CHESTER, Pa. (Jan. 3, 2012) – 16-year-old midfielder Zach Pfeffer and two members of the Union Academy have been called up by the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to train in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. from Jan. 2-9.
In addition to Pfeffer, who signed as Philadelphia's first Home Grown player on December 22, 2010, Academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen and defender Miguel Alves were named to the squad by new head coach Richie Williams.
Pfeffer, one of three professionals on the 24-player roster, made his first official league appearance with the Union in 2011, starting in a 1-0 victory against the Columbus Crew on September 17. Pfeffer started again in the club's regular season finale against the New York Red Bulls.
Steffen helped lead the Union U-18's to an undefeated fall season, the Academy's first full season of competition. In addition to participating in Philadelphia's academy system, Steffen plays for Youth Development Affilliate FC DELCO.
Alves also plays for a Youth Development Affiliate of the Union, Players Development Academy, and has recently been called up to join Philadelphia's academy program.
According to U.S. Soccer, Williams will lead his age group through international tournaments and domestic training camps throughout the year to develop players and integrate the U-18 program into the same structure as the senior national team in terms of style of play, training sessions and fitness testing.
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zackary Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (8): Miguel Alves (Players Development Academy; Newark, N.J.), Robert Michael Amick (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Suliaman Dainkeh (D.C. United; Reston, Va.), Dylan Greenberg (Albertson SC; Dix Hills, N.Y.), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar Chelsea SC; Keller, Texas), Matthew Habrowski (Crew Soccer Academy Wolves; Berkley, Mich.), Jalen Markey (Seattle Sounders FC; Renton, Wash.), Miguel Polley (Chicago Fire; Woodridge, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Osvaldo Chavez (Texas Rush; El Paso, Texas), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Nicholas Gaitan (Argentinos Juniors; Oceanside, N.Y.), Romain Gall (FC Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Adam Najem (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), William Raygoza (LA Galaxy; South El Monte, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake AZ; Rochester, N.Y.), Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), Justin Dhillon (LA Galaxy; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Benjamin Lopez (Real Salt Lake AZ; San Diego, Calif.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Ben Spencer (Chivas USA; Albuquerque, N.M.), Jaime Villareal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)