Concacaf recently announced all of the preliminary rosters ahead of the upcoming regional camps and Summer Olympics Qualifying tournament.
Included on the United States rosters were Colorado Rapids winger Jonathan Lewis, midfielder Cole Bassett, fullback Sam Vines, and centerback Auston Trusty. Lewis, Bassett, and Vines recently participated in USMNT camps lead by both U-23 head coach Jason Kreis and USMNT senior head coach Gregg Berhalter.
Players born on or after January 1, 1997, are eligible to compete in the competition. Kreis will evaluate the 48 players in a camp to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, next month, then select 20 players for the final roster by March 8. The junior Yanks open the tournament on March 18th and will face Costa Rica. Team USA has not played in an Olympic stadium in 12 years.
Both Lewis and Vines had an impressive showing in recent national team friendlies and hope to continue their trajectory and make Kreis’ 20-man roster. Similarly, Bassett trained well; however, did not see playing time. He will have another opportunity to showcase his stellar attacking abilities during this final evaluation camp.
A couple of firsts!@Jesusfcd27 generates the chance. @Jon_lewis710 with the FINISH.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) February 1, 2021
First international goal for Jonathan Lewis. First international assist for Jesús Ferreira. pic.twitter.com/HqfjrCUlzI
Of interest to Bassett is one of his MLS rivals Efrain Alvarez, who currently plays for the L.A. Galaxy. Alvarez was named to both the U.S. and Mexico rosters. He will have to decide very soon which team he will suit-up for during the upcoming camps. Should he side with Mexico, that will leave one less midfield that Bassett will have to fend off.
In January, Kreis told the Burgundy Wave that Bassett will “certainly will be in contention for the March qualification. Maybe this is a good time to make it clear to everybody that there are no restrictions, not stints that you have to be in the January camp in order to make the qualification. It is very possible that there are several players not in this camp that we will be leaning on in the qualification.”
Kreis was true to his word. The burden of having a breakthrough camp now falls squarely on the shoulders of the young man from Littleton, Colorado who started his youth play with Rush Colorado before transferring over to the Rapids Development Academy, where he thrived and earned a Homegrown contract in August 2018.
U-23 USMNT 48-Player Preliminary Roster
View all of the rosters here.
Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Schedule
The USA’s U-23 side will open Group A play against Costa Rica at Estadio Jalisco on March 18, then face the Dominican Republic on March 21 at Estadio Akron. They will close out their group play against Mexico on March 24. The top two finishers from Group A and Group B advance to the semifinal round. The two teams that win these matches will represent Concacaf at the Summer Games in Tokyo, scheduled July 23 through August 8.
View the entire schedule here.