United States Men's national Soccer Team News

USMNT squad players in their first week at December Camp

USMNT prepares ahead of a Dec. 18 international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy.

Young players to prove themselves in USMNT training camp
Young players to prove themselves in USMNT training camp

The Men’s soccer national team is getting ready for the last match of the year against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Berhalter´s team is having its first training week including players from across 12 different Major League Soccer teams, bringing together core USMNT players and young, aspiring talent as the 2021 campaign has concluded.

The California-based camp is designed to keep players sharp ahead of next month’s Octagonal return in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, where the USMNT occupies second place following eight games in their pursuit of a Qatar 2022 spot.

“It’s been a great year for the group and our objective is to finish the year with a strong performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Berhalter said in a release. “As we look towards 2022, this camp gives us the opportunity to see some new faces and allows our core domestic players to maintain their fitness levels.”

Twelve players are seeking their first USMNT cap, including midfielder Cole Bassett and defender Auston Trusty after they helped the Colorado Rapids top the Western Conference in 2021. Teenaged MLS talents like goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire FC), defender Justin Che (FC Dallas), defender Kevin Paredes (D.C. United) and forward Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes) fall into the same bucket.

Seven of the youngsters that make up the 26-player roster will go through their first USMNT camp this week. Here’s more about them:

GABRIEL SLONINA - GOALKEEPER

Slonina was born in Addison, Ill. on May 15, 2004. He joined the Chicago Fire Academy from 2016-19, playing for the U-14, U-15, and U-16 squads in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

He signed with Chicago Fire on March 8, 2019, Slonina at the time was the youngest Homegrown player signing in league history (14 years, 297 days) and was the second-youngest player to join a team, second only to Freddy Adu (14 years, 168).

On Aug. 4, he became the youngest starting keeper in league history, backstopping Chicago to a scoreless draw against New York City FC.

JOHN PULSKAMP - GOALKEEPER

Born on April 19, 2001, in Bakersfield, Calif., Pulskamp was a standout for the Central California Aztecs and Real So Cal in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy before he joined LA Galaxy II in 2017 for two years.

Pulskamp, who was on trial with Bournemouth (England) in 2018, joined KC's affiliate, Swope Park Rangers, the next year. After an impressive campaign, he signed with Sporting as a Homegrown player on Feb. 24, 2000. Pulskamp became SKC's second-youngest goalkeeper as the team sent the Galaxy $50,000 in General Allocation Money for his rights.

The goalkeeper made his Sporting Kansas City debut after regular Tim Melia and his backups were injured. Pulskamp backstopped SKC to a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.

KOBI HENRY - DEFENDER

Born in Lakeland, Fla. on Aug. 26, 2004, Henry played in the Florida Rush Soccer Academy before moving to the Orlando City SC youth teams in 2018. He joined Inter Miami in 2019, making 16 appearances for its U.S. Soccer Development Academy squad, before signing a professional contract with Orange City on June 18, 2020.

Henry already has played internationally for the USA at the Under-17 and U-20 levels. He started two matches for the U-17 squad at the UEFA Development Tournament in St George's Park, England in 2020 and made two U-20 appearances in the Revelations Cup in Mexico in November.

KEVIN PAREDES - DEFENDER

Born in South Riding, Va. on May 7, 2003, Paredes recorded his first MLS assist as a halftime substitute in a 2-1 win over Atlanta United on Oct. 24, 2020. He tallied his first MLS goal in a 7-1 triumph over Toronto FC on July 3, 2021.

The midfielder-wingback scored 39 goals in 85 appearances for D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy before signing the MLS side as its 14th Homegrown Player on Jan. 17, 2020.

Now 18, Paredes enjoyed a breakout 2021 season. He scored three goals and added an assist in 24 appearances (19 starts). He has made 41 appearances, including 28 starts, the past two seasons.

JONATHAN GOMEZ - DEFENDER

Born to Mexican parents in Richland Hills, Texas on Sept. 1, 2003, Gomez joined the FC Dallas Academy at age 12 as a left-winger in 2016 but was moved to outside back. At 15, he signed an amateur contract with North Texas SC, FC Dallas' affiliate in USL League One, helping the squad win the 2019 championship.

On March 5, 2020,  Gomez turned pro, signing with Louisville City. He made his debut as an 83rd-minute substitute in a 3-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on July 11, 2020. On Sept. 30, Louisville City agreed to transfer Gomez to Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad, where he’ll join the club’s “B’ team at the start of 2022. 

TAYLOR BOOTH - MIDFIELDER

The versatile Booth has made a natural progression to the U.S. Men's National Team, competing for the Under-15, U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 sides the past five years. That includes two appearances in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. 

As a 17-year-old in 2019, he received an offer to join the Bayern Munich setup, signing on with the Bundesliga giants earlier than the age of 18 because he obtained an Italian passport due to Italian heritage on his father's side.

Booth made his first-team Bayern debut as a 68th-minute substitute in a 12-0 win at Bremer SV in the DFB Pokal on Aug. 25. The Eden, Utah native has made 15 appearances for Bayern Munich II so far this season.

CADEN CLARK - FORWARD

Born on May 27, 2003 in Medina, Minn., Clark starred for the Minnesota Thunder Academy and Barca Residency Academy in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Only hours after signing his first MLS contract with the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 10, 2020, Clark made his debut and scored in a 1-0 win over Atlanta United. Clark, 17 years and 143 days old at the time, became the fifth youngest player in league history to score in his MLS debut.

On June 24, the Red Bulls announced Clark's transfer to RB Leipzig (Bundesliga), although he remained with the MLS club through the end of the campaign. He is set to join former Red Bulls and current USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams with the Bundesliga side.


 

Hugo Alberto Walls Gómez

SEO Journalist. Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Production. Two years working in digital media and editorial assignments. Currently working for Futbolero US and collaborating with INDeportes and Goleadoras MX, following Liga MX, MLS, and the Premier League. Passionate about sports and soccer.+ info

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