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Academy midfielder Cameron Duke to join U.S. U-18 MNT for training camp at Pinnacle

By Sam Kovzan,, 06/01/18, 11:00AM CDT


Pinnacle, the new training home of Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City Academy midfielder Cameron Duke will join the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team for a training from June 4-11 at state-of-the-art Pinnacle in Kansas City, Kansas.

The camp marks the first time that any U.S. Men’s or Women’s Youth or Senior National Team will train at Pinnacle, which not only serves as the new training home of Sporting KC but also houses the U.S. Soccer National Coaching Education Center and Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center at Village West.

A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Duke is one of 27 players assembled by U.S. U-18 MNT head coach Omid Namazi for the team’s fourth training camp of the 2018-2019 cycle. This group of players, all born in 2001, is six months into its two-year cycle at the U-18 level before transitioning to U-20s in 2020. Thus, many of these players will form the core of the group that will eventually attempt to qualify for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Duke is one of two Development Academy Best XI conference selections from the 2016-17 season, joining defender Leonardo Sepulveda of the LA Galaxy Academy. He featured for the U.S. U-18s in a pair of friendlies against the Costa Rica U-18s in February after joining Sporting KC for the first phase of the club’s 2018 preseason in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 17-year-old earned his first international call to the U.S. U-18 squad last November and competed at the inaugural Youth National Team Summit in January.

Since the 2017-18 Development Academy season began last fall, Duke has split time between the Sporting KC U-17s and U-19s. He has scored three goals in 16 appearances for the U-17s and two goals in seven games for the U-19s. Both teams have qualified for the Development Academy Playoffs from June 18-24 in Oceanside, California.

Duke, who entered the Sporting KC Academy in 2012, has previously represented the U.S. at the U-14, U-15 and U-16 age levels. He was named to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 Central Conference Best XI for the 2016-17 season and was also named to the Youth Boys All-Midwest Region Team by United Soccer Coaches in 2017.

U.S. U-18 MNT Roster by position

GOALKEEPERS (3): *Owen Finnerty (Crew Sc Academy Wolves; Walled Lake, Mich.), *John Pulskamp (LA Galaxy; Bakersfield, Calif.), Alex Rando (New York City FC; New York, N.Y.)                                                              

DEFENDERS (9): Julian Araujo (Barca Academy; Lompoc, Calif.), *Edward Berumen (Sacramento Republic FC; Salida, Calif.), *Kendall Edwards (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Justin Haak (New York City FC; Brooklyn, N.Y.), *Julian Hinojosa (FC Dallas; Garland, Texas), *Erwin Martinez (Real Salt Lake; Gilbert, Ariz.), David Mendoza (Chicago Fire; Gage Park, Ill.), *Andre Reynolds (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.)                                                                 

MIDFIELDERS (9): Luis Arriaga (Real Salt Lake; Santa Rosa, Calif.), *Michael Carmona (Atletico Madrid; Madrid, Spain), *Jeffery Copper (Chargers SC; Tampa, Fla.), Cameron Duke (Sporting Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.), Hunter George (Sacramento Republic FC; Lincoln, Calif.), Azriel Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Aidan Morris (Crew SC Academy; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.), *Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)

FORWARDS (6): Quincy Butler (Sacramento Republic FC; Sacramento, Calif.), *Salvatore Esposito (S.S.C. Napoli; Manhattan, N.Y.), *Charlie Kelman (Southend United; Wickford, England), *Gibran Rayo (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Gabriel Segal (Bethesda SC; Bethesda, Md.), *Julian Vazquez (Real Salt Lake; Sandy, Utah)

*Indicates first time call-up to U-18 MNT during 2018-19 cycle