi Herzog that they deserve to be called up in October, this tournament matters to the 19 players called up.

Herzog has called up an interesting set of players some of whom have made appearances in the past for the senior national team (Julian Green, Jordan Morris) with others who are relative newcomers to the U.S. Soccer system (Jalen Robinson, Daniel Metzger).

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Of the players selected perhaps the most interesting name to be called up is Marc Pelosi. Pelosi was one of Liverpool’s top young players at the U-18 and U-21 levels before suffering a terrible leg injury almost two years ago. He was called in to Jurgen Klinsmann’s senior team roster for the Chile friendly in January but was unable to play due to a hamstring injury. At 20 years old and now fully fit, he is primed for a breakout campaign with the USMNT and a possible loan assignment with Liverpool.

The other player worth keeping an eye on during the Toulon Tournament is Boyd Okwuonu. Okwuonu was an All ACC First-Team defender for three of his four years at the University of North Carolina. He may have been drafted in the second round by Real Salt Lake but has shown promise while on loan with Real Monarchs this season in the USL. He has shown that he has tremendous speed and has good marking abilities while on loan. A good series of matches in Toulon may mean a call-up to RSL’s senior team.

The Toulon Tournament is one of the top youth international tournaments in the world. Having been played every years since 1974 it is used by national teams as a way to give their top young players a chance to gel with one another and build chemistry which at times can be very difficult. The tournament is played in the Southeastern part of France.

This year’s tournament will be played from May 27th to June the 5th in five cities across the southeastern part of France. Aubagne, Hyeres, Salon de Provence, Saint Raphael, and Toulon (where the semi-finals and finals will take place) will host China, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, England, France, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Qatar, and the United States.

Group A will feature the United States, Costa Rica, France, the Netherlands, and Qatar while Group B will have China, Cote D’Ivoire, England, Mexico, and Morocco.

USA will take on France on May the 27th at 1pm EST, the Netherlands on May the 29th at 11am, Costa Rica on May the 31st at 11am, and Qatar at noon on June the 2nd. All of the matches will be shown live on beINSPORT.

The top team in each group will meet in the final, which is scheduled to take place at the Stade Mayol in Toulon on June the 7th.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Cardiff City; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7): Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Unattached; Concord, Mass.), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United; Catonsville, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Sam Strong (Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool; Sunnyvale, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.); Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Tex.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.).

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