Minnesota United rookie Hassani Dotson and second-year striker Mason Toye have been named to the U.S. Under-23 men’s national team 24-man roster that will play Japan on the road to Olympic qualifying.
They’ll join the national team for training in Chula Vista, Calif., after the Loons’ game Sunday at LAFC. The U.S. team plays Japan there on Sept. 9, aiming to qualify in March for the Olympic Games for the first time since 2008.
CONCACAF qualifying in Mexico for the 2020 Olympics will send two teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean to Tokyo next summer.
Dotson and Toye aren’t the only players being called up: Finland’s Robin Lod and Rasmus Schuller, Slovakia’s Jan Gregus and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevin Molino will leave United after Sunday’s game, too, to play for their national teams.
Finland plays Greece on Thursday and Italy on Sept. 8 in Euro 2020 qualifying. Slovakia plays as well, Sept. 6 against Croatia and Sept. 9 against Hungary. Molino’s national team plays CONCACAF Nations League against Martinique on Sept. 6 and 9.
Whether all will return to play in the team’s next MLS game with big playoff implications — Sept. 11 at Houston — depends on how much and how recently each has played during this FIFA international break.
“We’ll address that when it comes,” United coach Adrian Heath said.
Prospect Ally Hamis Ng’anzi, signed and loaned to United’s Madison, Wis., affiliate, has been recalled by his Tanzanian national team as well.
The future in the present
While U.S. Open Cup leading goal-scorer and its highest-paid player Darwin Quintero sat until the 74th minute of the 2-1 Cup final loss to Atlanta United on Tuesday, Minnesota United started Dotson, Toye and rookie Chase Gasper.
All three Loons selections in MLS SuperDrafts, along with first-round goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair and newly signed 19-year-old midfielder Thomas Chacon, are being nurtured for the future. So, too, are draft picks Wyatt Omsberg and Carter Manley, who have mostly played for the team’s Madison affiliate this season.
“It shows, which is probably against the grain a little bit, what value there still is in the college game,” Heath said. “We’ve got a real core of young players to work with and be developed and hopefully they’ll be the backbone of the team for many years to come.”