On Thursday, U.S. Soccer announced the roster for the final U23 national team training camp before CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins in March. Head coach Caleb Porter called in 23 players for one last look before he decides on the 20 players who could potentially help his family book a vacation in London this summer.
But let’s cut through the bullsh*%. Twenty-three players is fluff, and we don’t do fluff. Here’s a rundown of the top five (okay, so I cheated and went with six) players called into Porter’s final training camp.
- Brek Shea – He’s free-spirited and a Texan (everything is bigger there, even skill) and is perfect for Caleb Porter’s system. His tireless work rate and charging runs are tailor-made for Porter’s 4-3-3 flowing, possession-heavy attack.
- Amobi Okugo – This team hinges on Okugo. He is the point guard of the team. He makes sure the superstars get their touches, but is also capable of ramming the ball down your throat if you don’t respect his game. So don’t test him.
- Juan Agudelo – The New York Red Bulls forward is an explosive option on the wings, but also a capable player as the target forward. The question about this youngster is whether he’s fully fit from the injury he suffered last month.
- Bill Hamid – Given how fragile the defense has looked with this group, the goalkeeper will be very important to the success of the team. Hamid offers a little bit more than Sean Johnson in terms of organizing the defense, so he gets the nod.
- Joe Gyau/Terrence Boyd – Both players are based in Germany and close to breaking through with their respective first teams. Gyau is more of a winger, where there appears to be a considerable amount of depth on this team. Boyd fills a void as a point man, and if he can outplay Bunbury at this camp, he could find himself seeing more time on the pitch.