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U23 USYNT Camp Roster Analysis

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June 2024
Marko Mitrović calls in his final camp roster before he has to make his final call for the 2024 Paris Olympics. He has selected the largest camp squad to date, bringing in 25 players. This will be the last time these players have a chance to convince the selection staff that they have earned the right to to the most prestiguous international U23 tournament. Olympic rules allow for 18 players on the active roster.

The United States faces Japan on June 11th in Kansas City for the final tune-up before the big event. The most competitive positions heading into this last camp are in central-midfield and on the wings.
Griffin Yow, USYNT winger that plays for Westerlo in Belgium

Roster analysis


Patrick Schulte, Columbus Crew (2002), Gaga Slonina, Eupen (2004)

No surprises or changes here. These two appear to be the clear favorites to play in goal in Paris. Chris Brady is the only other name deserving of a shout, but it has been clear that U.S. Soccer rates these two slightly higher.


RB, Nathan Harriel, Philadelphia Union (2001), RB, Bryan Reynolds, Westerlo (2001), LB, John Tolkin, RBNY (2002), LB, Caleb Wiley, Atlanta United (2004)

This has been a very consistent position group for Mitrović. Harriel, Reynolds, Tolkin and Wiley have been consistently selected into the team. I can't see Mitrović keeping all four on the final roster given the limited spots. I believe one of the left-backs will be cut because they can rely on other players like Harriel, Reynolds and Paredes to provide left-back coverage. It's also possible an overage player like Auston Trusty is brought in who can play at center-back and left-back.


Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC (1995), Jalen Neal, LA Galaxy (2003), Jon Tomkinson, Norwich City (2002)

This group is one of the most turned over groups from the previous camps. Zimmerman is the only overage player and is likely considered the captain, so they bring him in to establish his leadership role. Neal is the highest rated age-eligible center-back on this team and is finally healthy and able to compete with this group. Tomkinson was selected as the final center-back over Maximilian Dietz and George Campbell. The question is whether U.S. Soccer will bring in another overage player and knock Tomkinson out of the group?


DM, Tanner Tessman, Venezia (2001), DM/CM, Aidan Morris, Columbus Crew (2001), CM, Jack McGlynn, Philadelphia Union (2003), CM, Gianluca Busio, Venezia (2002), CM Benja Cremaschi, Inter Miami (2005), CM, Rokas Pukstas, Hajduk Split (2004), CM, Cole Bassett, Colorado Rapids (2001)

Tessmann, Morris, McGlynn and Busio feel like locks as they have been part of this core since this group started getting together. The other three might be competing with for one final midfield spot. Cremaschi is a highly valued prospect and dual-national. Pukstas would give you the most positional flexibility and Bassett has regained his form and confidence in MLS this year — all three bring box arrival and goal scoring ability. It's going to be a very tough decision for Mitrović and his staff.


AM, Paxten Aaronson, Eintracht Frankfurt (2003), W, Kevin Paredes, Wolfsburg (2003), W, Griffin Yow, Westerlo (2002), W, Esmir Bajraktarevic, New England (2005), W, Taylor Booth, Utrecht (2001), W, Cade Cowell, Chivas (2003)

This is another highly competitive group and the final selections are going to be really difficult. The key for a lot of these players is positional flexibility. Aaronson can play on the wing and in the midfield. Paredes can play both wing positions and as a left-back. Booth has played wing, center-mid, defensive-mid and right-back in his career and Cade Cowell can deputize at striker. Bajraktarevic is struggling a bit in MLS, but U.S. Soccer rates him highly and he has been very effective in a U.S. shirt. Yow was probably the most impressive player from the last camp and looks like a lock.


CF, Duncan McGuire, Orlando City (2001), CF, Johan Gomez, Eintracht Braunschweig (2001), Damion Downs, Koln (2004)

McGuire and Gomez have been consistently called into this team, but I would be surprised if both make the final roster — the edge going to McGuire. Downs joins the team for the first time and it is his first U.S. Camp in quite some time. Downs is a German-American who had some big goals for Koln in the Bundesliga last year. Downs is a tweener — he has the profile of a striker, but he likes to float out wide and face the goal, similar to Haji Wright. He'll have to really impress to get on the final roster. This is also a position where you would expect an overage player or an age-eligible senior player, like Ricardo Pepi, to eventually join.

Who’s Missing and Why?

There are many reasons why players are not in camp. The most common reasons are that a player is already provisionally cap-tied to another country, U.S. Soccer might feel that they have graduated beyond this level, they may not have been released by their club, they have injury/fitness issues, they declined the invite or they simply were not selected by U.S. Soccer. Here are some of the top players that are not in camp and my best guess as to why: 

Cap-tied elsewhere

GK, Zion Suzuki, Saint Truiden (Japan/2002)
CB, Bryan Okoh, RB Salzburg (Switzerland/2003)
CB, Fernando Alvarez, CF Montreal (Colombia/2003)
LB, Nathaniel Brown, Nuremberg (Germany/2003) 
RB, Devan Tanton, Fulham (Colombia/2004)

Graduated beyond this level

LB, Kristoffer Lund, Palermo (2002)
RB, Joe Scally, Gladbach (2002)
DM, Johnny Cardoso, Real Betis (2001)
CM, Yunus Musah, AC Milan (2002)
AM, Gio Reyna, Nottingham Forest (2002)
AM, Malik Tillman, PSV (2002)
CF, Folarin Balogun, Monaco (2001)
CF, Ricardo Pepi, PSV (2003)

As of right now, all of these guys look like locks or close to locks for Copa America this summer, so I don't think any of these U23 eligible players will be with the Olympic team.


RB, Justin Che, Brondby (2003)
W, Luca Koleosho, Burnley (2004) also provisionally cap-tied to Italy

Not selected

GK, Chris Brady, Chicago Fire (2004)
LB, Jonathan Gomez, Mirandes (2003)
CB, Maximilian Dietz, Gruether Furth (2002)
CB, George Campbell, Montreal (2001)
CB, Brandan Craig, El Paso (2004)
DM, Obed Vargas, Seattle (2005)
CM, Owen Wolff, Austin FC (2004) 
CM/AM, Quinn Sullivan, Philadelphia Union (2004)
AM/W, Brian Gutierrez, Chicago Fire (2003)
AM/W, Diego Luna, RSL (2003)
AM/W, Theodore Ku-DiPietro, D.C. United (2002)
AM, Aziel Jackson, St. Louis City (2001)
W, Bernard Kamungo, FC Dallas (2002)
W, Agustin Anello, Cambuur (2002)
CF, Kahveh Zahiroleslam, Sint Truiden (2002)

Roster grade: A

It's really hard to find anything to complain about with this roster. There are very good players that are not on this roster like Diego Luna, Brian Gutierrez, Quinn Sullivan, Owen Wolff and Jonathan Gomez, but the difference between these guys and the guys selected are negligible and it really comes to preference, balancing skillsets and style of play.

The final cuts will probably come from the following groups: full-backs (1), midfielders (1-2), wingers (2-3), center-forward (1-2).

It's unclear whether U.S. Soccer plans to use all three overage slots. If they do, they will probably use them at center-back and center-forward, but remember that Ricardo Pepi and Folarin Balogun are both age-eligible and would not take up an overage spot. All of these factors make the final decision making process really compelling.

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