Gianluca Busio - Sporting Kansas City
Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City

ATL, SKC Homegrowns lead 12 MLS academy players named to key US U-17 squad

Twelve MLS academy prospects, including two already signed to Homegrown contracts, will lead the US Under-17 national team into three high-profile clashes with elite opponents over the next week. 

Homegrowns Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City, pictured above) and George Bello (Atlanta United) headline the final 20-player roster named on Tuesday by US U-17s head coach John Hackworth for the annual Nike International Friendlies in Lakeland Ranch, Florida, along with other standouts from the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls, NYCFC, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes youth systems.

The US will face England on Wednesday, the Netherlands on Friday and Brazil on Sunday; all matches will be streamed live on US Soccer’s Facebook PageYouTube channel and ussoccer.com (full schedule here). The US are the defending champions of the round-robin tournament, which is marking its 17th edition and has over the years provided a platform for young talents like Christian Pulisic to showcase their quality to the world. 

The Sounders lead the way with three call-ups from their academy program; also making the final cut is Dallas' Dante Sealy, the 14-year-old son of former FCD player and Trinidad & Tobago international Scott Sealy.

Final US roster for 2017 Nike International Friendlies 

*MLS academy products in bold

GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Kashope Oladapo (Portland Timbers; Happy Valley, Ore.)

DEFENDERS (6): Axel Alejandre (FC United Soccer Club; Chicago, Ill.), Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids; Highlands Ranch, Co.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club; Tampa, Fla.), Kenneth Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.)

MIDFIELDERS (6)Joshua Atencio (Seattle Sounders FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greenboro, NC), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes Perez (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Maximillian Goeggel (VFB Stuttgart; San Francisco, Calif.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, NJ)

FORWARDS (6): Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Tex.), Cade Hagan (Sockers FC; Naperville, Ill.), Diego Lopez (FC Golden State; Chino, Calif.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Fresno, Calif.), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Tex.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.)

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