United States U-17 international Aaron Cervantes recently made his professional debut for Orange County SC against New Mexico United. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC
CHICAGO – Orange County SC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes will lead a contingent of eight players that have competed in the USL Championship and USL League One this season selected by Head Coach Raphael Wicky to the final United States U-17 National Team training camp set to convene in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. before the start of the Concacaf U-17 Championship in May.
Signed to a professional contract by Orange County two years ago when he was 15 years old, Cervantes last month made his professional debut for the club in its 2-2 draw against New Mexico United at Championship Soccer Stadium. Cervantes recorded a pair of saves in the contest, including what proved to be the winner of the USL Championship Fans’ Choice Save of the Week for Week 3.
Also named to the squad is North Carolina FC Academy product Adam Armour, who is joined in the defensive group by the LA Galaxy II’s Kobe Hernandez. The midfield group includes Gilbert Fuentes, who recently made his first professional start for Reno 1868 FC, and Danny Leyva, who has appeared in all five of Tacoma Defiance’s games this season.
Leyva’s Defiance teammate Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez is included in the attacking group alongside Ricardo Pepi of North Texas SC, who on Tuesday was named the USL League One Player of the Week after scoring a hat trick in his professional debut last Saturday night. Griffin Yow, who scored the first goal in Loudoun United FC history last month against Memphis 901 FC, and Bethlehem Steel FC’s Jack de Vries were also named to the squad.
The training camp is Wicky’s first since his appointment as the new U-17 Men’s National Team Coach. The side will face Canada (May 2), Barbados (May 4) and Guatemala (May 6) in the group stage of the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, which will be held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., with the top three teams in the group advancing to the final stage in June.