Houston Dynamo defender Erik McCue was named to the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer®, as players from the youth national teams of the United States and Canada will represent the league in the annual showcase.
The MLS Homegrown Team, to be coached by Orlando City SC Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff, features some of the league’s most accomplished young stars who will take on Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 Team on Tuesday, July 30 at 5 p.m. ET (UDN / Twitter.com) at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
McCue, 18, signed with the Dynamo First Team on Oct. 30, 2018, becoming the 10th Dynamo Academy product to sign with the first team. He follows in the footsteps of teammate Memo Rodriguez, who played in the 2016 Homegrown Game. McCue received the Academy’s Ricardo Clark Leadership Award last season and was named the Academy U-19 Players’ Player of the Year.
A native of Onsala, Sweden, McCue holds dual nationality and is eligible to represent the United States or Sweden at the international level. The defender made his professional debut on March 29 with Rio Grande Valley FC, the Dynamo’s USL Championship hybrid affiliate.
The MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer® will be part of an exciting night of action at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of a dual-event ticket, fans will be able to enjoy both the MLS Homegrown Game at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by Target at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are available for purchase at: MLSsoccer.com/AllStar.
In addition to McCue, the Homegrown Team is highlighted by five players who helped the United States to a record third straight quarterfinals appearance at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup including goalkeeper David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), defender Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC), FC Dallas midfielders Edwin Cerrillo and Brandon Servania, and forward Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution). Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio, who could represent the United States at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in September, joins the Homegrown Team after becoming the youngest player in league history to score in three straight matches earlier this season.
Orlando City SC forward Benji Michel will represent his hometown at the Homegrown Game, another accolade after receiving his first call to the United States U-23 team in June. Joining Michel from the U.S. U-23 camp on the Homegrown Team is Philadelphia Union 18-year-old midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who has emerged as a regular starter for the top team in the Eastern Conference this season. Orlando City SC goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar will also be playing in front of the hometown crowd at the MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer®.
Representing Canada at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and on the Homegrown Team is Toronto FC 18-year-old midfielder Noble Okello. Okello was also one of four players on the Homegrown roster to play for Canada’s U-20 team at the Concacaf U-20 Championship including forward Theo Bair (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), midfielder Mathieu Choinière (Montreal Impact), and defender Daniel Kinumbe (Montreal Impact).
Joining a list of formidable opponents to participate in the MLS Homegrown Game, Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 team brings an accomplished track record to the match. The club captured the Liga MX Clausura 2019 Under-20 title and features numerous players that have received time with both the Chivas reserve squad and the first team side that has captured three titles over the previous three years. The Chivas U-20 traveling roster will be named at a later date.
Orlando City SC Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff will serve as the head coach for the Homegrown Team against Chivas. Neveleff previously served as the first team assistant coach for the New England Revolution and was part of the staff to coach the United States at the 2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship.