The start of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament is less that two weeks away (Oct. 1). United States under-23 manager Andi Herzog has decided on the players he will bring with him after finalizing his 20-man roster on Friday.
Many of the names that made the cut are the same ones who got the call for the final set of friendlies earlier this month.
One big exception is Stanford striker Jordan Morris. Fresh off of yet another cap with the senior U.S. national team, the 20-year-old has gotten the call and looks set to be a vital cog in the Americans attempt to qualify for Rio 2016. It was up-in-the-air as to whether Morris would represent the U-23's for this tournament or be named to the USMNT roster for the crucial playoff match against Mexico that coincides with this tournament. It appears the decision was to let the youngster lead the U-23 line.
Seven players from the U.S. U-20's World Cup run this summer have made the transition to the highest youth level possible in under three months. Perhaps the most notable of the bunch is Gedion Zelalem who is enjoying a successful beginning to his loan stint at Rangers. He and Emerson Hyndman were very important parts for that U-20 side.
Other U-20 graduates to make the cut include Zack Steffen, Maki Tall, and the stellar center back pairing of Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Incumbent U-23 players who have been with the team throughout this uninspiring cycle include Luis Gil, Wil Trapp, and Dillon Serna.
The biggest name missing from this list is Julian Green who has fallen out of favor for both the U-23's and the senior team. He is currently in the fourth division of German soccer with Bayern Munich's reserve team.
The U.S. got a favorable group draw for this qualifying tournament that includes Canada, Panama, and Cuba. While, it won't be a cakewalk because no CONCACAF competition ever is, a trip to the semifinals should be a certainty. That is where things will get tricky.
With the tournament taking place before and during a FIFA international window, we could see some shuffling of names before all is said and done. U.S. Soccer has not announced their plans in that regard.
Here is the full roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Charlie Horton (Leeds; Cleveland Ohio), Ethan Horvath (Molde; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zack Steffen (Freiburg; Downington, Pa.).
DEFENDERS (5): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), William Packwood (Unattached; Concord, Mass.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Gboly Ariyibi (Chesterfield; Arlington, Va.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire; Milwaukee, Wis.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; Gahanna, Ohio), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers; Bethesda, Md.).
FORWARDS (4): Alonso Hernandez (C.D. Juarez; El Paso, Texas), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Maki Tall (FC Sion; Washington, D.C.)