Sacramento Republic FC's Santiago Suarez has been called into the United States U-19s Men's National Team for a training camp that begins at the end of this month. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
Sacramento Republic FC defender Santiago Suarez was on Friday named to the United States U-19 Men’s National Team, part of a 23-player group called up by Head Coach Marko Mitrović for a training camp at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
Also selected in the squad is Atlanta United 2 forward Luke Brennan, with other Championship alumni including Seattle Sounders FC’s Reed Baker-Whiting, Real Salt Lake’s Gavin Beavers and Houston Dynamo FC’s Brookyn Raines selected in the squad. The team will convene between July 25 and August 2 in Southern California.
The 17-year-old Suarez has yet to make his Championship debut after becoming a USL Academy signing for the club this season, having been named to Republic FC’s matchday roster three times, most recently on June 18 against the LA Galaxy II. The 6-foot-5 center back has impressed consistently in the youth ranks for Sacramento’s strong academy program, of which he has been part since 2016.
Suarez began the 2021-22 Academy season with the club’s U17 squad, later joining the U19 squad midway through the campaign. After moving to the U19s, the defender helped his squad to an unbeaten spring slate including winning group play at the MLS NEXT Flex tournament, first place in the MLS NEXT Northwest Division, and a second consecutive appearance in the MLS NEXT Cup playoffs.
“Tiago has all the tools necessary to be a successful first-team player – dedicated and hardworking, a great person and a true leader on and off the field,” said Republic FC Academy Director Eder Quintanilla. “At a young age, he’s proven he can compete with professionals and has a bright future ahead of him with our club and on the national level. We’re proud of him and the example he has set for the players throughout the academy.”
Suarez becomes the next young USL Championship prospect to earn selection in the United States youth ranks this year, following players such as current Louisville City FC center back Joshua Wynder and Orange County SC winger Korede Osundina, both of whom represented the U.S. U-19s in May, and former Orange County SC defender Kobi Henry, who was recently transferred to Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims for a USL-record fee in June.