Sean Okoli and Jordan Morris have both been called into the United States U-21 national team camp that will run from April 20-24 and include a friendly against Club Tijuana, it was announced on Friday. In total, 21 players were called in and the release says those will be the players who form the core of the U-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sounders announcer Kasey Keller was also named the team's goalkeeper's coach.
"We're excited to bring some of our best young players together for this initial U-21 camp," said current U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, who will oversee the five-day camp. "We're hoping that we can have another two or three camps between now and the end of the year. This camp is purely to have the team together so that we begin moving in the right direction. When the time is right, we can put a group that has kept playing together and is familiar with each other in front of the permanent coach."
Morris, currently at Stanford, was one of only two amateur players to receive a call-up, with the other being Santa Clara goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. All 21 players are currently based in North America, with 13 of those currently playing in MLS. Among that group were MLS starters Luis Gil and Shane O'Neill.
Somewhat conspicuously absent was DeAndre Yedlin. Although his specific absence was not addressed in the release, this could be a sign that the Sounders full back is now considered a part of the senior national team pool. Although Gil was called up for the recent Mexico friendly, he did not play. Yedlin, of course, did and appears to at least have an outside shot of being named to the World Cup team this summer. It's also possible that the Sounders' simply requested that Yedlin not be called in, as he will likely have a heavy workload in Saturday's game against Chivas USA.
Okoli is considerably more expendable, at least for the time being. The 21-year-old has looked good when he's played, but has also made just two appearances and logged only 18 total minutes.
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Kempin (Oklahoma City Energy; Leawood, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres UANL; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Collin Martin (D.C. United; Chevy Chase, Md.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana; Bell Gardens, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul; Inglewood, Calif.)