HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, March 11, 2021) - U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Head Coach Jason Kreis has included Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa and defenders Justen Glad and Aaron Herrera among the roster of 20 players who will represent the United States at the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship, to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico from March 18-30.
All three RSL representatives are products of the RSL Academy and will be joined on the 20-man roster by fellow RSL Academy alums Sebastian Saucedo and Sebastian Soto. Kreis selected the squad from a 28-player training camp roster that began training March 1 in Mexico.
“We know that qualifying will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we’re ready for. We’ll need all 20 players on this roster to contribute for us to achieve our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics,” Kreis said. “We’ve had a productive training camp in Guadalajara and our players are hungry for the opportunity to compete. After starting this journey nearly two years ago, we’re excited to get started with the tournament.”
Glad, 24, signed as a Homegrown Player in 2014 at just 17 years old and has been a mainstay in the lineup since the 2016 season. The 2016 and 2017 RSL Defensive Player of the Year has 126 regular season appearances with three goals and one assist. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he started 50 consecutive matches and also has four appearances, two as a starter, in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He helped the U.S. win the 2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship, earning Best XI honors in the process and has played at the U-17, U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels.
Herrera, 23, has been with Real Salt Lake as a Homegrown Player since 2018, appearing in 68 matches in his first three seasons as a professional. The 2019 and 2020 Real Salt Lake Defensive Player of the Year has five assists in his career and has been among club leaders in tackles, interceptions and dribbles completed in each of the last two seasons. In 2020, he led the club in minutes played (1,796), tackles (49) and dribbles completed (43) and finished second in interceptions (36) and blocks (9). He earned his first cap with the U.S. National Team on February 1, 2021, in a 7-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago and has also appeared at the U-20 and U-23 levels.
Ochoa, 20, made his RSL debut in the regular season finale in 2020, making four saves in a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. He has 22 career appearances in the USL Championship for the Real Monarchs, posting a 9-9-4 record with four shutouts and a 1.41 goals against average. In the 2019 season, he backstopped the Monarchs to the USL Championship title, winning all four playoff matches while posting a 1.15 goals against average. He was on the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship-winning roster for the U.S. and made two appearances in the 2018 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He has also appeared at the U-18 and U-16 levels.
“We are thrilled to see Justen, Aaron and David continue with the U-23s. We wish them luck in the tournament,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “We are excited to see them represent the United States, Real Salt Lake and the RSL Academy in a successful Olympic Qualifying tournament.”
The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the pivotal semifinal matches that will send two winners to the Olympics in Tokyo as representatives of Concacaf. The two winners will also meet in the final on March 30.
The USA’s journey to Japan begins when Group A play opens on Thursday, March 18 against Costa Rica (2:30 p.m. MT; FS1, TUDN). The U.S. will then face the Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 21 (5 p.m. MT; FS1, TUDN) and wrap up the group stage against Mexico on Wednesday, March 24 (7:30 p.m. MT; FS1, TUDN). The U-23 USMNT is aiming to qualify for its first Olympic Games since 2008.
In addition to the five players from the RSL Academy and Kreis - a former RSL player and Head Coach – the coaching staff features former RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar and former RSL Assistant Coach C.J. Brown.
CONCACAF MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; HOMETOWN):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; Lynwood, Calif.), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Jacksonville, Fla.), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (4): Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)