Weah, Sargent headline USMNT U-23 squad as Kreis is named head coach

The former MLS manager has been named coach of the U.S. U-23 team, and will lead a strong team into friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands
The former MLS manager has been named coach of the U.S. U-23 team, and will lead a strong team into friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands

Former Real Salt Lake, New York City FC and Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis has been named the new U.S. Under-23 national team coach, and will take a strong squad into upcoming friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands in his first action in charge.

Kreis will command a U-23 squad featuring Tim Weah, Josh Sargent and several other top young players with senior national team experience as it goes through a training camp and friendlies in Spain.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity. It’s an opportunity to be a part of a new system under the leadership of Gregg Berhalter and Earnie Stewart leading the national team the way that they are," Kreis said in a statement issued by U.S. Soccer.

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"I’m a big fan of both of them. It’s an opportunity to work with the country’s brightest young stars. We have some fantastic young players. And it’s an opportunity to represent your country. In my opinion, that’s the highest honor of all.”

Kreis, who was recently hired as part of the technical staff for Inter Miami FC, will keep his role with the MLS expansion team as he leads the U.S. U-23 team.

Kreis will be looking to lead the U.S. U-23s through a successful qualification process for the 2020 Olympics. The Americans failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, but the current U.S. U-23 team will be expected to not only qualify, but contend for a medal at the Olympics.

“There’s no doubt about it, this group of players was a major factor in my thinking about this position," Kreis said. "The group is going to be very talented. I think it should be arguably the best U-23 group that this country’s ever seen. That’s a huge credit to all the work that everyone in the soccer community has done in this country over the last 10-20 years."

Kreis' first squad features several players who were consistent parts of the USMNT in 2018, including Sargent, Weah, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson, who are all contenders for places with the senior national team.

The U.S. Under-23 team will play its first matches of the 2020 U-23 cycle with a pair of friendlies in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain. The Americans will face Egypt on Friday and the Netherlands on Sunday.

Here is the squad that will be part of Kreis' first camp in charge.

GOALKEEPERS: Jonathan Klinsmann (Hertha BSC/GER; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompac, Calif.), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; Southend-on-Sea, England), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers; Portland, Ore.), Jack Maher (Indiana; Caseyville, Ill.), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG; Trenton, N.J.), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; Clarksville, Md.), Lucas Pos (FC Lausanne-Sport/SUI; Irvine, Calif.), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; Milton Keyes, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.)

MIDFIELDERS: Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Penn.), Cameron Lindley (Orlando City SC; Carmel, Ind.), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; Lemont, Ill.), Keaton Parks (New York City FC; Plano, Texas), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; Alexandria, Va.), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; St. Paul, Minn.)

FORWARDS: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Josh Perez (LAFC; La Habra, Calif.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Hobro IK/DEN; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; O'Fallon, MO), Tim Weah (Celtic FC/SCO; Rosedale, N.Y.), Haji Wright (Schalke/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.)

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