U.S. Soccer announced that midfielder Victor Pineda of Indy Eleven's NASL will be part of the 18-man U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team roster that has been named for a five-day camp from August 3-7 at Nassau, Bahamas. The camp will also feature a game against the Bahamas Senior National Team on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium.
“It’s always an honor to be called in by US Soccer, and it’s especially exciting to be a part of the U-23 group at this stage,” said Pineda, who joined Indy Eleven on loan from Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire in June and will be utilized at the forward position while with the U-23s. “It’s awesome to continue working with coach [Tab] Ramos, and it means a lot for me to be able to work with him again. I think getting some games here with Indy Eleven has helped me improve and get ready for this camp, and I’ll continue to work hard and try to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The 21-year-old Pineda will miss Indy’s midweek match-up next Wednesday, Aug. 6, against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, but is expected to return to Sommer’s squad in time to be available for next Saturday’s contest at the NASL Fall Season’s current leader, the San Antonio Scorpions.
This camp is part of the USA’s continuing effort to focus early on the qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro. In April, the USA started this phase in earnest at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center with an Under-21 MNT camp which included nine players also heading to the Bahamas with the U-23s, including Pineda. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native was also one of eight players in this U-23 camp that were featured on the USA’s roster at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey last summer.
“The chance to get this group of players together and get ahead of the curve in preparation for Olympic Qualifying in two years’ time is huge,” said U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann. “We began with the U-21 camp in April, and now it’s critical that we have as many camps and games as possible so we can build a deep pool of talent that can qualify for Brazil. The Olympics are an important opportunity for young players, and we have to capitalize on it.”
U.S. Men’s National Team staff assistant coaches Tab Ramos and Andi Herzog and goalkeeper coach Chris Woods, as well as U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez, are overseeing the camp.