National Team Updates
Home Grown midfielder Victor Ulloa recently returned from his first National Team camp. Ulloa spent last week in Vichy, France training with the U.S. U-20 squad under interim coach Tab Ramos. The team had two friendlies with the French U-20s during the camp and came away with a 3-3 draw and a 2-1 loss.
Four FC Dallas U-18 Academy products are currently in Portugal with the U.S. U-18 team for the Lisbon International Tournament. Defensive trio Michael Ambrose, Boyd Okwuonu and captain Jack Coleman along with Home Grown forward Jonathan Top are featured on Coach Mike Matkovich’s 20-man roster. The squad will play the Netherlands on May 25, Portugal on May 26 and Finland on May 28.
The U.S. has been drawn into Group D of the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico along with the Czech Republic, Uzbekistan and New Zealand. The FC Dallas Academy has two players currently in the pool eligible to participate: Kellyn Acosta and Fernando Laverde. Coach Wilmer Cabrera’s team, which was crowned CONCACAF U-17 Champion in February, will open Group D on June 19 against the Czech Republic and face Uzbekistan three days later on June 22 in Torreon before rounding out the group stage on June 25 against New Zealand in Pachuca.
Both Acosta and Laverde are expected back in Dallas following the U-17 World Cup to participate in the MLS “Generation adidas” Cup, a competition for all MLS U-17 and U-15 Academies, which will be hosted at Pizza Hut Park July 24-31.
FCD Home Grown goalkeeper Richard Sanchez has been busy preparing for the Under 17 World Cup this summer to be held in Mexico. Sanchez has remained in training camps with his national team for the majority of the season so far. Sanchez, a dual citizen of both the US and Mexico, will be representing the host country this year in the FIFA youth championship.
As hosts, the Mexicans qualified automatically for the event, but that has not prevented coach Raul Gutierrez – a former Mexican international – from preparing his youthful charges in the most meticulous fashion. Consequently, the Latin American team has been busy playing warm-up matches against CONCACAF sides as well as professional clubs, and recently claimed second place in a tournament involving South American opposition in Chile.
The U.S. U-15 BNT, including FCD Academy player Emerson Hyndman, returned from Zagreb, Croatia with a win and a loss to the home team on May 10 and May 12. The U-15 BNT, currently made up of players born in 1996, will next come together in June for a training camp at The Home Depot Center.
The U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team convened a recent training camp from May 1-8 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Head coach Manny Schellscheidt called upon 38 players, including 20 from U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs. FC Dallas Youth players Martin Salas and Christian Ramirez, members of FCD 97 Premier, were included on the roster. The FCD 97 Premier team were finalists in this year’s U-14 Dallas Cup. The group is expected to reconvene in California in June for the next domestic training camp.