Okoli and Morris Called into U.S. Under-21 Men’s National Team Training Camp

RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Sounders FC forward Sean Okoli and former Sounders FC Academy forward Jordan Morris have been called into the U.S. Under-21 Men’s National Team training camp from April 20-24 in Carson, Calif. Former Sounders FC goalkeeper and current broadcast analyst Kasey Keller will be the team’s goalkeeper coach.

Okoli, 21, has made two substitute appearances for Sounders FC this season, logging 18 minutes. In three collegiate seasons at Wake Forest, he scored 24 goals with nine assists in 61 appearances, earning First Team All-ACC honors in 2013. A native of Federal Way, Okoli participated in the Sounders FC Academy and Under-23 teams, and was signed as a Homegrown Player on January 9, 2014.

A sophomore at Stanford, Morris was a First Team All-PAC-12 selection in his freshman season, leading the Cardinal with seven assists and adding six goals. He earned 2013 USSDA Player of the Year and 2012 Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year honors while playing for the Sounders FC Academy. Morris earned his first call-up with the U.S. U-20 National Team for the Toulon Tournament from May 28-June 8, 2013.

The U-21 MNT camp was set up to form a core group of players that will make up the majority of the Under-23 Men’s National Team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U-23 MNT will begin programming in 2015.

“We’re excited to bring some of our best young players together for this initial U-21 camp,” said current U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, who will oversee the five-day camp. “We’re hoping that we can have another two or three camps between now and the end of the year. This camp is purely to have the team together so that we begin moving in the right direction. When the time is right, we can put a group that has kept playing together and is familiar with each other in front of the permanent coach.”

The camp roster is composed entirely of North American-based players, 19 of whom play professionally. Major League Soccer leads the way among professional leagues represented with 13 players from nine different clubs receiving a call-up. Liga MX (four players form three clubs), Ascenso MX (one player) and USL PRO (one player) supply the remaining six professional players.

Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh of Santa Clara and Jordan Morris of Stanford are the only two non-professional players to receive a call-up.

Despite the wide range of locales from which the players are coming to join the camp, all have represented the U.S. on previous occasions, with 20 of the 21 players having received a call-up to the U-20 National Team in their Youth National Team career. Eleven of those 20 players were teammates on the U.S. team that qualified for last summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

The camp will consist of three days of training before culminating with a friendly against Club Tijuana on Wednesday evening.

Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Kempin (Oklahoma City Energy; Leawood, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres UANL; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Collin Martin (D.C. United; Chevy Chase, Md.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana; Bell Gardens, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul; Inglewood, Calif.)