Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Sarkodie named to U.S. Under-23 roster for Olympic Qualifying

Houston Dynamo defender Kofi Sarkodie has been named to the United States roster for the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, U.S. Soccer announced today. The tournament begins on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

Sarkodie is currently participating in the U.S. U-23 training camp, which began in Nashville on March 13. The second-year defender has been a fixture of the U-23 men’s national team since Caleb Porter took over as head coach last October. Sarkodie started and played 90 minutes in a 2-0 friendly win over Mexico on Feb. 29.

The defender was drafted by the Dynamo with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and appeared in seven matches for Houston in his rookie season.

The eight-team tournament will determine the region’s two participants at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Eight nations have been divided into two groups of four, with group games set for March 22-27. The U.S. is in Group A along with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador. All Group A matches will be held at LP Field in Nashville. The top two teams from each group will meet in a semifinal knockout stage on March 31 before the winners meet in the April 2 final. The two finalists will advance to the 2012 Olympic Tournament.

Group A Schedule

Dates Match Kickoff (CT) Location
March 22 El Salvador vs. Canada 5:30 p.m. LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.
March 22 USA vs. Cuba 8 p.m. LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.
March 24 El Salvador vs. Cuba 3:30 p.m LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.
March 24 USA vs. Canada 6 p.m. LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.
March 26 Canada vs. Cuba 5:30 p.m. LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.
March 26 USA vs. El Salvador 8 p.m. LP Field -- Nashville, Tenn.

U.S. U-23 MNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United; Annandale, Va.), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire; Lilburn, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (6): Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes; Durham, N.C.), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact; Lancaster, Pa.), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union; Potomac, Md.), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mix Diskerud (Gent; Oslo, Norway), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund; Berlin, Germany), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City; Prior Lake, Minn.), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim: Silver Spring, Md.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; Bryan, Texas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia, Jacksonville, Fla.)