Marking the eighth gathering for the Under-17 Men’s National Team during the 2018-2019 player cycle, Under-16 Boys’ National Team head coach Shaun Tsakiris has called in 21 players who will travel across the Atlantic to compete in the 2018 Under-17 International Youth Tournament. The tournament will take place across host cities Shropshire and Chester, England where the USA will face off against England, Brazil and Russia.
The camp marks the final gathering for the U-17 MNT before the group begins preparations for the 2018 Nike International Friendlies in late November.
Coming off the heels of the 2018 Four Nations Tournament in Mexico City where the Stars and Stripes faced off against Mexico, Argentina and Chile, Tsakiris returns nine players from that roster, while adding 12 new faces including first time callups to the U-17 player pool in forward Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) and midfielder William Reilly (Atlanta United FC).
In England, the squad will take on U-17 counterparts England and Brazil on Fri., October 12 and Sun. Oct. 14, respectively, before closing out the tournament against a Russia team that will field a mixture U-17 and U-18 players on Tues. Oct. 16.
Of the 21 players called into the tournament, 20 currently play in or previously played at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The 20 players with ties to the Academy include nine players having received Conference Best XI selection honors:
In 2017, Bello was also named East Conference Player of the Year in the Academy. Bello recently made headlines for scoring his first career goal in MLS. The feat also sent the defender into the record books as the sixth-youngest player to score in the history of the league.
This group of U-17s is forming the core that will attempt to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, through the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. To be age eligible for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, players must be born on or after Jan. 1, 2002. Twenty players on the roster were born in 2002. The youngest player called in, Ricardo Pepi, is the only player born in 2003.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Calgary, Alberta)
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt; Tampa, Fla.), Antino Lopez (Shattuck - St. Mary's; Las Vegas, Nev.), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.), David Rodriguez (FC Dallas; Irving, Texas), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (West Ham United; Chester, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Sagir David Arce (Monarcas Morelia; Chihuahua, Mexico), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)