The United States U-23 team has named a 20-man roster for their friendly against Mexico on Wednesday. The match is set for the StubHub Center, where CONCACAF's best rivalry will be renewed at the youth level and it's a big enough deal that UniMas will televise the contest. (11 p.m. ET).
This is a very important year for the U.S. U-23s as they seek to qualify for next year's Olympics. The qualifying tournament is set for October so the team only has six months left and manager Andres Herzog still has a lot of work left to do. Jurgen Klinsmann has made the U-23 age group a priority, establishing them as a full-time team for the first time ever and having one of his assistant coaches manage them so the pressure is on for them to succeed.
The team that will take on Mexico is led by Jordan Morris, who scored against Mexico in a senior team match last week. He is one of only two college players on the team, with everyone else playing professionally. 10 of the players come from MLS clubs or their USL teams, while four play in Liga MX, two in Europe. One is with a NASL team on loan from Sporting Kansas City and one player does not have a club right now.
This isn't quite a full strength U-23 team. Because the match isn't on a FIFA date, clubs do not have to release players for it. That means the likes of Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman, who are involved with their clubs' senior teams and are needed there, have not been called in, but they will be in the summer and again for the second half of qualifying.
Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
Defenders: Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Midfielders: Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
Forwards: Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)