The U-23 team is pointing toward this fall's Olympic qualifying tournament, and Wednesday's game will be an important test of its progress. The U.S. failed to make it the 2012 London Games, going out in the group stage of the qualifier. Mexico went on to win its first Olympic title.
"This is a huge rivalry," said Herzog, an assistant with the senior national team who was named head coach of the Olympic team in January. "For these players it's a huge opportunity and we want to see them make the most of it."
Nine of the players Herzog summoned to his first domestic training camp as U-23 coach come from California.
In addition to Villarreal, a forward from Inglewood, and Sorto, a defender from Los Angeles, the team also includes North Hollywood forward Mario Rodriguez, who plays in the youth program for Germany’s
Gil and Stanford's Jordan Morris, a forward, are the only players on the roster who have also earned a cap with the senior national team. Last week, Morris, 20, scored the first U.S. goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico, making him the only collegian to score for the senior national team in the last 22 years.
The roster (with club affiliations and hometowns)
Goalkeepers (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
Defenders (8): Christian Dean (
Midfielders (5): Fatai Alashe (