Columbus Crew SC midfielder Ben Swanson received an invitation to the United States' U-18 training camp in Medugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The 17-year old Swanson, who is a native of Grove City, came up through the Crew SC Academy, beginning at the U-9 level. He spent time at the U.S. residency program in Bradenton, FL. and began training with the Black and Gold's first team last September.
Finally in mid-October, Swanson signed a Homegrown contract with Crew SC. Although he is yet to appear for the Black and Gold at the MLS level, head coach Gregg Berhalter recently praised Swanson's work in training.
"He's doing good. Actually, today he looked really sharp," Berhalter said of Swanson last week. "He's a guy that is progressing. He's getting used to the demands of a higher tempo and more physicality, but he's doing well adjusting to it."
Swanson has seen game time with the reserves in scrimmages this year, playing in the central midfield role. In these scrimmages, Swanson plays the "Tony Tchani-role" alongside Kevan George as looked good on the ball offensively.
The time with the national team will not only allow Swanson to further develop, training at a high level, but also allow him to get some competitive game minutes. The U.S. will play Siroki Brijeg on April 25, and then two games against Bosnia U-18's on April 28 and April 30.
U.S. U-18 head coach Javier Perez called 20 players in for the camp, including six MLS players. Along with Swanson, Justen Glad, Sebastian Saucedo (both Real Salt Lake), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC), Cory Craft (FC Dallas), and Victory Mansaray (Seattle Sounders) were the other MLS players called up. There are nine additional players with ties to MLS academies.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), Mason Stajduhar (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Marcello Borges (New York Red Bulls; Kearny, N.J.), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Amir Bashti (San Jose Earthquakes; Cupertino, Calif.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic; Libertyville, Ill.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Benjamin Swanson (Columbus Crew SC; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.), Eryk Williamson (D.C. United; Alexandria, Va.)
FORWARDS (5): Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal CF; Minneapolis, Minn), Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Brooks Lennon (RSL Arizona; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders; Des Moines, Wash.)