US Under-18 national team head coach Javier Perez on Friday tabbed 24 players, highlighted by Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown (above) and players from nine MLS youth academies, for a week-long training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
The camp runs from Saturday to Jan. 11 and is in preparation for the Copa del Atlantico, scheduled for Feb. 4-7 in the Canary Islands.
Of the nine MLS academies represented, Real Salt Lake AZ led the way with three players receiving call-ups: defender Justen Glad, goalkeeper Christian Herrera and midfielder Sebastian Saucedo. Twenty-one of the 24 players currently play for U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams, while the remaining three also play for domestic-based clubs.
Five players – Mukwelle Akale, J.T. Marcinkowski, Palmer-Brown, Tommy Redding and Ben Swanson – saw playing time for the US U-18 team that took second place at the Limoges Tournament in France in October. Palmer-Brown started all three matches at the tournament and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 US win over the Czech Republic, while Akale and Marcinkowski earned starts in two games.
FULL US U-18 NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.), J.T. Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 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; Longmont, Colo.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego), Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic PSG; Oviedo, Fla.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; 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; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca Raton, Fla.), Gerves Fagan (Sereno SC; Peoria, Ariz.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Jorge Ruiz (LA Galaxy; Mission Hills, Calif.), Kendall Stork (Chicago Magic PSG; Barrington, Ill.)