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Union Academy midfielder called up to U.S. U16 team

Axel Picazo named to 23-player roster for the IMG Cup

Axel Picazo
Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy midfielder Axel Picazo is one of 23 players recently called up by head coach Shaun Tsakiris for a domestic training camp and tournament in Florida.

Picazo and the U.S. Under-16 Boys National Team played a friendly against Clearwater Chargers last night in preparation for the IMG Cup December 17-19. They’ll play Next Gen USA Showcase Select on Saturday morning, FC Florida Prep Academy on Sunday morning followed by Miramar United Elite FC on Monday morning. The winner of the round-robin cup will be determined by point accumulation.

Picazo, 15, joined the Philadelphia Union Academy over the summer from Lonestar SC in his native Texas. He has six goals in 11 appearances for the Union U16s this season in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play.

The Round Rock, Texas native had 20 goals splitting time between the U14 and U16 teams with Lonestar SC last season.

The national team call-up is the first for Picazo since joining the Union and the first competitive tournament for the team since the Val de Marne Tournament in France. The U.S. went 1-2-0 with a win over England and losses to Russian and France to finish third out of four teams.

Fifteen of the 23 players in the team this time around have ties to MLS academies. D.C. United, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and NYCFC each have two on the roster while Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City each have one.

Click here to see the full roster.