Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown was named to the United States Under-18 Men's National Team roster on Tuesday for the Copa del Atlantico in Spain. The Lee's Summit, Mo. native is one of 18 players selected by U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez and will depart from Sporting Kansas City's pre-season camp in Tucson, Ariz. on Wednesday.
The tournament will be held in Las Palmas, Spain from Jan. 30 thru Feb. 8 and the United States will face Spain (Feb. 4), Argentina (Feb. 5) and Canary Islands (Feb. 7) in their first ever appearance at the competition.
"It's a great feeling to be able to represent your country," Palmer-Brown said. "It's sad that I have to leave pre-season with all the guys but it's also a good opportunity for me to go represent my country and play against the top nations in the world."
Palmer-Brown, 16, became the youngest signing in club history and the only player born in 1997 on a MLS roster when he signed a Homegrown Player contract with Sporting Kansas City in August 2013. As a Homegrown Player, he remains eligible to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the Sporting KC Under-18 Academy team and has played in 11 games since the start of the 2013-14 USSDA season in September.
He attended the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. last year and featured extensively in international competition for the United States Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 youth national teams in 2013. One of five finalists for U.S. Soccer's 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Palmer-Brown most recently participated in a training camp with the U.S. Under-18 and Under-20 Men's National Teams in Florida earlier this month.
U.S. U-18 MNT Copa del Atlantico roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chase Gasper (Bethesda-Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Unattached; Oviedo, Fla.), Tyler Turner (Unattached; Meriden, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Omar Castro (Eintracht Braunschweig; Plant City, Fla.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC; Plano, Texas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (5): Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG; Muskego, Wis.), Rubio Rubin (Unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC; Garland, Texas), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)