A look at the Defenders brought in to the U-23 camp


Today’s U-23 camp profile will focus on the defenders called in. Let’s have a look:

Gale Agbossoumonde (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Gale has been an interesting story in his rise to national team status. He was born in Togo but his family fled to America when he was very young. He attended the IMG Academy in Florida, where he started to get national attention for his skill &

size (he’s 6’2″). He then signed for Traffic Sports (bad idea in hindsight) where he was placed on Miami FC. Since then, he has been loaned out to several clubs and right now is with German squad Eintracht Frankfurt (Ricardo Clark is there also) and plays for their U-23 squad. He was also a starter for the infamous young USMNT squad that upset South Africa on their home turn back in the fall of 2010.

Royal-Dominique Fennell (Stuttgarter Kickers)

The surprise call into camp, the man with the coolest name on the squad plies his trade in Germany (I know, shocker). He is one of the many American-German dual citizens who has been called in by USA to add some depth to their player pool. Primarily a defender, he can also play midfield. Unlike a lot of the other dual-citizens, RDF (too long to type) was born in California before moving to German when he was four. Part of the reason why you many not have every heard of RFD, is because he plays for squad that is in the 4th tier of the German professional soccer system. The team has a good chance at promotion & maybe his play with the U-23 squad will lead to a higher profile team.

Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke)

Born in Nigeria but raised in the USA, he is a product of the Houston Dynamo’s academy. He currently plays for Duke University where he just finished his sophomore year and his bother serves as captain of the squad. He can play midfield besides defender but based on what he’s listed for this camp, I’ll assume that his future is in the back four. He’s been a part of the U-15, U-17, & U-20 squads. His primary position is center back.

Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo)

An alum of the IMG Soccer Academy, Kofi played college soccer at powerhouse, the University of Akron. After two successful seasons there, he decided to throw his name into the MLS Draft and was selected #7 overall in the 2011 draft by the Houston Dynamo. He too has been a member of the U-17 & U-20 squads. He also hold a Ghanaian passport so the US better make sure he doesn’t jump allegiances.

Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact)

Another member of collegiate soccer powerhouse, the Akron Zips, Zarek too played for them for two years before deciding to go pro. He made 25 appearances this past season for Chivas USA (who drafted him 4th overall in the MLS Draft) but was left unprotected and subsequently picked up by expansion team, Montreal Impact. He’s been a maintain on national teams since U-15. His older brother Julian was drafted by the LA Galaxy but didn’t make it as a pro & opted to retire recently.

Jorge Villafana (Chivas USA)

Having been raised in both Mexico & US, Villafaña won the ’07 edition of Sueño MLS, a reality show in which he beat out approximately 2,000 other competitors to earn a spot on Chivas USA. Due to the way he earned a contract, he now has the nickname Sueño. Jorge was a mainstay on the U-20 team before getting this call up.

Andrew Wenger (Duke)

Andrew is a junior for Duke University and voted conference defender of the year in 2010. Since joining Duke, he has been a starter most of his career there and seems to be considered one of the top players in college soccer. He has played for the U-17, U-18, and of course, the U-20 teams. While in high school, he was voted the National High School Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Athletic Association. He is projected to be one of the top two picks in the MLS Draft should he choose skip his last year at UNC.

Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)

Raised in Massachusetts, Williams attended the IMG Soccer Academy as part of the US U-17 Program. In 2007, he was named PARADE High School All-America squad and decided to enroll at the University of North Carolina. After one year, he opted to leave in order to secure a professional contract in Europe. However he did not have any luck even though he tried out with German Bundesliga team Vfl Wolfsburg. He played professionally with the Harrisburg City Islanders before earning a contract with MLS side the Philadelphia Union, where is has become a starter . Hes played for both the U-17 & U-20 teams.