Thought's on Wicky's U-17 roster, midweek Americans abroad, Llanez, & Adams
April 03, 2019
THERE WAS plenty of news to go around as the middle of the week hit. The U-17 national team will hold its first camp under new coach Raphael Wicky, U.S. U-20 winger Uly Llanez formally announced where he will begin his professional career, and there were a bunch of Americans abroad in action.
Here are a few thoughts on the news.
Wicky names first roster
New U.S. U-17 head coach Raphael Wicky will not have a lot of time to prepare for World Cup qualifying. In fact, this upcoming camp that runs from April 4-8 in Lakewood Ranch, FLA. is his only camp before World Cup qualifying in May.
The roster was unveiled on Tuesday and it consisted of 26 players.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.), Bryan Dowd (FC United; Willow Springs, Ill.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta)
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.) Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Antino Lopez (Shattuck – St. Mary’s; Las Vegas, Nev.), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.), Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.)
FORWARDS (9): Sagir David Arce (Morelia/MEX; Chihuahua, Mexico), Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.), Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Joshua Pynadath (Ajax/NED; Los Altos Hills, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)
The makeup of the roster is a little odd with only five midfielders and nine forwards but it reflects that this group is very attack-oriented.
There are two notable absences as Sporting Kansas City’s attacking midfielder Gianluca remained with his club as the talented teenager scored over the weekend and the club has a Champions League game on Thursday against Monterrey. Also missing is Eintracht Frankfurt defender Mason Judge who has been playing with the club’s U-19 team.
The big inclusion is Ricardo Pepi. The FC Dallas forward made a huge professional debut in the USL on Saturday for North Texas SC with a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Chattanooga. Also of note is that Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Daniel Leyva is the lone player making his U-17 debut in camp.
Ricardo Pepi getting the U-17 USMNT call up is pretty big. He's still eligible for El Tri and I'm sure both nations are watching his development closely.— Jason Poon ????????????? (@jasonpoonFC) April 2, 2019
In total, seven players on the roster have seen professional minutes so far in their careers.
“I’m really excited to begin this journey with my new team,” Wicky said. “I’m looking forward to meeting both the players and the staff. I have spent a lot of time watching film and studying the players, as well as talking with clubs and U.S. Soccer leaders, which has prepared me well for this camp. Now, I finally get a chance to work with the players in person and prepare them for World Cup qualifying.”
The United States will open World Cup qualifying on May 2 against Canada in Florida.
Llanez joins Wolfsburg
The latest American teenager to move abroad is U-20 winger Uly Llanez who developed at the LA Galaxy but instead opted to make the jump to Germany and sign with Wolfsburg. The move was widely expected to happen and Llanez announced it the day after his 18th birthday.
Llanez is also eligible for the 2021 U-20 World Cup team but has succeeded under Tab Ramos while playing up a cycle. He was the team’s leading scorer in November’s run to the U-20 CONCACAF Championship.
I’m humbled & Blessed to announce that i’ve signed my first contract with @vfl.wolfsburg! i wanna thank my family, coaches, & my friends that supported me through this journey!! ????????— Uly Llanez (@uly_soccer7) April 3, 2019
Club Future set ?
Looking forward to Poland ? pic.twitter.com/lyZZ1M5Vfk
Llanez won’t be able to play official games with Wolfsburg until next year as he has already missed the registration date. He will likely play for Wolfsburg’s U-19 team.
Americans abroad in action
There were a bunch of Americans in action in Europe on Tuesday.
Tim Ream and Fulham were officially relegated out of the Premier League after a very difficult season. It was just last year when Fulham earned promotion to the top flight and Ream was named the player of the season. After Tuesday’s 4-1 loss Watford, Fulham will be back in the Championship again.
Meanwhile, Cameron Carter-Vickers was back on the bench for Swansea but played the final eight minutes in a 3-0 win over Brentford. Carter-Vickers, 21, is finishing up his loan to Swansea City from Tottenham and will likely head back on loan again next year.
There were two goals scored and they didn’t come from names you’d typically expect.
In South Korea’s K-League, Mix Diskerud scored the first goal for Ulsan Hyundai in a 2-1 win over FC Seoul. With the win, Ulsan Hyundai continued its strong start to the season and sits atop the K-League with 11 points through five games. It is one point better than second-place FC Seoul which it leapfrogged with the win.
In Belgium top flight, Kortrijk’s American central defender Brendan Hines-Ike, 24, scored a nice goal in a 3-2 win over Waasland-Beveren.
In Belgium, Colorado native Brendan Hines-Ike with a nice goal for Kortrijk which leads Waasland-Beveren 2-1 in stoppage time. Poor defense but a very nice strike from the 24 year old American central defender pic.twitter.com/qOGZ1vbs3A— American Soccer Now (@ClassicASN) April 2, 2019
Finally, American winger Jerome Kiesewetter will no longer be based abroad as he has signed with the El Paso Locomotive of the USL. Kiesewetter, 26, was previously with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2018 but has been unable to find a club since after several unsuccessful trials.
One American who was unable to see the field on Saturday was Tyler Adams who missed Tuesday’s German Cup win with an adductor injury. It is unclear how much time he will miss.
Leipzig defeated Augsburg in extra time and will face Hamburg in the German Cup semifinals. Assuming Adams comes back quickly, he will have a chance for a lot of success in his first few months in Germany with the German Cup on the line and a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season with a top four finish in the Bundesliga