The U.S. Men’s National Team announced the roster for the annual January training camp on Wednesday, and among the call-ups was a surprise name: LA Galaxy defender Jalen Neal.
The 19-year-old gets a debut call to the senior USMNT ahead of his third season with the Galaxy first team. He did help the U.S. U-20s qualify for the upcoming U-20 World Cup last year, and was named to the Best XI for that qualifying tournament. It seems pretty likely he will be a key player for the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup.
Neal has only played in one first team competitive game for the Galaxy to date, but in his first media availability of the 2023 preseason, LA head coach Greg Vanney talked up Neal and his potential to break through the center back rotation in 2023. We’ll see if Neal will get any playing time in one of the two friendlies to cap off this USMNT training camp (vs. Serbia on Jan. 25 at Banc of California Stadium; vs. Colombia on Jan. 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park) but it will be something to watch as the youngster gets familiar with the senior team set-up. Congrats to Jalen and best of luck at the training camp!
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