Caleb Porter With 28 Names For December Training

While the USMNT has their January “Camp Cupcake” coming up, the US U-23s will head to Florida under the direction of new coach Caleb Porter on December 15th, to participate in their own camp (“Camp Junior Mint?”) in advance of next year’s Olympic tournament.

The Dynamo's Danny Cruz, an unheralded name in the mix....

Porter doled out invitations this week and US Soccer made the announcement today with few surprises. The squad is…..

GOALKEEPERS (4): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union)

DEFENDERS (8): Gale Agbossoumonde (Eintracht Frankfurt), Royal-Dominique Fennell (Stuttgarter Kickers), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafana (Chivas USA), Andrew Wenger (Duke), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Bryan Arguez (Montreal Impact), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabæk), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (6): Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Teal Bunbury (Sporting KC), Jann George (Nürnberg), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Andrew Wooten (Kaiserslautern)

The skinny:

> Chivas USA fans must be kicking themselves again today that Montreal swiped Zarek Valentin from them in the expansion draft. Could he be starting in the Olympics next year?

> Andrew “Wooten Clan” makes the roster. We just like saying that.

> The Earthquakes actually get a player on the squad…and it’s a goalie! Amazing and a sullen asterisk on Ike Opara who would have thought might have one time been a captain on this team.

> Jared Jeffrey again getting a call-in from Mainz.

> No Juan Agudelo…likely to the senior side for January camp? CJ Sapong is too old to compete without at the Olympics without taking one of the over-23 spots.



48 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dinho on 2011/12/08 at 10:47 AM

    Surprised about no Agudelo. Otherwise, very excited to see these kids play.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/08 at 10:51 AM

      May still be in Liverpool or may just be in January camp.

      Though it was interesting that Sapong not named. he can’t qualify because of age for the Olympic squad, but I thought he might be one of the +23yr old players selected.


      • Posted by Dinho on 2011/12/08 at 11:01 AM

        The January camp exclusion makes sense.

        As for Sapong, I honestly don’t think he’s worth naming as one of our +23year guys (yet). I would think that Agudelo would be in front of him for that spot.


        • Posted by rambo on 2011/12/08 at 1:47 PM

          If Sapong can’t play for the US in the olympics I can see why he wasn’t called up.


  2. Posted by Union on 2011/12/08 at 10:55 AM

    Where is T. Boyd?


    • Posted by Dinho on 2011/12/08 at 10:59 AM

      Great question. And who is Jann George?


      • Posted by Andy on 2011/12/08 at 11:11 AM

        Plays with Timmy Chandler at Nurnburg, but he’s on the reserve squad right now (Nurnburg ii) like Chandler was early last season.


      • Posted by Freegle on 2011/12/08 at 11:13 AM

        If Boyd is nearing the gameday 18 for his club team, they may have declined to release him.


        • Posted by Union on 2011/12/08 at 11:59 AM

          Yea, I was thinking that. But he’s going to be a major component of the U-23 squad unless he gets on the senior squad. Which won’t be the least bit unreasonable if he is indeed close to the gameday 18. I think it would be tough for Jurgen to call up a kid from the reserve squad to the senior team. Interesting scenario. Hopefully JK will comment on it.


  3. Posted by nbluck on 2011/12/08 at 10:55 AM

    josh gatt?


    • Injured hamstring half way through October. Prognosis was a few weeks, so he probably isn’t recovered enough.


  4. Posted by Union on 2011/12/08 at 11:09 AM

    Omissions of Boyd and Gatt lead me to believe they are going to take part in the Jan. camp with Jurgen. I hope.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/08 at 11:37 AM

      I wouldn’t necessarily believe that. I think there is some danger to hyping Gatt. The highlight clip are great, but he’s also playing in a somewhat of a weak league.

      While he may have all the potential in the world (I haven’t seen him play), Klinsmann or Porter may want to see him realize or realize it in a better league beforehand.

      Or maybe–and this is more likely–he’s getting a Cupcake invite.


      • Posted by Tony on 2011/12/08 at 12:14 PM

        Some of the u-23 invitees are going to be in the January camp.


        • Posted by Union on 2011/12/08 at 12:21 PM

          Fair enough. Matt, what are your thoughts on Boyd?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/08 at 1:12 PM

            No opinion yet. Asked Greg Seltzer about him. he hasn’t seen him much yet either. My guess is that–given his club and recent track record–we’ll get a few more observations shortly.

            Always hard to say until we get a number of observations, especially with strikers. For my continual two cents, I think Agudelo’s current “game” is excellent. I think he has a great feel for the game (others disagree), but I’m concerned that he had trouble beating CONCACAF central defenders off the dribble over the summer.
            For Bunbury, it’s consistency. I think he’s actually a little bit faster than Agudelo and has a bigger body, but he looks like he’s thinking his way through the game too much right now. I’d really like to see him also in more of a 4-4-2 set-up.


            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/12/08 at 1:42 PM

              The curious thing about Agudelo is that it appears that his game is missing something. Over the course of a game he displays a very good skill set. The issue is that the skills at least IMO seem to total to less than a sum of their parts over 90 minutes. The weird thing is that I can’t say what he is missing. Some guys its vision, some guys its touch, some guys its workrate, etc.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 1:57 PM

              Agudelo is:
              a) a bit too insistent to take people on off of the dribble
              b) too stagnant in movements off-of-the-ball
              c) a bit too eager to drop off into midfield, where he plays very safe passes
              d) a victim of Hans Backe, who doesn’t seem to like him much. (Ever read Hans’s quotes on Agudelo? I don’t think he’s enamored.)

            • Posted by Union on 2011/12/08 at 3:10 PM

              It will be interesting to see what the reports are on him out of Stuttgart and Liverpool. Anyone heard anything?

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/12/08 at 4:38 PM

              Maybe he is just to inconsistent. I don’t disagree with you but I have seen that he
              a) has the ability to take people off the dribble
              b) make great off the ball runs

              yet he doesn’t seem to do that enough.

      • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 12:24 PM

        I’d say the Norwegian league is roughly on par with the MLS. The best MLS teams are better than the best Norwegian teams, but I’d guess the worst Norwegian teams are better than the worst MLS teams.

        Gatt has a wonderful highlight video and is capable of doing a lot of spectacular things. I love that he has a naturally aggressive disposition. That said, he’s still very raw about everything other than running at guys and breaking their ankles. I still have him penciled into the London roster, should we make it that far; I expect he’ll start in qualifying.


        • Posted by JohnC on 2011/12/08 at 6:35 PM

          I would say this is very silly logic because MLS is the league with a ton of parity and Europe is the place with great top teams in each league and then a very drastic drop in talent. So if MLS has superior top teams then you would assume are bottom teams (in a league ripe with parity) would be much superior to the bottom teams in Norway. Also, when you compare the top transfer fees of each league, the pipeline of international talent coming from Central America and South America and the big name players to come from Europe to America it would seem obvious that MLS is much better than Norway. I say all this with only ever watching one Josh Gatt game.

          I hope Gatt has all the talent in the world and reaches his potential but it seems we are much more enamored with the unknown than what we have on hand such as Danny Cruz, Michael Stephens and Jack Mac.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 8:32 PM

            Yes, my logic is silly, but you’ve only watched one Josh Gatt game. Hmmmmmmmmmmm…..

            One big difference between all three of those players: Gatt either plays more (Jack Mac, Stephens) or produces more (Cruz, Stephens, Mac) than all of them on a per-minute basis. And, of course, his team is a championship one. How many Americans can say they were significant contributors for a championship team younger than 20? Landon Donovan and…..?


            • Posted by JohnC on 2011/12/09 at 10:25 AM

              Umm what? Michael Stephens plays for LA who have won the supporters shield the last two years and 21 games last year (when a one David Beckham was hurt) and started 12 games this year. Danny Cruz started 17 games this year including all the games to the MLS final and had 2 goals. Josh Gatt started 14 games this year with 3 goals. Also, only watching one game was added to say just based on logic of the two leagues MLS should be considered better, if I watched all the games I wouldn’t use logic I would use experience and opinion.

              Brian Sciattra seems to think Gatt will be very good. People also raved about him at the U20s but I don’t think we can take much from the club level except that he is young and playing consistent.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 11:53 AM

              Gatt got injured in the middle of the season; up to that point he’d basically played every game. And obviously you didn’t notice the important key “per minute”: Gatt produced more goals/assists per minute than any of the players you mentioned above.

              Speaking as someone who’s seen many games of all these guys, Gatt is just better than any of them. I guarantee the majority of MLS GMs and coaches would feel similarly.

            • Posted by Kevin on 2011/12/09 at 2:08 PM

              Holden at the age of 20. And to be fair cruz was 90 minutes away from not only contributing heavily in a championship title, but also at the age of, I believe, 20. If you’re looking for production what number are looking for? Goals scored? Then at that point you’re comparing a right mid with a striker on offensive production they should be quite a bit different.

              Also when talking about minutes played, you don’t really expect me to believe that Josh Gatt would start on the Union do you? I’ll admit that I haven’t seen Gatt play nor do I know much about him, but I do know that if he can be a regular contributor to his team that won a championship,the level in play in his league is considerably worse. There was no team in Norway with Donovan, beckham, and keane.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 2:51 PM

              Holden was 21 for the Dynamo’s first MLS Cup run. Danny Cruz is also 21. Nevertheless, if his list of comparables is Stuart Holden and Landon Donovan, that’s a pretty exclusive list–certainly much more rarified than your Jack MacInerneys and Michael Stephenses, who are nice players but unlikely to get anything more than a cap here or there.

              While there’s no team in Norway with Donovan, Beckham and Keane, there’s no Adam Cristman or Chad Barrett starting for Molde either.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 3:01 PM

              One last note: Gatt actually made 27 appearances in all competitions, with 5 goals. The Tippeligaen site has him down for 5 assists, meaning a goal or assist every 2.7 appearances (too busy to calculate per minute; per appearance necessary kludge).

              Cruz made 24 appearances in all competitions–fewer than Gatt even though Gatt played for a better team and was injured for a large portion of league play–and had 5 goals an assists, i.e. a goal or assist roughly every 5 appearances.

              McInerney’s per-appearance numbers are weak but his per-minute numbers are strong; at any rate, he never seems to be able to win Nowak’s trust, whereas Ole Gunnar played Gatt at almost every opportunity.

              In addition, the proof’s in the pudding: before the season started, Gatt was refused permission to go play in u-20 qualifying (disatrously, as it turned out: a lack of depth on the wings doomed the team). McInerney wasn’t even asked. (Cruz and Stephens weren’t eligible, of course.

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/08 at 9:09 PM

            Molde is noted for exporting talent to the bigger European clubs. The most recognizable to US fans would be Ole Gunnar Solskjær,the baby faced assassin, hero of 1999,who just happens to be Gatt’s present manager. Solskjaer maintains a good relationship with SAF so cue the Gatt to Man U rumours.

            These factors would tend to make one optimistic that Gatt is being handled well for the future.

            On the downside, UEFA ranks the Norwegian league at 26th. The SPL, a putrid league once you get past the Old Firm, is ranked 15th. It makes you think there are probably some pretty crap teams in Norway.

            Mixx and Gatt are exciting prospects but US fans have a history of premature excitation. Those two they have a lot to prove. If they both play for the Olympic team that will be worth watching.


            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 3:02 PM

              Despite the argument, your last point is worth repeating. In all probability, none of Gatt, Stephens, Mix, Cruz, McInerney become USMNT regulars. But if I had to bet on two, it’d be Gatt and Mix–it’s really easy.

  5. Posted by Rich on 2011/12/08 at 12:18 PM

    Wait…Adu is still under 23? There must be some deeper meaning in that.


  6. Camp Tartlet???


  7. No Perry Kitchen – So much for Porter playing favorites


  8. Posted by jermaine on 2011/12/08 at 4:59 PM

    Perry Kitchen has turf toe, otherwise he would be in camp.


    • gotcha. Makes sense. Sarkodie’s name got thrown in the hat to keep the Zip-count up, I suppose.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 8:33 PM

        Oh, yeah, didn’t see Sarkodie. Strange inclusion. Would say between Valentin and Williams we have RB locked down.


  9. We all need to get behind and support Porter irrespective of roster selections AND results. I don’t care if we don’t even qualify for the Olympics, as long as his product shows quality play.

    This is a process and a learning experience for him at the international level. In my opinion, Caleb is undoubtedly the most talented American coach in the country. Please, please, please let’s give him many years to hone his craft.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/08 at 8:40 PM

      Gary, fair commentary. However, this site about trying to be objective not building support.

      Caleb Porter is an excellent coach, but he pretty quickly had amazing success at Akron both through recruiting and game play. With the resources at his disposal and given that Rongen was dismissed for missing the World Cup, I don’t think many years are necessary or frankly should be given.

      I think–win or lose early on–he going to be in that role for awhile and I’d be surprised if he didn’t have success, but he should be evaluated as fairly or unfairly as any other coach.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/08 at 9:13 PM

        What is your expectation for how well this Olympic team should do, given the opposition?

        Do you see it medaling?


        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 9:37 PM

          Medalling would be a nice goal to aspire to, but honestly, qualifying should be more difficult than most people appreciate.

          Consider this: given the timing of qualifying–February–it’s highly unlikely we’ll get any non-Scandinavian European players. In addition, there are no overage players. Now, try to put together a starting backline. Here’s my best guess:


          We’re basically fine at the fullbacks; it’s centerbacks where things look frightening. Kitchen, of course, isn’t a natural centerback, and White just had surgery on his knee. Fun times! You might just have another nonnatural centerback (Okugo) and a college player (Ibeagha, for sake of argument) as backups.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 9:49 PM

          That’s, of course, before considering the opposition. Let’s assume for sake of argument each team brings the A team. These are the types of players we’ll be contending with (before overages, of course!)

          Spain: De Gea, Alcantara, Cuenca, Munian, Javi Martinez
          Switzerland: Shaqiri, among others
          Brazil: Neymar, Lucas Moura, Ganso, Fabio, Sandro, Pato, Kleber, etc.
          Uruguay: Coates, Lodeiro, Ramirez, Abel Hernandez
          England: well, we know; if UK: well, we know + Bale, Ramsey, etc. (well, they’re at home and coached by Stuart Pearce. It’s really only a question of how badly they fail at this point.)

          We have some very good players, but talent-wise are definitely a good step below the big four of Spain, Brazil, Uruguay and England/GB. That’s before considering Mexico (should they qualify) and whomever qualifies out of Asia (of which Japan should be a huge threat to medal if they bring the full-strength squad).

          So, it would be nice, but I don’t expect it at all.


  10. Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 8:54 PM

    One more observation: interesting to see two college players in the call-up list. It’s presumed that Wenger will be a high draft pick, from what I hear; will Ibeagha get picked up by Houston as a homegrown player?


  11. Posted by dth on 2011/12/08 at 10:35 PM

    One last team: very surprised no Luis Gil.


    • Posted by Union on 2011/12/09 at 12:47 AM

      Wow, yea, I didn’t even catch that. He is potentially a bigger omission than Boyd/Gatt.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/12/09 at 10:20 AM

        You have to wonder if Porter saw him as too undersized and inexperienced to play w/ the u-23. But, given that JK has placed a premium on MLS players, especially the young ones, having year-round exposure against top competition, one has to think he might be an option for the January camp. That seems crazy, but I can’t fathom they would keep him out of these camps.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 11:54 AM

          I imagine Gil will be at Tab Ramos’s u-20 mega camp.

          It’s worthwhile to note, then, that the upcoming u-20 cycle looks very strong to me, much stronger than the ’11 u-20 cycle appeared at the same period of time.


  12. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/12/09 at 8:48 AM

    Arguez seems like a very strange choice to me. 22 year-old who’s never made an impact professionally.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/12/09 at 11:55 AM

      Apparently the reason Marsch picked up Arguez was because he was the best player for the USSF d2 champs.

      That said, I agree it’s a strange choice.


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