17-year-old Bryang Kayo, seen here playing for Loudoun United FC in the USL Championship in 2019, was among the newcomers selected to the U.S. Men's National Team on Monday by Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. | Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photogr
CHICAGO – The last time Bryang Kayo suited up in a matchday squad at the professional level it was for the USL Championship’s Orange County SC on October 12 against Sacramento Republic FC.
The next time, it could be for the United States Men’s National Team.
The 17-year-old midfielder was among 25 players announced on Monday by USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter that will convene on January 5 in Qatar, including others that earned their first call-ups having previously competed in the Championship.
Kayo made three appearances for Loudoun United FC in 2019 before joining Orange County late in the season, and is joined among the new selections by goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who has made 40 appearances over the past two seasons on loan with Reno 1868 FC from the San Jose Earthquakes.
Other new faces to the full national team squad include the former LA Galaxy II duo of defender Julian Araujo and midfielder Ulysses Llanez, former Charlotte Independence loanee Sam Vines – who made 29 appearances for the Jacks in 2018 before a breakout campaign with the Colorado Rapids this year – and forward Jesus Ferreira, who was named to the 2018 USL 20 Under 20 while competing on loan with FC Tulsa before a strong 2019 season with FC Dallas.
“At the start of an exciting year, this is a great opportunity to continue our process and build on the foundation established in the last 12 months,” Berhalter said. “At the same, there are a number of players getting their first exposure to the senior national team who will be provided the platform to make a positive impression. We appreciate all the support and cooperation from MLS and the clubs that released their players and gave us a chance to get a head start on the challenges ahead.”
A number of other Championship alumni remain part of the squad, including 2016 Defender of the Year Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls II) and others that have competed in the league during their professional progression such as defender Mark McKensie and midfielder Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union II), and midfielder Jackson Yueill (Reno 1868 FC), and goalkeeper Matt Turner (Richmond Kickers).
The United States Men’s National Team will train at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar between January 5-25 before returning to California to face Costa Rica in an international exhibition at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 1 to conclude the camp.