Sporting Kansas City forward Teal Bunbury was named to the United States Under-23 Men’s National Team roster on Monday for the team’s final training camp in advance of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, U.S. Soccer announced. The camp will commence on March 13 in Nashville, Tenn.
“This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to making the most out of the experience,” Bunbury said. “It’s always an honor to be chosen to play for your country and I want to do my best. It’s a great group of players.”
Bunbury, who turned 22 last month, is one of five forwards on the roster and is among 13 MLS players invited. The United States official 20-player roster for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be finalized on March 20, the due date for all eight participating teams to submit their rosters to CONCACAF.
The tournament begins on March 22 with the United States playing in Group A at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Group B, headlined by Mexico, will start one day later at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals on March 31 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
The winner of each semifinal match will qualify for the Olympic Games in London this summer and will meet in the tournament’s championship match on April 2 at LSP. Tickets for both matches in Kansas City are currently on sale online at Ticketmaster.com or may be purchased at the stadium’s box offices.
Now in his third professional season, Bunbury tied for the team lead with nine goals during the 2011 MLS regular season and scored twice in Sporting Kansas City’s postseason run to the Eastern Conference Championship match. Coupled with his five goals and two assists in his rookie season, Bunbury leads all 2010 MLS SuperDraft selections in both goals and points.
Drafted in the first round out of Akron, Bunbury will again be playing for his former college coach Caleb Porter. This will mark the third U-23 camp for Bunbury since Porter was selected to lead the Olympic team in October, having previously participated in a training camp in Florida in December and in Texas last month.
Bunbury debuted for the full U.S. Men’s National Team in November 2010 and scored in his second appearance in January 2011. He most recently earned senior team caps against Venezuela and Panama in January along with Sporting Kansas City teammates C.J. Sapong and Graham Zusi.