CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, December 13, 2012) – LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Jack McBean, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal were all named to the United States Under-20 National Team roster for a training camp that will be held in Sunrise, Fla., from Dec. 15-22. Along with that trio, Galaxy Academy defender Javan Torre, who plays collegiately at UCLA, was also named to the 19-man roster by head coach Tab Ramos. The quartet will fly to Florida later today and will return to Los Angeles on Sunday, Dec. 23.
This is the first time McBean and Sorto have been invited to a training camp under the direction of Ramos, a midfielder on the U.S. World Cup teams in 1994 and 1998 who was named U-20 head coach in October 2011. Torre and Villarreal have each played for Ramos previously, participating in the Marbella Cup, which was held in October. Both players appeared in all three games of that competition, which is played in Spain, with Villarreal scoring a pair of goals.
McBean, who turns 18 on Saturday, appeared in four games in all official competitions this season for the Galaxy while also playing in the MLS Reserve League and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with the Galaxy U-18’s. The forward led LA with five goals in the Reserve League and three in the CONCACAF Champions League, including a pair of tallies in the 3-2 win over Isidro Metapan in El Salvador on Oct. 25, a result that clinched LA a berth in the tournament’s quarterfinals. The Newport Beach-native, who made his lone MLS appearance during a 1-0 win over Portland at The Home Depot Center on June 17, also leads the Galaxy’s U-18 squad with five goals so far this season.
In his first season in MLS, Villarreal appeared in 14 games for the Galaxy in all competitions this season, scoring once and adding and assist in 11 MLS games (regular season and playoffs), while starting all three of the CONCACAF Champions League matches that he appeared in, scoring once in that competition. The 19-year-old was officially added to the Galaxy roster on July 14 and he made his MLS debut that night, coming on as a substitute late in the 5-3 win over Portland. Villarreal then scored the first goal of his MLS career four days later, tallying an 87th minute equalizer in the 2-2 draw at Vancouver, a goal that was selected as the MLS Goal of the Week.
Rounding out the current crop of Galaxy Homegrown Players is Sorto, who was signed earlier this week by the Galaxy. The 18-year-old appeared in seven MLS Reserve League games this season in addition to his play with the Galaxy U-18’s, making three starts and registering one assist. The first defender ever signed by LA as a Homegrown Player, Sorto has appeared in eight games for the Galaxy U-18’s so far this season, scoring three times while helping them to a Division-best 8-1-1 record.
Those three will be joined by Torre, who recently completed his freshman season at UCLA. The Santa Monica-native appeared in 12 games for the Bruins this season, helping UCLA to a 13-3-3 record that included the school’s fourth Pac-12 title in five years and 30th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Torre started five of those 12 games and helped UCLA earn shutouts against Cal Poly and Washington. In 2011, Torre appeared in two MLS Reserve League games for the Galaxy in addition to playing 25 times for the Galaxy U-18 squad in the 2011-12 Development Academy season.
The training camp is the first for the U.S. ahead of next year’s 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship since learning its opponents. Last month, the U.S. U-20 team was drawn into Group A of the tournament alongside Costa Rica and Haiti. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship serves as the regional qualifying tournament for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup and takes place Feb. 18-March 3 in Puebla, Mexico. The semifinals are scheduled for March 1, with the final and third-place game slated for March 3. All four semifinalists qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup from June 21-July 13, 2013, in Turkey.