2008 U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Team Bio Shorts
More about the 20 players who will represent the United States at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago
Feb. 23, 2009
University Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.
Though still awaiting his first cap for the U.S. U-20s, Johnson has been part of Thomas Rongen’s two most recent camps, proving to be a valuable asset to the squad. Johnson has enjoyed two standout years at the University of Central Florida, and has played in all 37 games during his freshman and sophomore years. Johnson held an impressive goals against average of 1.30, while his 108 saves in 2008 were the most by a Knight keeper since 1986. Holding duel citizenship with the U.S. and Jamaica, the Lilburn, Ga. has previously been a part of Jamaican National Team camps.
FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.
A strong, athletic goalkeeper, Lambo has been part of the youth national team set up for more than three years, having graduated from the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program in 2007. Lambo started two games between the pipes at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea and was in goal for the team’s only victory of the tournament against Belgium. Drafted by FC Dallas as the eighth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, the rookie suffered a broken jaw while playing for the reserve team in March. Lambo returned to the U-20s in the summer and earned a 4-0 shutout victory against Wales in his only international game of the year.
UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
One of three FIFA U-20 World Cup veterans on the roster, Perk proved a worth back up to Chris Seitz in Canada 2007 when he was called upon to start in the Round of 16 game against Uruguay. After making seven saves in the overtime thriller, Perk had helped the team into the quarterfinals. As the team’s top-choice ‘keeper in 2008, Perk was between the pipes for the 3-0 win against Mexico on July 11 and earned another shutout against Belgium at the Ballymena Tournament. As a junior at UCLA in 2008, Perk put up a stingy 0.97 goals against average in 19 games played.
Unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.
Agbossoumonde, an alumnus of the U-17 MNT Residency Program and IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has a wealth of youth national team experience despite being one of the youngest players on the qualifying roster. The Syracuse, N.Y., native has represented the U-20s six times heading into 2009, including four appearances in 2008. Agbossoumonde grew up in a refugee camp in Benin, in West Africa, before moving to New York with his family in 2000.
Southampton FC; Danville, Calif.
Davies is in his second cycle with the U-20 MNT, having been part of the pool leading into the 2007 FIFA World Cup before suffering a broken leg. With four international appearances at the U-20 level, Davies picked up his first cap in a 1-1 draw with Argentina on Nov. 28, 2007 in Buenos Aires. He also graduated from U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program in the spring of 2006. Club commitments with Southampton FC in England, where the Danville, Calif., native signed as an 18-year-old, have limited his appearances with Rongen’s squad. Though injury-plagued throughout his two years across the pond, Davies has been training with the first team.
Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.
Flores was thrust on the national scene in 2007 as the winner of Sueño MLS, a reality show that helped him land his first professional contract. Flores debuted with Chivas USA on Sept. 27, 2007 against the New York Red Bulls, but broke out in 2008 when he appeared in 11 games and scored three goals. Flores made his international debut for Thomas Rongen late in 2007, taking part in the U-20 MNT’s 10-day tour of Argentina. The Anaheim, Calif. native started both games on the tour, scoring the USA’s only draw in a 1-1 draw against Argentina. He has since picked up seven caps for Rongen’s squad.
Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.
With dual citizenship to both the U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago, Maund represented T&T at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, starting in all three matches and playing all but 16 minutes of the group phase. As a freshman at Notre Dame, the Dorchester, Mass. native started all 21 games for the Fighting Irish at central defender. He helped the team capture the Big East Blue Division title and the No.12 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Maund has submitted the necessary paperwork to change his national association to the United States and U.S. Soccer is awaiting FIFA’s decision.
San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.
One of the youngest players on the qualifying roster and the only youth player, Okugo has already appeared in six international matches during the past two years. Despite being a year younger than most players on the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup roster, Okugo served as an alternate to that team and was part of the Residency Program in the Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 semesters. Okugo picked up his first two caps under Rongen on the team’s first international trip of the cycle, a two-game tour of Argentina. Okugo was also part of the 2008 Milk Cup team that topped Wales and Belgium in Northern Ireland.
FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.
With 17 appearances for the U-20 MNT, Wallace heads to Trinidad & Tobago as the most experienced player on the roster. Despite being one of the youngest members of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad, Wallace started four games in Canada, including the 2-1 win against Uruguay in the Round of 16 and the team’s overtime loss in the quarterfinals. A second-year player for FC Dallas in 2008, Wallace made six appearances for his team mostly as a wide midfielder. Fitting into Rongen’s squad on the backline, Wallace has worn the captain’s armband on numerous occasions, including in the team’s 3-0 win against Mexico in 2008. Wallace was also invited to camp with the U-23 MNT in February 2008.
Unattached; Boston, Mass.
Williams is one of 12 players on the roster who has graduated from U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program and one of five who represented the U.S. at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Converted from forward to defender while in Residency, Williams put in one of the standout performances in the Korea Republic in ’07 and continued his successful career at the University of North Carolina. As a freshman, the Boston native was one of only two players to start all 24 games for the Tar Heels in 2008 and helped UNC advance to the College Cup final. Williams earned all five of his U-20 caps in 2008, and scored the game-winner in the USA’s 3-0 win against Mexico.
Hertha Berlin; Miami
Though he didn’t make any appearances in Canada 2007, Arguez was part of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals and will take on a new role in his second U-20 cycle. Second on the team with 10 caps, Arguez is also the oldest member of the 2009 team. One of only three European-based players on Rongen’s team, the Miami native signed with Germany’s Hertha Berlin in 2008 after one season in Major League Soccer with D.C. United. Nicknamed “Mookie”, Arguez has made one Bundesliga appearance in his first year and a half abroad but has been training with the first team.
Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.
Cruz played his first-ever soccer game as a high school freshman, and by 17 years old, had burst into the youth national teams. Though not part of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program, Cruz earned his place on the U-17 MNT that traveled to the Korea Republic for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. A former ice hockey and football player, Cruz quickly fell in love with soccer and in was drafted in 2009 by the Houston Dynamo in the MLS SuperDraft. He has played in seven international games with the U-20s, all in 2008, and had scored one goal from his flank midfield position.
Rutgers; Montville, N.J.
A newcomer to U.S. National Teams, Duka parlayed a standout sophomore year at Rutgers University into a place on 2009 CONCACAF qualifying team. Though he has yet to make an appearance in an international match, Duka could make a major impact on the team with his quickness and technical ability. Leading the Scarlet Knights with eight goals and 17 points in 17 games in 2008, Duka was named second-team All-Big East for his efforts.
Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas
A highly touted playmaking midfielder, Jeffrey turned a successful stint with the U-17 Men’s National Team into a contract with Belgium’s Club Brugge when he was just 18 years old. During three semesters in Residency, Jeffrey led all players with 39 international appearances, including starts in all four U.S. games in the Korea Republic. The Dallas Texans product scored a goal in that tournament against Tunisia and provided an assist on the game-winner against Belgium. Jeffrey’s only appearance with the U-20s to date came at the Campos Verde International tournament in Portugal in April 2008.
Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.
Ownby made his debut in a U.S. uniform with the Under-18 MNT at the Lisbon International tournament in Portugal in 2007 where he made two appearances as a substitute. Moving on to the University of Virginia, the Richmond Strikers alumnus made 19 appearances and 14 starts to earn a place on the ACC All-Freshman team. His five goals and four assists also earned him second-team All-South Atlantic regional honors. Though he has yet to play in an international game with the U-20s, the 2007 Virginia Player of the Year will be looking to make an offensive impact in Trinidad & Tobago.
FC Dallas; College Station, Texas
After two full years in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program, Shea was selected by FC Dallas as the second overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Shea earned six international appearances under Rongen in 2008, scoring scored a brace in the U-20’s 4-0 win against Wales at the prestigious Northern Ireland Milk Cup. Shea was also part of the team that played in the Campos Verde International tournament, scoring a goal against Portugal and wearing the captain’s armband against Northern Ireland. The Texas native also traveled with the U-23 MNT to the Toulon International Tournament, turning in two standout appearances against the Ivory Coast and Italy.
Denver; Highland Village, Texas
Garza made the most of his only international appearance with the U-20s, going the full 90 and scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win against Canada on Dec. 22 in Sunrise, Fla. A native of Highland Village, Texas, Garza had a standout freshman year at the University of Denver, notching four goals and four assists in helping the Pioneers earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1970 and taking Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year honors. He appeared in all 19 games for Denver while making 14 starts.
FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.
A former University of Michigan stand out and current FC Dallas rookie, Marosevic finished 2008 as the leading scorer on the U-20s with four goals in six games, including two goals on July 11 against Mexico. At Michigan, he was honored with first team All-Big Ten and All-Great Lakes Region honors during his junior season in 2008, cementing his place as the fifth overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft in January 2009. A gifted goal-scorer who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, Marosevic is the only professional striker on the qualifying roster.
North Carolina; Allentown, N.J.
After two years in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program, Schuler had an impressive freshman season at the University of North Carolina, helping the team advance to the College Cup Final. Schuler, a native of Allentown, N.J., appeared in all 24 games for the Tar Heels, scoring four goals and adding five assists. He also scored the game-winning goal in UNC’s second-round victory against Jacksonville in the NCAA Tournament. Schuler was part of the U.S. U-17 team that advanced to the Round of 16 in the Korea Republic in 2007, where he started three games and contributed a goal against Tajikistan in the USA’s opening match.
Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.
Taylor has been a part of the team’s most recent training camps, traveling to Trinidad & Tobago in January and securing his place on the qualifying team during a week-long stint in Bradenton in February. The tall, strong forward appeared in only 13 games for Jacksonville University due to injury, but still contributed six goals and four assists to the Dolphins’ Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. A native of Jacksonville, Taylor returned to his hometown Dolphins for the 2008 season after spending his freshman campaign at the University of South Florida.