KENYA BROWN - Thursday, April 20, 2017
US Under-18 team head coach Omid Namazi has announced his 23-player roster as they prepare to defend their Slovakia Cup title at the tournament that runs from April 24 to 28.

The team is comprised of players ranging from academy teams in Major League Soccer, developmental teams across the US and teams based in Mexico and Europe.

The US begins its quest to retain the Slovakia Cup by playing in Group B along with Hungary, Belarus, and Slovakia. They will start the tournament against Hungary on April 24 followed by games against Belarus on April 25 and Slovakia on April 27. The final and third-place game is set for April 28.

With his team now set, Namazi is looking forward to the challenge of defending the team's title.

"The Slovakia Cup has been held for many years now," said Namazi in a statement on the US Soccer website. "We entered the tournament last year with our U-19 group, Brad Friedel's group, and Brad's group was able to win it. And now this year, with the U-18's, our goal is the same. We are going with a very good group of players. Obviously, we are coming to the end of this (U-18 player pool) cycle, so our aim is to evaluate the players more, but also have some good performances and hopefully win the tournament."

The Under-18s are currently in Slovakia for five days of training.

The Roster

GOALKEEPERS: Brandon Austin (Tottenham Hotspur) Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders), Brady Scott (DeAnza Force)

DEFENDERS: Jonathan Esparza (Club Tijuana), Kyle Gruno (Leicester City), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution), Jack Maher (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana)

MIDFIELDERS: Paolo Belloni (Genoa FC), Koby Carr (Texas Rush), Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC), Brian Perez (Club Tijuana), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)

Shaft Brewer (FC Dallas), Lucas del Rosario (CASL), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush), Jonathan Gonzalez (FC Monterrey), Will Inalien (Portland Timbers), Emanuel Perez (CASL), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution)