Benji Michel, Andrés Perea named to US Olympic qualifying roster

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Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire

Orlando City youngsters Benji Michel and Andrés Perea have been selected to compete with the United States in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship later this month, as part of the 20-man squad led by former Lions head coach Jason Kreis.

The tournament is set to be held over the final two weeks of March down in Mexico, where eight nations will square off for the bids to the summer Olympics this year in Tokyo.

The U.S. U-23 side will kick off their three-game group stage on March 18 against Costa Rico (6:30 ET, FS1), followed up by games against the Dominican Republic on March 21 (8:00 ET, FS1) and Mexico on March 24 (10:30 ET, FS1.

The United States hasn’t qualified for the Olympics since 2008, a massive opportunity for the young Americans to gain experience on the world stage, especially as a group looking to make some noise when the US hosts the World Cup five years from now in 2026.

The tournament also offers an opportunity for the Orlando City duo as well. Perea, who received a surprise call-up to the national team in December, completed his one-time switch from Colombia to the US in January. Michel, Orlando’s homegrown forward, is one of four forwards in a dynamic group that will be looking to make an impact in this tournament.

The full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; Lynwood, Calif.), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Jacksonville, Fla.), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)

FORWARDS (4): Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)

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