Meet the Players Called Up for the Paris Olympics

With 15 veterans from the senior team and MLS talents, Marko Mitrović's squad promises to put the US on the Olympic map
United States Men's National Team Training
United States Men's National Team Training / John Dorton/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

Coach Marko Mitrović just announced the US men’s Olympic soccer team for Paris 2024, and boy, there's some exciting stuff ahead. It’s like a new constellation of stars is about to shine in the French sky, with a team that promises not just to participate but to make some serious noise.

15 of the 18 players have already worn the US senior team jersey. That’s no small feat. We’re talking about international-level experience that’s rare in U-23 tournaments. It’s like having an explosive cocktail of youth and maturity, mixing the daring of the newcomers with the savvy of the veterans. And to spice things up even more, we’ve got three over-23 players handpicked: Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, and Djordje Mihailovic. These guys aren’t here by chance. They are heavyweights, the backbone that can take the team to another level.

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The roster is a true mix of Major League Soccer (MLS) talents and academies spread across the country. It’s a clear reflection of how American soccer has been growing and solidifying. Of the 18 called up, 17 have played in MLS or were developed in its academies. This shows the strength and efficiency of the US player development system.

Among the goalkeepers, we have Patrick Schulte from Columbus Crew and Gaga Slonina, who’s already making a name at Chelsea, England. In defense, names like John Tolkin and Caleb Wiley bring a blend of youth and experience. And of course, we can’t forget our veterans, Zimmerman and Robinson, who’ll be there to lead the defensive line with authority. In midfield, Gianluca Busio and Benjamin Cremaschi promise to set the pace, while Djordje Mihailovic, the team’s brain, will orchestrate the plays. Up front, Paxten Aaronson and Taylor Booth are the names to watch.

Players like Aaronson, who left Philadelphia Union and now plays for FC Utrecht, show how American soccer can produce high-caliber athletes who stand out even in Europe. And it’s not just him. We have several examples on the list: Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann, both at Venezia, Italy, and Kevin Paredes at Wolfsburg, Germany. These players not only represent the future of American soccer but also are living proof that MLS is on the right track by investing in its academies and developing young talents.

But the road to Paris won’t be easy. The team is gearing up to face France, the host, right off the bat. A heavy challenge, no doubt. It’s like stepping into the ring with the champion right away. Then, there’s New Zealand and Guinea.

What’s most impressive about this call-up is that almost all the players have gone through some crucial moment in their careers in MLS academies. Since 2007, when U.S. Soccer launched the Development Academy, and now with MLS NEXT, the evolution has been clear. Many of these players wouldn’t be where they are today without these initiatives. Aaronson, Booth, Busio, Cremaschi, Harriel, McGlynn, Mihailovic, Paredes, Robinson, Slonina, Tessmann, Yow, and Zimmerman – all have been part of this system at some point.

Five of these players have already played in MLS NEXT Pro, the league launched by MLS in 2022. Patrick Schulte, for example, shone at Columbus Crew 2, leading the team to the MLS NEXT Pro title and being named goalkeeper of the year. For him, this is a unique opportunity to show the world what American soccer is capable of. And for the players, it’s a chance to fulfill a childhood dream: competing in the Olympic Games.

2024 U.S. Olympic Men’s Soccer Team Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)

Goalkeepers (2): Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew; St. Charles, Mo.), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.)

Defenders (6): Maximilian Dietz (Greuther Furth/GER; Frankfurt, Germany), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union; Oldsmar, Fla.), Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati; Arlington, Mass.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.)

Midfielders (5): Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; Greensboro, N.C.), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF; Key Biscayne, Fla.), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Queens, N.Y.), Djordje Mihailovic (Colorado Rapids; Jacksonville, Fla.), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia/ITA; Birmingham, Ala.)

Forwards (5): Paxten Aaronson (FC Utrecht/NED; Medford, NJ), Taylor Booth (FC Utrecht/NED; Eden, Utah), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC; Omaha, Neb.), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Clifton, Va.)

Alternates (4): Josh Atencio (Midfielder, Seattle Sounders FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Jacob Davis (Defender, Sporting Kansas City; Rochester, Mich.), Johan Gomez (Forward, Eintracht Braunschweig/GER; Keller, Texas), John Pulskamp (Goalkeeper, Sporting Kansas City; Bakersfield, Calif.)