U.S. Men's Roster: 17 of 23 have US Youth Soccer Background
As a youth club player, even in an Olympic Development Program, it's sometimes difficult to see the path forwards.
There are so many hurdles to cross, so many hoops to jump through, that the ultimate goal of representing your country may be hard to visualize.
If you - or your son or daughter - ponders this quandary at times it may be helpful to consider the US Men's National Team roster for the upcoming COPA America Centenario. Of the 23 players who made the squad, 17 have US Youth Soccer ties.
The United States will play the opening match of the tournament on June 3 against Colombia before taking on Costa Rica on June 7 and Paraguay on June 11.
Fifteen players on the COPA America Centernario rosters are US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) alums, with the likes of Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Bobby Wood attending US Youth Soccer ODP Interregional events. Zusi was selected as an All-star at the 2003 US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Interregional.
In addition to ODP experience, 16 have played in the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series (NCS). DeAndre Yedlin, Steve Birnbaum and Darlington Nagbe all played in multiple US Youth Soccer Regional Championships.
Michael Bradley won the 2002 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships and placed third in the 2002 US Youth Soccer National Championships with Sockers FC (IL). Perry Kitchen won the 2005 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships with Chicago Magic (IL), while Alejandro Bedoya won the US Youth Soccer Region III Championships in 2004 and 2006 with Weston FC (FL).
Feel better? Yes, I thought so.
9:30 p.m. ET
8:00 p.m. ET
vs. Costa Rica
7:00 p.m. ET
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Brad Guzan^* (Aston Villa) [IL], 12-Tim Howard^* (Colorado Rapids) [NJ], 22-Ethan Horvath^* (Molde IK) [CO]
DEFENDERS (8): 5-Matt Besler^* (Sporting KC) [KS], 3-Steve Birnbaum^* (D.C. United) [CA-S], 6-John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), 20-Geoff Cameron^* (Stoke City) [MA], 21-Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), 23-Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 14-Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), 2-DeAndre Yedlin^* (Tottenham Hotspur) [WA]
MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (12): 15-Kyle Beckerman^* (Real Salt Lake) [MD], 11-Alejandro Bedoya^* (Nantes) [FL], 4-Michael Bradley^* (Toronto FC) [IL], 8-Clint Dempsey^* (Seattle Sounders FC) [N-TX], 13-Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 16-Perry Kitchen^* (Heart of Midlothian) [IL], 10-Darlington Nagbe^* (Portland Timbers) [OH-N], 17-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 18-Chris Wondolowski^* (San Jose Earthquakes) [CA-N], 7-Bobby Wood^* (Hamburg SV) [HI], 20-Gyasi Zardes* (LA Galaxy) [CA-S], 19-Graham Zusi^* (Sporting KC) [FL]
^= US Youth Soccer ODP
*= US Youth Soccer NCS