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Roster Announced for U.S. Men's Olympic Soccer Team Match in KC

May 29, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Sporting Kansas City News Release


U.S. Men's Olympic Soccer Team head coach Marko Mitrović has called 25 players to training camp in Kansas City, Kan. as the USA embarks on its final preparations for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The U.S. will face Japan on Tuesday, June 11 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are available for purchase and the match will be streamed, with platforms to be confirmed.

This summer marks the return of the U.S. Men's Olympic Team to the Games for the first time since 2008. The Men's Olympic Soccer Tournament 18-player roster is restricted to players under the age of 23, with an allowance for three overage players. The competition is an important part of the Federation's mission to develop winning teams as it will provide some of the nation's top young talent the opportunity to face elite opposition on the world stage this summer.

For the first time in the run-up to the Olympics, Mitrović has called up an overage player in defender Walker Zimmerman. The center back has earned 42 senior international caps and was part of the USMNT roster at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, appearing in all four matches and starting three. In total, 19 players on the roster have been capped by the full USMNT. Behind Zimmerman, midfielder Gianluca Busio leads the group with 13 senior international appearances.

U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC SOCCER TEAM - JUNE TRAINING CAMP - KANSAS CITY

GOALKEEPERS (2): Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew; St. Charles, Mo.), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.)

DEFENDERS (7): Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union; Oldsmar, Fla.), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; Lakewood, Calif.), Bryan Reynolds (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Fort Worth, Texas), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich City/ENG; Plano, Texas), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; Greensboro, N.C.), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF; Key Biscayne, Fla.), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Queens, N.Y.), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia/ITA; Birmingham, Ala.)

FORWARDS (9): Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Medford, N.J.), Esmir Bajraktarevic (New England Revolution; Appleton, Wisc.), Taylor Booth (Utrecht/NED; Eden, Utah), Cade Cowell (Guadalajara/MEX; Ceres, Calif.), Damion Downs (Köln/GER; Schwebenried, Germany), Johan Gomez (Eintracht Braunschweig/GER; Keller, Texas), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC; Omaha, Neb.), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Clifton, Va.)

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2001, are U-23 age-eligible for the 2024 Olympics. Mitrović selected one overage player born in 1993 (Zimmerman), nine players born in 2001, four born in 2002, five born in 2003, four born in 2004 and two born in 2005- midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi and forward Esmir Bajraktarevic, who are also eligible for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The roster features players from 21 different clubs, including 10 from Major League Soccer. Two players each come from the Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union plus Belgium's KVC Westerlo and Italy's Venezia. In total, 13 players are based abroad in Germany (four), Belgium, Italy, England (two each), Croatia, Netherlands and Mexico (one each). Twelve of the 13 players plying their trade internationally spent time in MLS academies before moving overseas.

Nine players have been a part of all four Men's Olympic Team training camps held thus far: defenders Nathan Harriel, Bryan Reynolds, John Tolkin and Jonathan Tomkinson, midfielders Gianluca Busio, Jack McGlynn and Tanner Tessmann plus forwards Esmir Bajraktarevic and Johan Gomez.

THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE

Two pairs of club teammates are playing key roles in the midst of high-stakes campaigns in the Columbus Crew's Aidan Morris and Patrick Schulte and Venezia's Busio and Tessmann.

After helping Columbus lift the MLS Cup last fall, Morris and Schulte have been crucial to the Crew's run to the Concacaf Champions Cup Final. Facing Mexican power Tigres in the semifinals, Schulte came up massively in a penalty-kick shootout on the road at El Volcán , lifting the Crew to a 5-4 victory. In the semifinals vs. Monterrey, Morris netted a stellar game-tying goal in a 3-1 victory as Schulte made a number of crucial saves down the stretch. Columbus became the first MLS team to advance against two Liga MX teams without losing in the second legs on the road. The pair will face Pachuca on Saturday, June 1 as the Crew aims to become the second MLS team to win the competition.

In Italy, Busio and Tessmann have been crucial cogs in Venezia's promotion push to Serie A. After leading the club to a third-place finish in the Serie B table, the pair started both matches of the two-legged promotion playoff semifinals vs. Palermo. Tessmann scored a spectacular opening goal in the second leg to help secure Venezia's 3-1 aggregate win and advancement to the finals. They'll play a home-and-home series vs. Cremonese on May 30 and June 2 for a spot in the Italian top flight next season.

WELCOME BACK

A number of players are back in the National Team picture after recovering from injuries throughout the Olympic cycle. Center back Jalen Neal played an important role during the USMNT's 2023 Gold Cup run but missed the end of last season's MLS campaign and the start of this year's due to injury. After five MLS appearances for LA Galaxy since making his return in mid-April, he's headed to his first training camp with the Men's Olympic Team.

Midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi appeared in all four Men's Olympic Team matches last fall, netting the USA's lone goal in a 1-1 draw with Iraq, but was sidelined by a sports hernia in January. Now, after eight games and two goals with Inter Miami, the South Florida native is back with the U.S. Injury also sidelined forward Taylor Booth for several weeks in the middle of this spring's Eredivisie campaign, but he rallied to play in FC Utrecht's last five matches of the season and returns to National Team camp.

While it's Zimmerman's first action with the Men's Olympic Team, it's the veteran center back's first international call-up since the 2023 Concacaf Nations League Finals last summer. After missing time during the 2023 and 2024 MLS seasons, the Nashville SC defender is back in the fold.

HOW WE GOT HERE

The U.S. qualified for the 2024 Olympics with a dominant performance at the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras, defeating the host nation 3-0 in the tournament semifinals to secure its Olympic berth. Forward Paxten Aaronson won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player as well as the Golden Boot as top scorer with seven goals. Neal was named to the Best XI while Cade Cowell, McGlynn and Rokas Pukstas also represented the U.S. at the competition.


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