MLS players and academy prospects dominate the squad called by US U-17 national team head coach John Hackworth for a five-day training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida this week, the last opportunity to make an impression before Hackworth and his staff select their final 21-man roster for next month’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
Fifteen of the 23 players called in this week have MLS ties, including seven who’ve already signed MLS Homegrown contracts: D.C. United midfielder Chris Durkin, FC Dallas striker Bryan Reynolds, New York City FC prospect James Sands, the Atlanta United trio of George Bello, Andrew Carleton (pictured above) and Chris Goslin, and Sporting KC’s Jaylin Lindsey, who signed his pro deal last week.
Atlanta lead the way in terms of numerical representation, with four players from the Five Stripes. Beyond the aforementioned MLS teams, the LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC also have players taking part in this week’s camp.
The US U-17s will begin their World Cup campaign against the host nation at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Oct. 6, the opening night of the tournament. Group-stage matches in Navi Mumbai vs. Ghana (Oct. 9) and Colombia (Oct. 12) follow.
Full US U-17 national team camp roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (S.L. Benfica; Philadelphia, Penn. ), Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC; Miami, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (9): George Bello (Atlanta United FC, Douglasville, Ga.), Sergino Dest (Ajax; Almere-stad, Netherlands), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Tyler Shaver (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Akil Watts (Portland Timbers, Fort Wayne, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): George Acosta (North Carolina FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake; Eden, Utah), Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club; Southlake, Texas), Chris Goslin (Atlanta United FC; Locust Grove, Ga.), Alex Mendez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Indiana Vassilev (Unattached; Savannah, Ga.)
FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Ulysses Llanez (LA Galaxy; Lynwood, Calif.), Jacobo Reyes (C.F. Monterrey; Houston, Texas), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Joshua Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallon, Mo.)