Aug. 2, 2014
Complete U.S. Soccer Release
DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo is among a group of 19 players called into camp with the United States Under-23 Men's National Team, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday (Aug. 1).
The five-day camp runs from Aug. 3-7 in Nassau, Bahamas, and features a friendly against the Bahamas Senior National Team on Wednesday (Aug. 6) at the Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium.
"I think it's outstanding and an incredible opportunity," Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer said. "Ramon is a young man who aspires to be a professional, he has worked extremely hard on his game, and has improved tremendously over last three years. I think Ramon, without question, has the potential and the ability to be a pro player."
Martin Del Campo is one of seven defenders on the initial call-up list and has been a starter on the Aggies' back line for the last two seasons. An All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention selection as a junior in 2013, Martin Del Campo also competes with the San Jose Earthquakes' U-23 Premier Development League (PDL) squad.
After helping the Earthquakes to a 7-4-3 record and a third-place finish in the Western Conference in their inaugural season, Martin Del Campo earned both All-PDL and All-Western Conference First Team honors and is also one of three finalists for the league's Young (U21) Player of the Year Award.
"At the end of my junior year at UC Davis, I asked Coach Shaffer if he had heard about any Major League Soccer teams that were interested in me," Martin Del Campo said. "He told me that San Jose was starting up a PDL team and I told him if he could find a way for me to try out, I'll make that team.
"The camp is made up of a lot of really good college players, guys who have seen action in MLS, and I've had a chance to play with and against them in the PDL. The game is fast, professional, and physical and, I guess, they think I'm ready for this kind of challenge. It keeps me on my toes and I know what I need to do to be successful."
According to the U.S. Soccer release, the camp is part of the organization's continuing effort to focus early on the qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"The chance to get this group of players together and get ahead of the curve in preparation for Olympic Qualifying in two years' time is huge," U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann said in a release. "We began with the U-21 camp in April, and now it's critical that we have as many camps and games as possible so we can build a deep pool of talent that can qualify for Brazil. The Olympics are an important opportunity for young players, and we have to capitalize on it. We also want to give a big thanks to the Bahamas Football Association for hosting us."