For the sake of organizing their scrimmages against outside competition and giving coaches a better handle on evaluating the 48-player group, the U.S. U15 BNT was broken into three teams during the weeklong camp that wrapped this past weekend in Carson, CA.
Unofficially, though, the camp was broken into two teams: those that had attended the 19-player trek to Croatia last month, and those who had not.
U15 BNT coach Jim Barlow with Claudio Reyna
U15 coach Jim Barlow – not to mention U17 coach Wilmer Cabrera, who was present while taking a look at a crop of players who will be eligible for the U.S. U17 Fall Residency Program in the fall – was looking to see which veteran players had returned as improved specimens while keeping a watchful eye on the bigger contingent of new kids who would use the week to catapult into the U.S. Soccer consciousness.
“Oh, there were plenty of (under-the-radar guys) who made it into camp,” Barlow said. “The ODP and the Development Academy have produced some players, and we found some in other ways. It was definitely a challenge for those guys because everything was new.”
More than a few newbies met the challenge.
The U15 squad wrapped up camp with a couple of scrimmages, a 1-0 loss against Arsenal, and a 3-0 win against Cosmos Academy West.
Goal-scorers Adonis Amaya and Michael Seaton were a pair that represented ‘team rookie.’ Both are attackers with good size – Seaton in particular – and a good handle on playing efficiently with their teammates.
Their performances were far from an anomaly, as a few other new faces enjoyed strong showings.
Defender Kevin Politz is a player who looks like he’ll be called into future camps. He is big, comfortable on the ball and proved to be a threat on set pieces.
Alejandro Segovia is a striker who made his presence known and as he pushed the pace and looked for his shots. Christopher Lema
brought a finesse and refinement to connecting with his teammates from the midfield.
Not to be outdone were the veteran returners who had the clear advantage of understanding precisely what they could bring to the group.
“I think I do a good job of making the simple play,” said midfielder Omar Castro, whose understanding of his special skills was no doubt aided by his international trip with the team.
“Since the trip I think my speed of play is been better and just getting to know my teammates on the field improved.”
U15 BNT Campers - Home Depot Center
Returners Vernon Bailey, John Requejo, Danya Kafai and Evan Louro
put together some strong performances during the week.
Midfielder Joab Santoyo
was particularly pleasant to watch because of his feel for the game and ability to affect play in a variety of ways.
In the end, players from both sides of the experience spectrum came off well and many will be heard from sooner rather than later.
“Forty-eight of the best players together has a positive influence,” Barlow said. “Hopefully, we can help produce players that are going to continue to help U.S. Soccer. We hope we give them something that can hold onto.”U.S. U15 Boys National Team Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (6): Gianni Carillo (New York Red Bulls Academy; Pine Bush, N.Y.) Andrew Epstein (Colorado Rapids Academy; Ft. Collins, Colo.), Cesar Jerez (Cosmos Academy West; Ontario, Calif.), Evan Louro
(New York Red Bulls Academy; South River, N.J.), Carter Richardson
(Crew Soccer Academy; Dublin, Ohio), Nedin Tucakovic (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; San Jose, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (13): Vernon Bailey (FC Dallas Juniors; Dallas, Texas), Bryce Cregan
(PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Juan Espinosa (Chivas Guadalajara; Garden Grove, Calif.), Michael Jimenez (Chicago Fire Juniors; Munster, Ind.), Guyllian Kabala (Seacoast United; Manchester, N.H.), Patrick Khouri (Daniel Island Soccer Academy; Charleston, S.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Matthew Nance
(Vardar; Washington, Mich.), Kevin Politz (New York Red Bulls; Morganville, N.J.), John Requejo Jr. (Santa Barbara SC; Carpinteria, Cailf.), Joe Rodriguez (MatchFit Academy; Montclair, N.J.), Bruno Scodari
(Olney Boys and Girls Club; Silver Springs, Md.), Billy Stevens
(New York Red Bulls Academy; New Hyde Park, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (18): Corey Baird
(San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Omar Castro (Plant City FC; Plant City, Fla.), Walker Dawkins
(West Pines United; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Bradley Dunwell (Alliance Academy; Grand Rapids, Mich.), Edgar Duran (Vegas United Limon SC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Caleb Duvernay (CASL Chelsea FC; Cary, N.C.), Steven Echeverria (New York Red Bulls Academy; Slate Hill, N.Y.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; San Jose, Calif.), Zachary Herivaux (New England Revolution; Chestnut Hill, Mass.), Christopher Lema
(New York Red Bulls Academy; Ridgefield, N.J.), Alex Martinez (California Development Academy; Mather, Calif.), Declan McCabe
(New England Revolution; Weston, Mass.), Herber Mejia-Flores (GFA Rangers; Manassas Park, Va.), Victor Rolph (Colorado Rush AJ Auxerre; Golden, Colo.), Joab Santoyo
(Arsenal FC; Fontana, Calif.), Amar Sejdic
(United FC; Louisville, Ken.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.), Thomas Ziemer (Atletico Santa Rosa; Glen Allen, Calif.)
FORWARDS (11): Adonis Amaya (Cosmos Academy West; Westminster, Calif.), Jorge Calix
(Team America; Alexandria, Va.), Bradford Jamieson (Cosmos Academy West; Los Angeles, Calif.), Danya Kafai (Juventus SC; Redwood City, Calif.), Felipe Liborio Jr. (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), DeAndre Robinson (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.), Rubio Rubin (Westside Metros; Beaverton, Ore.), Michael Seaton (D.C. United Academy; Hyattsville, Md.), Alejandro Segovia (Westside Metros; Beaverton, Ore.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithonia, Ga.)