ATL UTD 2 forward Diego Lopez was called-up to U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team training camp by head coach John Hackworth. The training camp will be held at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. from Feb. 24 – March 4.
A growing talent on the international circuit, Lopez represented the U.S. at the U-15 and U-17 levels in 2017. He was part of the U-15 squad which won the prestigious Torneo Delle Nazioni in Italy and scored the game-tying goal in a 2-1, come-from-behind victory against Russia. Lopez received his first call-up to the U-17 squad in December when he was one of 20 players who represented the U.S. in the 2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. In that tournament, Lopez started against Netherlands, and entered as a substitute in the tournament’s final match against Brazil to score the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw.
Joining Lopez is Atlanta United Academy player Daniel Mangarov.
During the camp, the USA will play a pair of games against older birth year players from LA Galaxy (2000, 2001), and mix of youth players from Liga MX side Club Tijuana (2000, 2001, 2002).
The U-17 age group, consisting of players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, recently moved up from the U-15 level and will spend two years as the U-17 MNT before moving on to the U-19 level. The group is taking part in its third National Team camp of the 2018-19 cycle, after the player pool got an early start to the two-year slate of programming at the 2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies, followed by its inclusion in the first ever Men’s Youth National Team Summit at the beginning of the year.
“This camp allows us the opportunity to continue to teach our objectives as we build this pool of players,” Hackworth said. “We will be focused on providing these young men with a quality training environment and games against older players that will challenge them to execute our principles of play.”
Of the 24 players brought into camp, 23 have registered at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Goalkeeper Damian Las, defenders Tayvon Gray, Owen Guske and Mason Judge, midfielder Gilbert Fuentes and forward Julian Gaines collectively lead the roster in that regard, each having played four seasons. Four U-15/16 Best XI conference selections from the 2016-2017 Academy season are also included on the camp roster: Las (Central), defenders Axel Alejandre (Central) and Judge (East), and forward Giovanni Reyna (East).
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Aaron Cervantes (Pateadores; Chino Hills, Calif.), John Tyler Harms (Shattuck- Saint Mary's; Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Marzuq Puckerin (FC Greater Boston Bolts; Cambridge, Mass.)
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Michael Barragan (Atlas FC; Guadalajara, Mexico), Amir Daley (New York Red Bulls; Elmont, N.Y.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Owen Guske (Portland Timbers; Saint Johns, Fla.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club, Tampa, Fla.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls, Chatham, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Joshua Atencio (Seattle Sounders; Bellevue, Wash.), Luis Flores (Shattuck- Saint Mary's; Half Moon Bay, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes, Tracy Calif.), Benjamin Redzic (FC Dallas; Carrollton, Texas), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (Chester, N.J.)
FORWARDS (6): Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Texas), Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Diego Lopez (Atlanta United FC; Chino, Calif.), Daniel Mangarov (Atlanta United FC; Duluth, Ga.), Giovanni Reyna (New York City FC; Bedford Corners, N.Y.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.)