By Official Florida FC
The United States’ quest to qualify for its first Olympics since 2008 will begin in earnest this month in Mexico.
On Monday, U.S. Soccer released its list of 31 players who will participate in a training camp for the tournament that kicks off March 18. This was a cull from the 48-member preliminary roster announced on Feb. 23.
The training camp roster features four Floridians: Orlando City midfielder Benji Michel (Orlando), Colorado Rapids winger Jonathan Lewis (Plantation) as well as Michel’s club teammate, Tampa native, and recently naturalized midfielder, Andres Perea. Jacksonville native and Montreal Impact forward Djordje Mihailovic also made the training camp roster.
Only 20 players will make the final roster that will face Costa Rica (March 18), the Dominican Republic (March 21) and Mexico (March 24). Barcelona winger Konrad de la Fuente and Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender were on the initial 48-man roster, but did not make the training camp roster.
“We’re excited to finally return to Guadalajara ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament,” said U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Jason Kreis in a statement. “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.”
The United States has missed three of the last for Olympics tournaments. Only the top two teams from Concacaf qualifying will advance to this summer’s Olympics.