New England Soccer Today

Packwood Called in for Olympic Qualifying


Concord, Mass. native and regular Revolution practice participant Will Packwood was one of 20 players called in for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship by U.S. U-23 head coach Andi Herzog on Friday.

“For us it was important that we find the right balance between attacking players and defensive-minded players,” Herzog said in a press release. “Because there are no FIFA dates for the first week of the tournament, there were challenges in getting players released. We had discussions with a lot of teams, and while some clubs didn’t release their players overall we received a lot of support, especially from MLS.”

Packwood has started all four matches he’s played in for the U.S. U-23s this year. He tallied against the Netherlands in a 3-1 win during the Toulon Tournament, at which the U.S. earned a program-best third-place finish.

The 21-year-old center back has trialed with no fewer than three MLS clubs since he was released from his contract with Birmingham City earlier this year.

The U.S. was drawn into Group A and opens with a pair of games at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, against Canada on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. CT and Cuba on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. CT. The U-23’s will conclude group play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on Oct. 6 against Panama at 7:30 p.m. MT.

The qualifying tournament will be played across the U.S. from Oct. 1-13, with the hosts looking clinch a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after missing out on the 2012 Games in London.

“There was a lot of competition for spots,” Herzog said. “Of course a few players will be disappointed that they didn’t make the roster and I understand, but we can only have 20 players on the roster and only17 field players, so they weren’t easy decisions. Now we have to be focused on the games and we have to win.”

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