Global Influence in U-17 Residency Program
American soccer is increasingly landing talent from the global community.
In May, United States Under-20 National Team coach Thomas Rongen told MLSsoccer.com that he and his staff had identified more than 400 international youth players eligible for the American national team.
The list of teenagers who will take part in the U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., this fall hints at the growing success in recruiting talent from abroad.
Defensive stalwarts Mobi Fehr (Tokyo) and Danny Ziad (Guatemala City) live outside the US, while Los Angeles-born Luis Martir has been developing his skills in Mexico.
"We found some under-the-radar players who bring a different type of experience to our team," said U-17 coach Wilmer Cabrera in a release about the squad, "including one player [Martir] who was part of a professional environment at Chivas de Guadalajara, so it is a good blend."
The US Soccer Development Academy system is also producing talent, as 25 members of the residency program come from one of the clubs. Chivas USA (Kevin de la Torre, Jake McGuire), Cosmos Academy West (Ruben Duran, Esteban Rodriguez) and the New York Red Bulls (Russell Canousse, Adam Najem) lead the way with two each.
Two dozen of the 40 recently returned from a two-week training trip in Spain that saw the Red, White and Blue go 1-3-0 in two matches with the Spanish U-17 side and one each against Real Madrid's and Rayo Vallecano's youth sides.
The team, which features 19 players returning from the spring semester, will prepare for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, held in Jamaica next February. The tournament doubles as qualification for next summer's 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"[Cabrera] just told us about qualifiers, that we were going to go to Jamaica," striker Kellen Gulley told MLSsoccer.com from Spain. "We're really pumped to do that."
Who knows, maybe the Americans will return from the Caribbean island with a couple of recruits.
Fall 2010 Residency Roster (Detailed Roster)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC; Murietta, Calif.), Jake McGuire (Chivas USA; Chino, Calif.), Kendall McIntosh (Mustang Academy; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo; Houston)
DEFENDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Russell Canouse (NY Red Bulls; Lancaster, Pa.), Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar Chelsea Academy; Roanoke, Texas), Luis Martir (Chivas de Guadalajara; Los Angeles), Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami), Cole Nagy (Real Salt Lake-AZ; Scottsdale, Ariz.), Miguel Polley (Derby County Wolves; West Bloomfield, Mich.), Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.), Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio), Danny Zaid (Camp Elite Guatemala; Guatemala City)
MIDFIELDERS (16): Ricardo Aldape (Lemont Raiders; Chicago Heights, Ill.), Joe Amon (South Carolina United FC; Summerville, S.C.), Marco Delgado (Cosmo Academy West; Glendora, Calif.), Ruben Duran (Las Vegas Premier; Las Vegas), Patrick Foss (D.C. United; South Riding, Va.), Nick Gaitan (Albertson SC; Oceanside, N.Y.), Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), Jared Hegardt (Notts Forest FC; San Diego), Ryan Masch (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), Antonio Murillo (Neusport; Las Vegas), Adam Najem (NY Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Colton Storm (HMMS Eagle FC; Mechanicsburg, Pa.)
FORWARDS (8): Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), Kevin de la Torre (Chivas USA; Winchester, Calif.), Daniel Flores (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Kellen Gulley (MS Chicago Fire Juniors; Clinton, Miss.), Edwin Luna (P.A.C. Tigres; San Jose, Calif.), Alex Muyl (Cosmos Academy East; New York), Andrew Oliver (Westside United; Indianapolis), Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)