Two El Pasoans have been named to the U.S. Men’s Soccer team’s 18-man Under-23 squad for a five-day camp that kicks off preparations for Olympic qualifying.
The camp started on Sunday and runs through Aug. 7 in Nassau, Bahamas.
The El Pasoans are Omar Salgado, forward with Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps, and Alonso Hernandez, forward with C.F. Monterrey.
Salgado was the first player selected overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
"It's always an honor to be able to represent your country at any level and especially with the future Olympic team," Salgado told ABC-7 on Tuesday. "It would be amazing to be at the Olympics in 2016. I'ts everybody's dream to be able to represent their country at an event like this and a dream I can hopefully accomplish."
Salgado also talked about what it's like having a fellow El Pasoan on the team.
"I think its speaks highly of the talent that El Paso produces and continues to produce. It's awesome to have two players from the same city on the national team," Salgado said.
"It's great to be able to spend some time at a vacation spot like this," Salgado told ABC-7. "Easy to relax off the field, and get to work on the field."
According to U.S. Soccer's official website, Hernandez has previously been a part of the Under-20 men’s national team.
Hernandez's professional career started in 2010 with the Juarez Indios at age 15.
Hernandez was almost immediately loaned out to the club’s third division team in Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, according to an MLSSoccer.com article. He was picked up by Monterrey for their Under-17 team when the Indios lost their league status.
An article on MLSSoccer.com describes the camp as being the first of its kind for the U.S. It will include a friendly against the Bahamas full national team on Aug. 6 at Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium.
Of the 19 players selected to participate in the camp, eight currently represent MLS clubs.
The U.S. is hoping to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after missing the London 2012 Olympics.
CONCACAF's qualifying tournament takes place in March of 2016.
US U-23 national team roster:
Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
Defenders: A.J. Cochran (Houston Dynamo; St. Louis), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Ramon Martin del Campo (San Jose Earthquakes; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bryan Gallego (Arizona United; Kinnelon, N.J.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles)
Midfielders: Dennis Flores (León; Pasadena, Calif.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.)
Forwards: Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Internacional; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Indy Eleven; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas)