Real Salt Lake's Chris Seitz and Nathan Sturgis were named today to the Under-23 National Team that will represent the United States at this summer's Olympics in China.
"It's a big honor," Sturgis said this morning at RSL practice. "I'm still trying not to get too far ahead of myself because right now I'm just trying to stay healthy."
RSL teammates Robbie Findley and Tony Beltran were not included on the 18-man roster selected by Olympic coach Peter Nowak, even though Findley was named as an alternate in the event of an injury.
The majority of the MLS players will report to Olympic training camp at Stanford University on July 20. The team will then head to Hong Kong to participate in the ING Cup beginning on July 25.
The United States' first Olympic match is against Japan on Aug. 7. Its other Group B opponents are Nigeria and Netherlands.
Seitz was always a lock to make the Olympic team, but Sturgis' status has been in question for months while he recovered from a hamstring injury in late April. He made a brief appearance in last weekend's Real Salt Lake match, and is close to 100 percent. His match fitness obviously isn't where it needs to be, but he's proven himself to be a versatile player in the past both as a midfielder and a defender for club and country.
"It was definitely a bad time to get injured with the Olympics coming up," Sturgis said. "I definitely would have liked to play more. Fortunately, the coaches have faith that I can still come in and play."
Per Olympic rules, each team is allowed to add three overage players to its roster, and the U.S. National Team has opted to include Brad Guzan, Brian McBride and Michael Parkhurst.
Guzan's inclusion will cut into Seitz's playing time significantly.
While Seitz hasn't played a league match for Real Salt Lake, Guzan had started all but one league match for Chivas USA before his transfer to Aston Villa of the English Premier League went through last week.
Guzan will almost definitely be the No. 1 keeper in China while Seitz serves as his back-up.