U.S. Coach Javier Perez called 24 up players for a week-long U.S. Under-18 men’s national team training camp at Lakewood Ranch, Fla., to prepare for the upcoming Copa del Atlantico Feb. 4-7 in the Canary Islands. The lone pro in camp is Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Palmer-Brown. Besides Palmer-Brown, four players — Mukwelle Akale, JT Marcinkowski, Tommy Redding and Ben Swanson — saw playing time for the U-18s who went unbeaten and took second place at the Limoges Tournament in France in October.
U.S. Men’s U-18 National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.); JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; Alamo, Calif.); Justin Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Defenders (8): David Chavez (De Anza Force; Redwood City, Calif.); Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.)
Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.); Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.); Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids Academy; Longmont, Colo.); Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.); Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic PSG; Oviedo, Fla.); Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.). Midfielders (7):
Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.); Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire Academy; Downers Grove, Ill.); Cameron Lindley (Indiana Fire; Carmel, Ind.); Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic PSG; Orlando, Fla.); Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.); Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio); Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.). Forwards (6): Coy Craft (FC Dallas Academy; Frisco, Texas); Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca Raton, Fla.); Gerves Fagan (Sereno SC; Peoria, Ariz.); Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo Academy; Pasadena, Texas); Jorge Ruiz (LA Galaxy Academy; Mission Hills, Calif.); Kendall Stork (Chicago Magic PSG; Barrington, Ill.)
Blatter Blasts Brazil Prep
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, in an interview with Swiss press, blasted Brazil over its World Cup preparations as six of the nation’s 12 home stadiums failed to meet FIFA’s Dec. 31 deadline. In fact, three of the uncompleted stadiums are not likely to be finished until April, including Itaquera Arean in Sao Paulo, which will be the site of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.
“No country has been so far behind in its preparations since I have been at FIFA even though it is the only host nation which has had so much time — seven years — in which to prepare,” the FIFA boss told Swiss paper 24 Hueres. When asked if Brazil understood the scale of the work involved in hosting a World Cup, he said: “No. Brazil has just found out what it means and has started work much too late.”
Athletes Of The Year
U.S. Soccer has named Jozy Altidore and Abby Wambach as the 2013 Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively. Wil Trapp and Lindsey Horan were selected the Young Male Athlete of the Year and Young Female of the Year, respectively. Rene Renteria was named the 2013 Disabled Athlete of the Year.
Altidore set a U.S. MNT record by scoring a goal in five consecutive matches last summer. His eight goals in 2013 were a career best and tied a team high. He scored 31 goals in all competitions last season for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. Wambach collects her unprecedented sixth Female Athlete of the Year award. She had 11 goals in 2013, and her four goals against Korea Republic smashed Mia Hamm’s all-time record of 158 career goals.
Trapp, who plays for the Columbus Crew, was captain of the U.S. Under-20 MNT team, starting all five matches during the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championships and earning Best XI. Horan is the youngest female professional in the world, scoring 22 times in 27 games for Paris St. Germain. Renteria was the leading goal scorer on the U.S. Paralympic team.