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Friday, January 6, 2012
U-23s head to Carson with local talent


Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, Chivas USA defender Jorge Villafaña and departing UCLA star Kelyn Rowe are headed to Home Depot Center for a U.S. under-23 national team camp that begins Sunday.

The U-23s, preparing for Olympic qualifying in March, will train at HDC until Jan. 25, then head to Costa Rica for two matches against club teams. While in Carson, they will scrimmage twice against the full national team, which will be training Jan. 13-20 at HDC.

Stephens, an attacking midfielder who has played primarily on the flank for the Galaxy, is one of three UCLA products on U.S. coach Caleb Porter's 22-man roster, joining Rowe and Philadelphia Union midfielder Amobi Okugo.

Villafaña (Anaheim/Anaheim HS), formerly Jorge Flores, is a fifth-year midfielder/defender, primarily on the left wing, for Chivas.

Rowe, the Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year in 2011, is readying for Thursday's Major League Soccer draft. He signed a Generation adidas contract following his sophomore season with the Bruins and is expected to go early in the first round. He is at the MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but is scheduled to fly to California on Monday.

Others with local ties in camp are defender Zarek Valentin, who went from Chivas to Montreal in November's MLS expansion draft, Los Angeles-born midfielder Joe Corona from Club Tijuana and Calexico's Isaac Acuña, a Club America midfielder on loan to second-tier Merida.

The camp also coincides with the U.S. women's pre-Olympic qualifying camp at HDC, which begins Saturday and runs through Jan. 15.

Here's the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS
David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes)
Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union)

DEFENDERS
Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril Praia/Portugal)
Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke University)
Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo)
Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact)
Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)
Andrew Wenger (Duke University)
Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)

MIDFIELDERS
Isaac Acuña (Mérida/Mexico)
Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico)
Mikkel Diskerud (Stabæk/Norway)
Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew)
Jared Jeffrey (FSV Mainz 05/Germany)
Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United/England)
Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union)
Kelyn Rowe (UCLA)
Michael Stephens (Galaxy)

FORWARDS
Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union)
Josh Gatt (Molde/Norway)
Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union)
Tony Taylor (Atletico Clube de Portugal/Portugal)