Soto and Mihailovic headline Kreis' September United States U-23 roster
The pair are among the bigger names on the 24-man squad, which will play Japan in a friendly during a 10-day camp
Sebastian Soto and Djordje Mihailovic headline the United States U-23 side selected for the team’s September training camp and friendly against Japan.
Head coach Jason Kreis has selected a 24-player squad, which will take part in a camp from September 1-10 during the upcoming FIFA international break.
The squad is slated to play one friendly during the break – September 9 against Japan in Chula Vista, California as they continue their preparations for Olympic qualifying this spring.
Mihailovic represents one of the more experienced players in the side, having played for the United States senior national team during the 2019 Gold Cup. The Chicago Fire midfielder made a pair of appearances, and made one start for the tournament runner-up.
Soto was among the stars for the United States at the U-20 World Cup in Poland earlier this year. The Hannover youngster scored four times in the competition, including a brace against tournament favorite France to help the Americans pull a surprise comeback victory in the last 16.
The forward is joined by multiple teammates from that U-20 squad, including Alex Mendez, Chris Gloster, Mark McKenzie, Edwin Cerrillo and Brandon Servania.
One player included on the list, Niko Hamalainen, has previously represented Finland at both the youth and senior team levels. The Miami-born defender, who featured in three games on loan at Los Angeles FC this season before returning to parent club Queens Park Rangers, started a friendly against Estonia in January 2019.
Due to Hamalainen playing for Finland in recognized youth tournaments – he featured during the European U21 Championships – he would require a one-time switch of allegiance to play for the United States in a FIFA-recognized match.
The USA are hoping to end a recent string of Olympic qualification failures, having not made the tournament since 2008.
Qualification for the 2020 games takes place at the Concacaf Olympic Qualification Championship from March 20-April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico, which will see the top two teams automatically make the Tokyo Games.
U-23 Roster in full:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes.), Andrew Thomas (Stanford)
DEFENDERS (8): Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven), Niko Hamalainen (Kilmarnock FC), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Donovan Pines (D.C. United.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC), Alex Mendez (Ajax), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (7): Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Sebastian Soto (Hannover), Mason Toye (Minnesota United.), Haji Wright (VVV-Venlo)
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