When the U.S. U-17 men’s national team heads to Brazil later this month for the World Cup, it will do so with a roster that’s heavy on Major League Soccer players.
U.S. Soccer released its 21-man roster for the U-17 World Cup on Thursday and it features 14 players from the MLS ranks. Head coach Raphael Wicky’s side will open the tournament against Senegal on Oct. 27. The U-17 World Cup runs through Nov. 18.
Among the selections to the roster was Atlanta United homegrown fullback George Bello, who broke out for the Five Stripes last year with two starts and a goal scored over three appearances near the end of the regular season. Atlanta United went on to win the MLS Cup.
Bello, 17, looked to be in the plans for regular minutes under first-year head coach Frank de Boer this season, but dealt with various injuries early on, including one to his right adductor that kept him out three months. Bello has featured this season for Atlanta United’s USL Championship affiliate, making 12 appearances. He scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday. Bello has been capped eight times by the U-17’s.
In addition to the MLS players on the squad, there are also three players from USL Championship teams that will feature on the team. Among them are midfielder Bryang Kayo and goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes of Orange County SC, and defender Adam Armour of North Carolina FC. Armour has 18 caps for the U-17’s.
This will be the first World Cup for Wicky at the helm of the U.S. U-17 team. He played in the 2006 World Cup for Switzerland. His roster features 16 17-year-old’s and five 16-year-old’s. Four players compete internationally, with Damian Las (Fulham) and Chituru Odunze (Leicester City) playing in England, and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) and Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg) playing in Germany.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.; 4/0), 1-Damian Las (Fulham/ENG; Norridge, Ill.; 19/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; London, England; 7/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 15-Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 4/0), 13-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 18/0), 3-George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.; 8/1), 4-Nicolas Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 3/0), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 17/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 23/3), 2-Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 19/1)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 18-Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg/GER; Frankfurt, Germany; 2/0), 17-Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.; 3/0), 8-Bryang Kayo (Orange County SC; Poolesville, Md.; 8/1), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.; 7/0), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 25/2)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 15/7), 20-Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.; 11/1), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Merced, Calif.; 24/9), 9-Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 15/5), 10-Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; Bedford, N.Y.; 15/8), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 12/7)
How to watch group stage games
Oct. 27 vs. Senegal — FS1 and Telemundo at 3:50 p.m. EST
Oct. 30 vs. Japan — FS2 and Universo at 6:50 p.m. EST
Nov. 2 vs. Netherlands — FS2 and Universo at 6:50 p.m. EST