Villafaña Called Up to Latest USMNT U23 Camp

CARSON, CA - JULY 02: Villafana: Getting another chance with the U23s (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

Good news! Remember that Chivas USA midfielder/defender Jorge Villafana was called up to the United States Men's National Team U23 training camp in Florida last month. Well, Villafaña must have impressed U23 coach Caleb Porter, as he's been recalled to the latest U23 camp, which will be held in Carson, California and San Jose, Costa Rica January 8-25. According to Avi Creditor on twitter, the U23 squad will scrimmage the senior side, who are also training in California, on January 13 and January 17 at the Home Depot Center. So perhaps Villafaña will face off against Chivas teammate Heath Pearce in those scrimmages. Furthermore, they will play a couple of scrimmages against local club sides when they go to Costa Rica towards the end of the camp.

I have to say that I was surprised when he was initially selected, and I am pleasantly surprised he's been selected to this latest round. With MLS seasons starting up in March, I am guessing this will be the last round of training before the Olympic qualifying tournament begins March 22. Coming into this second camp bodes well for Villafaña's chances at making the tournament squad and actually getting a chance at playing time in the tournament. As Ives Galarcep wrote when reviewing the previous camp, he was the only regular left back in the camp, a statement that is ironic considering he didn't play more than a few minutes of left back during the 2011 season. It will be interesting to see where Robin Fraser will play him in 2012, and where he will be on the depth chart. It seems he will be competing for playing time at both the left side of midfield and at left back. If he does make it to the Olympic qualifying tournament and plays left back, he may become a defender with Chivas in 2012 as well. But even if he doesn't make it to the qualifying tournament, this is a good honor for Villafaña as well as a good opportunity. Congrats Jorge!

Full U23 training camp roster, courtesy of US Soccer:

Goalkeepers: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Zac MacMath (Philadephia Union)

Defenders: Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril Praia), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke University), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA), Andrew Wenger (Duke University), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)

Midfielders: Isaac Acuña (Mérida), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)

Forwards: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Josh Gatt (Molde), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Tony Taylor (Atletico Clube de Portugal)

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