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Galaxy’s Michael Stephens One of 13 MLS Players on U.S. Olympic Qualifying Team: Fan’s Take
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is one of 13 MLS players called up to the U.S. Under-23 National Team that will compete for an Olympic qualifying spot in a CONCACAF tournament from March 22-April 2. The U.S. will compete against Canada, Cuba, and El Salvador in Group A. Group B will feature Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
Stephens is honored to be part of the selection for the tournament but knows that it will be tough to make the Olympic roster should the U.S. qualify. "[London] is too far. Obviously, we first have to qualify, then, obviously, a lot will go into picking those [roster] selections after that, so just take it one step at a time."
The U.S. lost to Honduras in the final in extra time 2008 but still qualified for the Olympics by making it to the final. The U.S. could meet Honduras in the final again, but I'd like to see the USA win no matter what country they play in the final. I think it would be an upset if the U.S. didn't make the final.
Here's the roster head coach Caleb Porter called up for the qualifying tournament:
As he missed Galaxy preseason training to workout with the U-23s, Stephens hasn't had much success in getting on the field for our side. It is wonderful to have depth in the midfield ready to play, but I wouldn't mind seeing Stephens impressing Porter enough to stay with the team for the London Olympics, if they qualify. Stephens is a solid contributor who has played 51 matches for L.A. so I'm not worried about him getting minutes this season.
More from Patrick Johnston:
Scott French, "First step for Stephens", ESPN Los Angeles
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