U.S. roster picked for Olympic qualifying playoff

Jordan Morris (blue jersey) was called up to the USA U23 national team for its Olympic qualifying playoff against Colombia later in March 2016. (Photo: Mexsport)

CHICAGO – The United States named Saturday a 23-player roster for its upcoming two-legged Olympic qualifying playoff against Colombia, which will determine the final berth at Rio 2016.

The series opener will be contested on March 25 at the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla, Colombia. Four days later, Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, will be the site of the second leg.

Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris, who has earned nine caps with the senior team, heads a squad that also features Europe-based defender Matt Miazga (Chelsea), midfielder Julian Green (Bayern Munich) and 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship (CMOQ) Golden Boot winner Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart).

Last October, the U.S. won its three first-round CMOQ games, only to drop a 2-0 semifinal decision to Honduras. The Americans rebounded to defeat Canada, 2-0, in the match for third place and secure a playoff meeting with Colombia.

The U.S. hopes to return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, where it posted a 1-1-1 record but did not advance past the group stage.


GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Milton Keynes Dons/England), Ethan Horvath (Molde/Norway), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg/Germany)

DEFENDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (Chelsea FC/England), Eric Miller (Colorado Rapids), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/Canada), Desevio Payne (FC Groningen/Netherlands), Shane O’Neill (Cambridge United/England), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas)

MIDFIELDERS: Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Luis Gil (Queretaro/Mexico), Julian Green (Bayern Munich/Germany), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC/England), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart/Germany), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

FORWARDS: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Monchengladbach/Germany), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC)