Herzog Names 23-Man Roster to Prepare for 2016 Olympic Qualifying Playoff Against Colombia

Two-leg Series for Final Olympic Berth Takes Place in Barranquilla, Colombia on March 25 and Frisco, Texas on March 29

CHICAGO – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 23 players to training camp in advance of the team’s home-and-away playoff against Colombia, which will determine the final berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The first match of the 2016 Olympic Qualifying playoff will take place on Friday, March 25 at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla, Colombia, at 4 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET). The match will air live on FS1.

The return leg will be played on March 29 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 p.m. CT [TICKETS]. The decisive match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, following the U.S. MNT’s World Cup Qualifying match against Guatemala at 6 p.m. CT.

The roster includes players who play professionally in seven different countries, led by 11 who play in Major League Soccer, four each from England and Germany, two from Mexico, and one each from the Netherlands and Norway. Featured on the roster is Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris, who has earned nine caps with the full team, 2015 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year and recent Chelsea FC signing Matt Miazga, Bayern Munich midfielder Julian Green, who scored for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and VfB Stuttgart forward Jerome Kiesewetter, who won the Golden Boot at the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

Last October, the USA won its three first-round games in the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship before falling in the semifinals to Honduras. The U-23’s bounced back and won the third-place match against Canada to earn a place in the playoff. Colombia finished second in the 2015 South American Youth Championship to claim its spot in the playoff.

In addition to hosts Brazil, 14 other countries have already qualified for the 16-team men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The winner of the aggregate-goal series between the USA and Colombia will round out the field.

The U.S. hopes to return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, where it posted a 1-1-1 record but did not advance past the group stage. The USA’s best showing in the Olympics came during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, when the team defeated Japan in the quarterfinals and finished fourth in the event.

U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Milton Keynes Dons), Ethan Horvath (Molde KJ), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (Chelsea FC), Eric Miller (Colorado Rapids), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Desevio Payne (FC Groningen), Shane O’Neill (Cambridge United), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Luis Gil (Queretaro), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (3): Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Monchengladbach), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC)

Leave a Reply