U.S. under-23 soccer coach Caleb Porter finalized his roster yesterday, calling in Sheanon Williams from the Philadelphia Union to fill out the 20-man group. Additionally, he named Union midfielder Freddy Adu as the captain and D.C. United defender Perry Kitchen as vice captain for qualifying.
Williams replaced Joe Gatt, who was recalled by his club after Molde experienced a rash of injuries ahead of the opening of the Norwegian season. Clubs are not obligated by FIFA to release players for Olympic qualifying.
Williams, a 5-foot-11-inch defender, started 32 games for the Union last season and played the full 90 for both of the club's games this season.
“We feel very confident about the team we have put together to help us achieve our goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games,” Porter said.
A member of several U.S. youth teams which have competed in big tournaments, Adu will be trying to qualify for his second straight Olympics. He talked to The City Paper earlier about being in a leadership position as one of the older guys on the team.
"I’ve always been one of the youngest guys on the team,” Adu said. “Now this is my age group. My birth year is the cutoff year. I am one of the oldest guys, so I have to bring that leadership.”
The final member of the roster arrives today. Borussia Dortmund's Terrence Boyd, a forward who recently received his first cap for the senior U.S. team in a 1-0 victory over Italy, was not released by his club until yesterday and missed the last week of preparations.
The U.S. will play its first group game on Thursday against Cuba at 8 p.m. at LP Field. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.