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Sporting KC Academy trio joins U.S. U-16 Boys' National Team

By Sam Kovzan,, 06/03/18, 11:15AM CDT


Sporting Kansas City Academy U-15 defenders Mitchell Ferguson, Michael Lenis and Kayden Pierre have joined the U.S. U-16 Boys' National Team for the first time as part of a training camp featuring both the U.S. U-16s and the U.S. U-17s at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Ferguson, Lenis and Pierre are three of 30 players in the U-16 age group, assembled by U.S. U-16 BNT head coach Shaun Tsakiris. The 29 players selected to the U-17 roster will also be led by Tsakiris while U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth continues his duties abroad as an assistant for the U.S. Men's National Team.

Although Ferguson, Lenis and Pierre are gaining U.S. U-16 experience for the first time, the weeklong training camp in Bradenton -- which runs through Sunday, June 10 -- marks the fourth time the squad has gathered during the current 2018-2019 cycle. In April, Sporting KC Academy forward Tyler Freeman competed with the U.S. U-16s in the prestigious Torneo delle Nazioni in Italy. 

Ferguson, Lenis and Pierre are all age-eligible for the 2019 U-17 World Cup, which has an age cut-off of players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, and will eventually aim to comprise part of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

All three Academy defenders joined Sporting KC halfway through the 2017-18 Development Academy season, having previously competed for other DA clubs. Ferguson, a native of Glen Carbon, Illinois, has started eight games for the Sporting KC U-15s after joining from the Saint Louis FC Academy, where he split time between the U-15s and U-17s last fall.

Lenis, who has started eight of 13 appearances for the Sporting KC U-15s, spent the first half of the 2017-18 campaign with Weston FC in his native Weston, Florida. Similarly, Pierre has started 10 of 13 appearances for Sporting KC since moving from Vardar Soccer Club near his hometown of Rochester Hills, Michigan.

U.S. U-16 Boys’ National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (5): *Mitchell Budler (Shattuck-Saint Mary's; Lincoln, Neb.), *Andrew Cordes (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.), Eliot Jones (New England Revolution; New Britain, Conn.), Gavin Krenecki (Sacramento Republic FC; Fair Oaks, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (10): Adrian Aguilar (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), *Mitchell Ferguson (Sporting Kansas City; Glen Carbon, Ill.)*Michael Lenis (Sporting Kansas City; Weston, Fla.), *Yahir Lopez (Phoenix Rising FC; Chandler, Ariz.), *Kayden Pierre (Sporting Kansas City; Rochester Hills, Mich.), *Mario Sanchez (Proyecto Elite; El Paso, Texas), Anton Sorenson (Crew SC Academy Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Kobey Stoup (Atlanta United FC; Montgomery, Ala.), Casey Walls (San Jose Earthquakes; Mill Valley, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): *Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, N.J.), Javier Casas Jr. (Chicago Fire; Addison, Ill.), Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Jack McGlynn (BW Gottschee; Middle Village, N.Y.), Selmir Miscic (Philadelphia Union; Royersford, Pa.) *Moses Nyemen (D.C. United; Riverdale, Md.), *Nicolas Pereira (Weston FC; Doral, Fla.), Edwin Villarreal (FC Dallas; El Paso, Texas)

FORWARDS (8): Patrick Bohui (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Penn.); Andres Cardenas (Weston FC; Doral, Fla.), *Brian Gutierrez (Chicago Fire; Burbank, Ill.), Alex Monis (Chicago Fire; Naperville, Ill.), *Francesco Pagano (Empire United; Manlius, N.Y.), *Ivan Pino (Tuzos Soccer Club; Phoenix, Ariz.), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Dantouma Toure (PDA; Trenton, N.J.)

*Indicates first time call-up to U-16 BNT during 2018-2019 player cycle

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (5): Aaron Cervantes (Pateadores; Chino Hills, Calif.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), *Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Calgary, Canada), Marzuq Puckerin (FC Greater Boston Bolts; Cambridge, Mass.), *Ethan Wady (Chelsea FC; Surrey, United Kingdom)

DEFENDERS (9): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Michael Barragan (Atlas FC; Guadalajara, Mexico), *Erik Centeno (Sacramento Republic FC; Stockton, Calif.), Amir Daley (New York Red Bulls; Elmont, N.Y.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Owen Guske (Portland Timbers; Saint Johns, Fla.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club, Tampa, Fla.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): *Simon Carlson (United Futbol Academy; Norcross, Ga.), Luis Flores (Shattuck- Saint Mary's; Half Moon Bay, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Jack Imperato (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), *Harrison Robledo (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, N.J.)

FORWARDS (7): Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Diego Lopez (Atlanta United FC; Chino, Calif.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Fresno, Calif.), Joshua Pynadath (AFC Ajax; Amsterdam, Netherlands), Benjamin Redzic (FC Dallas; Carrollton, Texas), *David Rodriguez (FC Dallas; Irving, Texas), *Griffin Yow (DC United; Clifton, N.J.)

*Indicates first time call-up to U-17 MNT during 2018-2019 player cycle