U16 International Dream Cup Roster Reactions
The United States U16 team is heading to Japan for the International Dream Cup tournament that will include Nigeria, Netherlands and Japan. This is the first time this group will play official games since November 2022. They will play Japan on May 31st at 10pm PST, Netherlands on June 1st at 7pm PST and Nigeria on June 3rd at 10pm PST. I believe the games will be broadcasted through the Japan Football Associations YouTube channel
U16 Head Coach Michael Nsien and his staff have called in 20 players for this tournament and the boys will play three games in four days. The roster is constructed with two goal keepers, one left-back, three right-backs, three right-footed center-backs, two defensive midfielders, two, box to box midfielders, four attacking midfielders, one winger and two center-forwards. The team is comprised of 18 players born in 2007 and two players born in 2008 (Maximo Carrizo and Nimfasha Berchimas).
There are some big time positives in this squad. Nsien and his staff have been able to secure some of the most talented players in this age group and a few of which have been tough to get into U.S. Youth National Team camps including Maximo Carrizo, Christian McFarlane and Axel Perez. The team also has numerous players that have have played with the U17 Youth National Team in Christian McFarlane, Axel Perez, Nimfasha Berchimas and Santiago Morales.
The two concerns that I have are macro trends that I am seeing across Youth National Teams from the U20s on down: a lack of left-footed defenders and athletic/creative wingers. The problem, in my opinion, is both in selection and options in the pool.
Zack Campagnolo (Orlando City), Patrick Los (Chicago Fire)
LB Christian McFarlane (NYCFC), RB Drew Baiera (NYCFC), RB Jeremiah White (Philadelphia Union), RB Josh Santiago (LAFC)
Neil Pierre (Philadelphia Union), Davi Alexandre (RBNY), Nicholas Almeida (IMCF)
Defensive / Center-Mids
Ervin Torres Jr (Austin FC), Stiven Jimenez (FC Cincinnati), Adyn Torres (Atlanta United), Jonny Shore (NYCFC)
Attacking-Mids / Wingers
Maximo Carrizo (NYCFC), Axel Perez (Lyon), Santiago Morales (IMCF), Bryce Outman (FC Dallas), Nimfasha Berchimas (Charlotte FC)
Caden Glover (St. Louis City), Noah Santos (Portland Timbers)
Who is missing?
With all 20 spots available there will always be players that are not there that I would have liked to have seen. There are many reasons players do not get called: not selected, not released, not fit, didn't accept the selection. Sometimes we know why players are not in camps, but most of the time we do not.
Other deserving U16 players
LB Peyton Miller (New England Revolution), LB Leo Christiano (Sporting KC), LB Luis Rivera (Real Salt Lake), DM/CM Evrit Fisher (D'Feeters Kicks), WING Zavier Gozo (Real Salt Lake), AM Leo Orejarena (Barca Residency AZ), WING Montrell Culbreath (Kaiserslautern), Justin Ellis (Orlando City) and Dino Klapija (Dinamo Zagreb).
It's possible Miller was not released or has been promoted to the USYNT U17 team (he was in their last camp and is player very well in MLS Next Pro). Gavin Turner is another name that is always on this team, but he is getting back to fitness for Loudoun United. Culbreath has been pinging back and forth between Germany and United States call-ups, so it's possible he declined. Gozo has been a regular with this group as well and may not be fit or may have not been released.
2007 Top 20
The top rated United States eligible U16 players born in 2007 READ HERE