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100 Percent Soccer: Focus is on future at annual U.S. men’s national team camp in Carson

By in Press Enterprise on January 11, 2018

By Nick Green

Over the years, the annual January U.S. men’s national team camp in Carson has evolved into the most random of the season, with players being called in for a wide variety of reasons, including veterans returning from injury or MLS journeymen seemingly making up the numbers on the training field.

But this year’s version, which opens Thursday on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus, has returned to its roots, if you will.

Fully half the 29-player roster (Dom Dyer withdrew through injury Wednesday) has never donned the national team jersey. But a dozen have played for the U.S. at a FIFA Youth World Cup, including four who played at last year’s U-20 World Cup. Just nine players are older than 24. All but two play in MLS.

Said interim head coach Dave Sarachan: It’s a camp that smacks of “the future and opportunity.”

And another 🔴 was right behind them.

Welcome to your first #USMNT camp, @MarkyDelgado!

More on the 1️⃣0️⃣ newbies:

— U.S. Soccer MNT (@ussoccer_mnt) January 10, 2018

Which is just as well because that’s about all the U.S. has coming into a desolate 2018.

Aside from that, it has no head coach, no settled leadership at the top of U.S. Soccer with an election looming and no chance of playing in a World Cup until 2022, an eternity in sport.

On top of all that, earlier this week, the U.S. lost one of its most widely regarded young prospects to Mexico. Jonathan Gonzalez, a dual citizen born in Santa Rosa, announced on Twitter that he will represent El Tri.

“It is not easy to leave behind the country in which one was born; however, Mexico is also my home as it is the country where my parents were born and, consequently, where my roots originate,” […]    

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