Michael Stephens named to U.S. Under-23 camp roster
A total of 15 MLS players highlighted the 23-man roster announced on Thursday for the US Under-23 national team's training camp and showdown against Mexico on Feb. 29.
Head coach Caleb Porter’s group will take on Mexico on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium (10 pm ET/7 pm PT, Univision), while CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins on March 22. The 10-day camp opens on Feb. 19.
Porter’s group is headlined by a number of MLS players with senior team experience, arguably none bigger than FC Dallas star and 2011 league MVP candidate Brek Shea. The Texas native has appeared in all nine of the US national team matches under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann since last summer.
Midfielders Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew) and Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union) are also on the roster, as well as Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney.
New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo also joins the team after earning 14 appearances with the senior team last year. Agudelo was the first player to come out of the US Soccer Development Academy to earn a cap with the senior national team.
Porter’s group also includes Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu, who reemerged with the national team during last summer’s Gold Cup and played a part in both US goals during the tournament final against Mexico.
Other members of the team with senior team experience include the goalkeeping duo of Bill Hamid (D.C. United) and Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), as well as Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury.
Other MLS players in the group include defenders Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact) and Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA).
Gent midfielder Mix Diskerud leads the pack of players from the international ranks, along with Club Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona and Hertha Berlin defender Alfredo Morales.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (7): Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)