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U15 USYNT Camp Roster Analysis

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April 2024
The United States U15 team, which is the 2009 age group, will convene for the third time this cycle for a domestic camp that does not include any competitive matches. The coaches and staff are going to get a closer look at a lot of new players. Only 11 players return from their tournament in Portugal. Ten players are getting their first USYNT team camp experience and two return from the first team camp. These players are competing to leave a positive impression on the staff in an effort to make the roster for a tournament in Croatia next month.
Prince Forfor, left wing-back for Columbus Crew's Academy

Roster analysis


Tobias Szrewczyk (RBNY), James Donaldonson (Atlanta United), Keller Abbott (Columbus Crew)

Szrewczyk and Donaldson were the two keepers that were selected to go to Portugal in their last set of friendlies. Szrewczyk is one of the top keepers in this class and Donaldson is a solid player. Abbott joins the group for the first time. I need to watch more of him to have a better read on his level.

The big question mark here is how in the world the selection team doesn’t view Marcelo Avalos as one of the two best keepers in this class. To me, that is very evident. Avalos has been selected to the last few Mexico camps for this age group.


LB, Prince Forfor (Columbus Crew), RB, Alexito Gomez (RBNY), RB, Edward Chadwick (LA Galaxy), RB, Nash Dearmin (IMCF)

Prince Forfor and Nash Dearmin are the two new players within this position group. Forfor is a very exciting addition. Columbus paid Minnesota 150K for his homegrown rights, a large amount for such a young player. That investment is looking like a smart move. He looked fantastic at GA Cup in the two matches that I watched. He primarily plays as a left wing-back for Columbus and there are people within the Columbus front office that think he has shades of Alphonso Davies potential.

Dearmin has been one of the top players for Inter Miami’s U15s. He is highly competent on the ball and has a solid overall game.

Gomez and Chadwick have been in every U15 camp so far. Both are very good players and very good leaders for this group. Gomez in particular has really started to elevate his game as the season has gone along.


Astin Mbaye (RBNY), Tyson Espy (LAFC), Gianmarco Di Noto (Columbus Crew), Hugo Berg (Chicago Fire), Liam Devan (Nashville)

Mbaye, Espy and Devan return from the last camp and Di Noto and Berg are brand new to the group. Di Noto is a very well rounded center-back that is very comfortable on the ball and organizes his defense very well. Berg has not stood out a ton to me when I have watched Chicago, so I’ll need to go back to the tape on him.


Adri Mehmeti (RBNY), Roko Pehar (Chicago Fire), KK Spivey (San Jose Earthquakes)

This position group is led by two elite player in Adri Mehmeti and KK Spivey. Both are blue-chip prospects that are among the very best players in their age group. Pehar returns to this group after being left off of the team that went to Portugal. Pehar is one of the best passing midfielders in this age group and is very gifted on the ball.

There are not any other true 6s or 8s in this squad. There are some compelling options in the pool, but this is probably one of the thinnest position groups within this very talented class.


Christopher Cook (FC Dallas), Ivory Covington (Atlanta), Immanuel Ewing (Columbus Crew), Omar Hassan (Seattle Sounders), Darris Hyte (Chicago Fire), Xander Newstead (Ajax), Will Ostrander (San Jose Earthquakes), Paul Sokoloff (RBNY)

There are a lot of 10s and wingers in this group! This will continue to be a highly competitive position group and it will be interesting to see who makes it through to the tournament in Croatia. Christopher Cook, Omar Hassan and Paul Sokoloff return from the team that performed very well in Portugal. Will Ostrander returns after being left off the squad in the last camp. Covington, Ewing, Hyte and Newstead get their first USYNT team camp.

Covington had a very impressive performance against Manchester United at GA Cup. He is a left-footed, right-winger with good 1v1 ability. Darris Hyte has been one of the top performing wingers all season, on one of the best teams within the U15 division — it is great to see him rewarded for that. Ewing is a surprise add for me, but I know Columbus is fond of him and he will get a chance to prove he belongs at this level. Newstead is a player I have heard about, but have not watched play. He was at De Anza Force with KK Spivey two years ago before moving to Ajax, one of the top youth development academies in the world.


Zidane Cadet (IMCF)

Cadet is the only true center-forward in this camp and is one of the highest ceiling strikers in this age group. Max Steelman, Kevin Howard and Jorge Perez have been the selected center-forward for past camps, but non make the roster this time around. Cadet will have a chance to stake his claim to the position for the set of games in Croatia.

Who’s Missing and Why?

At this age group, the main reason for players missing from camps are because they are not selected or they are injured. For domestic camps, players at academies abroad are usually not asked to attend or are not released by their club. International players are usually brought in when there are tournaments or competitive games to be played.

Graduated beyond this level

AM, Cavan Sullivan, Philadelphia Union (2009)
W, Mathis Albert, LA Galaxy (2009)

Sullivan has never played with his age group and I have been told that Albert has also been promoted to the U16 group as well. Both squared off in the U17 GA Cup final last weekend. Albert should be on the U16 roster for a camp that will be happening concurrently to this camp.

Not released

LB, Manu Romero, Real Madrid (2009)

Romero is the preferred left-back for this age group, but was likely not released for a domestic camp without official games. It has been reported that he will be with the team in Croatia.


DM, Joaquin Cunningham, LA Galaxy (2009)

Cunningham has been with this group for the first two camps, but he was injured at GA Cup and that might be the reason why he isn't with this group.

Not selected

GK, Marcelo Avalos, San Jose Earthquakes (2009)
As I stated above, Avalos' continuous exclusion from this team is one of the most puzzling decisions by the USSF decision makers for this age group.

RB/LB, Linkon Ream, Real Salt Lake (2009)
Ream is another curious exclusion. He has consistently been one of the best full-backs in this age group and adds the flexibility to play both left and right-back.

RB, Daniel Wright, Austin FC (2009)
Wright has an elite physical profile that will likely get a chance at some point if he continues to improve his technical and tactical abilities.

LB, Gabriel Florentino, IMCF (2009)
Florentino was in the first camp, but has not been in the last two. He might be getting passed up by others at his position.

CB/DM, Caleb Simmons, RBNY (2009)
It's only a matter of time before Simmons gets his chance. He joined RBNY in February and has been performing extremely well. He can play both center-back and defensive-mid, which would be very valuable to this group. USSF is aware of him and like him, I think they just need to see more of a sample size before bringing him in.

CB, Ethan Degny, Atlanta United (2009)
Degny is another head scratcher. He is the only 2009 that plays at the U17 level. He reminds me of Neil Pierre — physically and defensively dominant and improving on the ball.

CB, August Nystrom, Portland Timbers (2009)
Nystrom is a fantastic ball playing center-back that I believe is one of the best at his position in this age group.

CB, Edgar Rodriguez, San Jose Earthquakes (2009)
Rodriguez might be the most clever center-back on the ball in this class.

CM, Gustavo Perelli Borges, Achilles FC (2009)
I am not exactly sure what is going on with Borges' club status. He has only played one game with Achilles this year, from what I have seen. What I do know is that he is one of the top players in this age group and should eventually make his way into a USYNT camp.

CM/CF, Da’vian Kimbrough, Sacramento Republic (2010)
Kimbrough plays center-forward for Mexico, but I think he is an eight long-term. I think he is good enough to impact this age group, but USSF seems to want to keep him with the 2010s.

AM, Ademar Chavez, LAFC (2009)
Chavez might be the best pure 10 in this age group, but he has only been with Mexico so far. I am not sure if that is his preference or if USSF hasn't selected him.

AM, Robert Turdean, Chicago Fire (2010)
Turdean is my top rated 2010 as of right now. He has been with this group in the last two camps and my guess is that he wasn't included simply so the staff can get some looks at new guys. I imagine he will be back with the group for Croatia. He has been one of the top players in MLS Next at the U15 level and has already started getting U17 minutes.

AM, William Recupero, Boston Bolts (2010)
Recupero is my second rated 2010 and he isn't far behind Turdean. His exclusion rationale might be the same as Turdean, though he struggled a little more in Portugal, so his place may not be as cemented.

W, Makai Wells, Barca Residency (2009)
Wells has been one of the best wingers I have seen this year at the U15 level. He recently moved from D.C. United to Barca.

W, Kashan Hines, Sporting KC (2009)
I am very high on Hines and I think he is in the mix for top wingers in this age group not named Albert or Hassan.

W, Jakob Garcia, Orlando City (2009)
Garcia has loads of talent, but is inconsistent.

W, Mattheo Dimareli, Houston Dynamo (2009)
Dimareli was in the last camp, but it looks like USSF wants to take a look at a few new guys this time around.

W/CF, Jamil Danjiji, Columbus Crew (2010)
Danjiji is another 2010 that is close to being ready to help this age group. He could be an answer at CF.

CF, Maximum Steelman, LA Galaxy (2009)
I am surprised to not see Steelman here. He played well in Portugal and has been the best number nine at the U15 level for me.

CF, Kevin Howard, North Carolina FC (2009)
Howard was in the first camp, but hasn't been back since then.

CF, Zach Olah, Orlando City (2009)
Olah has started to turn it on this year and he could be a player that USSF looks at in the near future.

CF, Malik Jakupovic, Philadelphia Union (2009)
A very talented striker and when he is on, he is very difficult to defend.

CF, Jorge Perez, San Jose Earthquakes (2009)
Perez was with the team in Portugal, but I thought he struggled a little bit, so I am not surprised to see him off the roster.


This is clearly a camp for the USSF staff to get a closer look at new players within this age group. I expect there to be six to eight spots open for the tournament in Croatia next summer and this is a great chance for new players to make an impression. With Mathis Albert's promotion to the 2008 team, there is a new winger spot open and they seem to be exploring their options at CB, LB, AM, Wing and CF. Overall I think the staff is doing a decent job of identifying talent, though I think there are a few puzzling exclusions that I am struggling to wrap my head around. It's an extremely talented and deep class, so it's hard for USSF to get this completely wrong.

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