COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids midfielder Marlon Hairston has been selected for next week’s United States Under-23 training camp in Nassau, Bahamas. The camp runs from August 3-7 and will include a match against the Bahamas senior side on Wednesday, August 6 at the Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium.
“Marlon continues to show a great deal of both skill and potential in his rookie season, and opportunities with the youth national team are a just reward for him,” said Paul Bravo, Rapids Vice President of Soccer Operations. “With Shane O’Neill and Dillon Serna both getting an opportunity at the Chipotle Homegrown Game in Portland and Marlon with the U.S., it shows the talent we have in this age group, and we’re proud that they’re earning these chances.”
This camp is part of the USA’s continuing effort to focus early on the qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro. In April, the USA started this phase in earnest with an Under-21 MNT camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, with Hairston, O’Neill and Serna all in attendance.
“The chance to get this group of players together and get ahead of the curve in preparation for Olympic Qualifying in two years' time is huge,” said U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann. “We began with the U-21 camp in April, and now it’s critical that we have as many camps and games as possible so we can build a deep pool of talent that can qualify for Brazil. The Olympics are an important opportunity for young players, and we have to capitalize on it. We also want to give a big thanks to the Bahamas Football Association for hosting us.”
U.S. men’s assistant coaches Tab Ramos and Andi Herzog and goalkeeper coach Chris Woods, as well as U.S. Under-18 men’s head coach Javier Perez, are overseeing the camp.
Hairston, 20, has played in 15 of the Rapids’ 21 matches this season, starting five, with one assist. The midfielder was selected in the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft after two years at the University of Louisville. A member of Generation adidas, the Jackson, Miss. native was with the U.S. U-20’s at last summer’s Toulon Tournament in France, where he suffered an injury that kept him out of the World Cup.
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team*
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): AJ Cochran (Houston Dynamo; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Ramon Martin del Campo (San Jose Earthquakes; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bryan Gallego (Arizona United; Kinnelon, N.J.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Dennis Flores (León; Pasadena, Calif.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Alfred Koroma Shams (Internacional; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Indy Eleven; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas)
*Additional players might be added pending the approved release from their clubs.