FC Dallas Homegrown Trio Called to U-23 USMNT Training Camp Ahead of CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship
Frisco, Texas - FC Dallas Homegrowns JesÃºs Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi and Tanner Tessmann were called up by U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Jason Kreis to a training camp ahead of the Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The U-23 USMNT players will train together in Mexico before Kreis selects the final 20-player tournament roster later this month. The USA kicks off Olympic qualifying on Thursday, March 18 vs. Costa Rica at 4 p.m. CT, faces Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 21 at 6 p.m. CT and wraps up the group stage vs. Mexico on Wednesday, March 24 at 8:30 p.m. CT. All three U.S. group stage games will be broadcast on FS1 and TUDN.
"We're excited to finally return to Guadalajara ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament," Kreis said. "A lot has changed since March 2020, but we've seen our player pool grow and gain invaluable experience over the last year. We're looking forward to a few weeks of preparation ahead of the tournament and we're thankful for the cooperation of the clubs in releasing their players for this very important training camp. I'm confident that the group we've assembled can achieve our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo."
Ferreira, 20, joins the U-23s after a successful U-23/USMNT camp in January. Ferreira scored his first international brace and added three assists in the 7-0 shutout win against Trinidad and Tobago on January 31. Ferreira became a U.S. citizen on Dec. 16, 2019 and was granted a one-time change of association by FIFA to represent the U.S. National Team at the international level. He made his senior team debut against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020 where he played 62 minutes.
Pepi, 18, will take part in his first U-23 USMNT training camp as the youngest player on the roster. He was last called up to represent the U-17 National team in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, where he played in two group stage matches. Pepi recently participated in a two-week training period in January with FC Bayern Munich as part of the clubs' Elite Player Development Partnership.
"Going to the U-23s isn't something that happens every day," Pepi said. "It's a group that's older than me, so I think I'm blessed and just happy for the opportunity. I know some of the people going to the camp but going with [FC Dallas] teammates makes it a lot easier."
Tessmann, 19, earns his second call up to the U.S. U-23 Men's National Team. Tessmann made his senior team debut in the 78th minute of the Trinidad and Tobago match last month after earning spot on the USMNT final travel roster.
"I'm really excited," Tessmann said. "It's a big opportunity for the group going down there to make a difference in U.S. Soccer and how the world sees U.S. Soccer. It's an honor to be called up and hopefully I can represent well."
The Olympic qualifying tournament was originally scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are age-eligible for the competition, and Kreis selected 13 players born in 1997, five born in 1998, one born in 1999, four born in 2000, six born in 2001, one born in 2002 and one born in 2003 for the training camp.
The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the pivotal semifinals that will send two winners to the Olympics in Tokyo as representatives of Concacaf. The two winners will also meet in the final on March 30.
U-23 USMNT Training Camp Roster by Position (Club; Hometown):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Jonathan Klinsmann (LA Galaxy; Munich, Germany), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (10): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Marco Farfan (LAFC; Gresham, Ore.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington,Mass.), Austin Trusty (Colorado Rapids; Media, Pa.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati; Santa Ana, Calif.), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Hoover, Ala.), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; Alexandria, Va.), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (9): JesÃºs Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United FC; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; Lynwood, Calif.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Jacksonville, Fla.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)
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