FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution Academy players Daniel Jones and Justin Rennicks have been called in to the U.S. Under-18 National Team by head coach Omid Namazi. Jones and Rennicks are two of 23 players competing in the 2017 Slovakia Cup in Trnava, Slovakia from April 24-28.
The USA begins its quest for back-to-back Slovakia Cup titles in Group B along with Hungary, Belarus, and Slovakia. The U-18 MNT opens the tournament against Hungary on April 24 at 11 a.m. ET, followed by Belarus on April 25 at 11 a.m. ET, and Slovakia on April 27 at 5 a.m. ET. The U.S. will wrap up the competition on April 28 in either the final or a consolation bracket, pending the team’s finish in Group B.
"The Slovakia Cup has been held for many years now,” Namazi said. “We entered the tournament last year with our U-19 group, Brad Friedel's group, and Brad's group was able to win it. And now this year, with the U-18's, our goal is the same. We are going with a very good group of players. Obviously, we are coming to the end of this (U-18 player pool) cycle, so our aim is to evaluate the players more, but also have some good performances and hopefully win the tournament."
The U.S. travels to Slovakia on Tuesday, April 18, for five days of training before taking on Hungary. The U-18 MNT, which consists of players born Jan. 1, 1999 or later, held a 28-player domestic training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. in January, marking the team’s lone meeting this year.
Jones and Rennicks were both in action for the U-18s in the team’s most recent competition, the Vaclav Jezek Tournament, which took place in the Czech Republic from Aug. 10-21, 2016.
Jones is in his fifth year with the Revolution Academy, having joined ahead of the 2012-13 season. A native of West Hartford, Conn., he has made 105 appearances with the Academy, tallying 15 goals and 10 assists in that time. Jones, 17, is making his fifth U.S. Under-18 National Team camp appearance. Most recently, Jones played for the U-18s in January during a domestic camp in Bradenton, Fla.
Rennicks has made 107 appearances in five seasons with the Academy. The South Hamilton, Mass. native has scored 38 goals and added 25 assists since joining the Academy ahead of the 2012-13 season. The two-time UnitedHealthcare Academy Player of the Year was called in to the U-18s in January for a domestic camp in Bradenton, Fla. and four additional times in 2016. The 17-year-old has tallied either a goal or an assist in each National Team tournament in which he has taken part, most recently scoring for the U.S. U-18s in the first match of the 2016 Vaclav Jezek Tournament. In February 2016, Rennicks trained with the Revolution first team during preseason in Tucson, Ariz.
2017 Slovakia Cup Groups:
Group A: Russia, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland, Turkey
Group B: Slovakia, USA, Hungary, Belarus
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brandon Austin (Tottenham Spurs; U.S. Virgins Islands) Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders; Tukwila, Wash.), Brady Scott (DeAnza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Jonathan Esparza (Club Tijuana: Chula Vista, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Leicester City; Wyckoff, N.J.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution Academy; West Hartford, Conn.), Jack Maher (Scott Gallagher; Caseyville, Ill.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; Columbia, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.)
MIIDFIELDERS (6): Paolo Belloni (Genoa FC; Delray Beach, Fla.), Koby Carr (Texas Rush; San Antonio, Texas), Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC; Manassas, Va.), Brian Perez (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
FORWARDS (7): Shaft Brewer (FC Dallas; Sacramento, Calif.), Lucas del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Colo.), Jonathan Gonzalez (FC Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Will Inalien (Portland Timbers; Tamarac, Fla.), Emanuel Perez (CASL; Garner, N.C.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution Academy; Hamilton, Mass.)