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U-23 Men's National Team Trains in Miami prior to Facing St. Kitts & Nevis

EVERYBODY IN: With the arrival of Los Angeles defender Ricky Lewis on Tuesday evening, the entire U.S. Olympic Qualifying roster is now in camp. Fifteen of the 18 players on the roster arrived Monday afternoon and participated in a 90-minute training session, with MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven making it in later in the evening. R.A.A. Louviere defender Oguchi Onyewu made the long journey from Belgium and arrived Tuesday morning, just in time to shake out the jet lag by joining his teammates for a grueling two-hour-plus session in the Florida noontime heat. It doesn't get any easier today, as the team is scheduled for a double session of hour-long practices. Below is the final U-23 roster:
Goalkeepers (2): D.J. Countess, Doug Warren; Defenders (6): Nat Borchers, Ricky Lewis, Oguchi Onyewu, David Stokes, Jordan Stone, Chris Wingert; Midfielders (7): Kyle Beckerman, Brian Carroll, Ricardo Clark, Bobby Convey, Eddie Gaven, Kyle Martino, David Testo;
Forwards (3):
Edson Buddle, Alecko Eskandarian, Ed Johnson.

2003 MLS REGULAR SEASON STATS FOR U-23 PLAYER POOL: For the second consecutive class of Under-23s, the player pool is filled with a majority of professionals who are rapidly improving thanks to Major League Soccer. Below is a breakdown of Under-23 pool players and their respective stats for the 2003 season, with their ages in parantheses:
Forwards                   GP    GS     Min.    G    A    Pts.   Note / Team
Edson Buddle (22)      21     16    1509    10    4     24    2nd in Crew, 11th in MLS scoring
Landon Donovan (21) 22     21    1882    12    6     30    1st in 'Quakes, 6th in MLS scoring;
                                                                                       Led MLS in game-winning goals (5)
Alecko Eskandarian (21) 23   5      728     3     2      8     #1 Draft Pick by D.C. United
Mike Magee (19)        29     19    1709     7     2     16    2nd (tie) in MetroStars scoring
Nate Jaqua (22)          20       5      712     2     2      6     Chicago Fire super sub
Ed Johnson (19)          22     13    1265     3     0      6     Ended '03 as Dallas Burn starter
Santino Quaranta (19) 12       8      738     1     3      5     D.C. United's 2001 All-Star
Casey Schmidt (22)     13      1      363      0     2      2     1st year with Colorado Rapids

Midfielders                      GP   GS       Min.    G     A    Pts.   Note / Team
DaMarcus Beasley (21) 22    20     1969     7     5     19    3rd in Fire, 13th in MLS scoring; Most fouls suffered (96) in MLS
Kyle Beckerman (21)      28     24     2124    0     5      5     3rd in Rapids' assists; Led MLS in game-winning assists (3) 
Brian Carroll (22)                    ***Did Not Appear***          Played in 3 Open Cup games for D.C.
Bobby Convey (20)          19     15    1576     2     1      5     Leader at D.C. United despite age
Ricardo Clark (20)           28     28    2590     3     1      7    1st on MetroStars in Minutes (led all rookies); Rookie of the Year finalist
Brad Davis (22)                26     21    1910    6     5    17    1st in Burn, Top 20 in MLS scoring; 8th in MLS in corner kicks (59)
Eddie Gaven (17)            12      7       691    1     1      1     Good minutes off bench for Metros
Justin Mapp (19)              21     18    1384    3     3      9     Solid second year as early Fire starter
Kyle Martino (22)              22     20    1765    2     4      8     Playmaker Crew, full U.S. MNT
Logan Pause (22)           23     15    1354    0     0      0     Versatile player for Fire
Jordan Stone (19)           16       9     1057    0     0      0     Doubles as defender for Burn
Seth Trembly (21)           16     11     1112    1     1      1     Mostly reserve player for Rapids

Defenders                       GP    GS     Min.   G    A    Pts.   Note / Team
Nelson Akwari (21)        11       5      488     0     0      0     Mostly reserve player for Crew
Kenny Arena (22)           10      5       458     0     0      0     Mostly reserve player for MetroStars
Nat Borchers (22)          23     22    2101     0     0      0     Possible Rookie of the Year finalist
Jose Burciaga, Jr. (21)    4       4      347      0     0      0     Injured early and out for '03 season
Kelly Gray (22)                28     20    1910     2     1      5     U-23 Captain; Plays all over for Fire
Ricky Lewis (21)            13      7      798      0     0      0     Mostly reserve for Galaxy
Philip Salyer (22)             8       5      491      0     0      0     Mostly reserve for Burn
David Stokes (21)                ***Did Not Appear***          Made two starts in Open Cup games

Goalkeepers                  GP   GS    Min.   GA    S    C/P  GAA  Note / Team
D.J. Countess (21)        24    24    2193    48   115  88    1.97   4th in MLS in saves; 5th in C/P as first-year Burn starter
Doug Warren (22)            5       4      404      6    26   19    1.34      Ended season as D.C. starter wth Rimando out injured

CURRENT STATS FOR NON-MLS PLAYERS IN U-23 POOL: Aside from players who are plying their tade in MLS, the Under-23 player pool also includes professionals in Europe, in the A-League and collegians. Below is a breakdown of non-MLS U-23 pool players and their respective stats for the current 2003 season, with their ages in parantheses:
Goalkeeper                   GP    GS     Min.   GA   GAA     Note / Team
David Yelldell (20)         8       8       720    15     1.88      Starter for Blackburn (ENG) reserves
Defender                       GP    GS     Min.   G    A    Pts.   Note / Team
Oguchi Onyewu (21)     7       7       624    0     0      0     Started 9 of 10 for Louviere (BEL)
Alex Yi (21)                      5       4       366    0     0      0     Started last 4 w/ Royal Antwerp (BEL)
Chris Wingert (21)      18     18     1426    3     3      9     Big East Defender of the Year for Red Storm; 2nd Hermann nomination
Midfielder                   GP    GS     Min.   G    A    Pts.   Note / Team
David Testo (22)*       28     23    1989    6     2     14     Rookie of the Year for Richmond (US)
                                                                                               *Final A-League regular season stats
Forward                       GP    GS     Min.   G    A    Pts.   Note / Team
Conor Casey (22)       10     10      787    4     0      0      Starts up top for Karslruher (GER)

When Mooch arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday night, it marked the completion of a five-week tour of Europe that included scouting players (from the Under-23 MNT and just about every other MNT) and scouting the 2004 Olympic soccer venues. Leaving his Denver home on October 19, he started out with a little over a week crisscrossing England. First stop? Blackburn Rovers, where he spent a few days to see a trio of American players: MNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel, U-23 goalkeeper David Yelldell and U-20 striker Jamal Johnson (who is playing with the U-19 Rovers squad).  Myernick watched Yelldell train twice with Friedel and the full Blackburn Rovers team and then play in reserve team matches against Liverpool and Everton. The reserve match vs. Liverpool also gave him a chance to see U-20 defender Zak Whitbread, who has played nine matches for the second team. He also paid a visit to U-17 defender Jonathan Spector with his Manchester United reserve team and Men's National Team midfielder Eddie Lewis at Preston North End before heading on to Belgium. In Belgium, he was able to visit with a pair of U-23 defenders that have excelled at both the U-17 and U-20 levels playing together in the center of the backline. Myernick was able to spend time with both Onyewu at R.A.A. Louviere and Alex Yi at Royal Antwerp. Then it was off to Germany, where he saw forward Conor Casey in Karlsruher's 1-0 win over Greuther Furth and then watched former U-23 and current MNT defender Steve Cherundolo as his Hannover 96 squad traveled to Cologne to defeat the home side 2-1.

MOOCH ON THE MOVE, PART II: On to Athens, we go. After enduring a full week of USOC meetings covering all aspects of the approaching Olympiad, Mooch and other U.S. Soccer staff set off on a whirlwind trip to hit the four outlying cities -- Patra, Heraklio (on the island of Crete), Volos and Thessaloniki -- that will be hosting the soccer competition, scouring a trio of training sites, the official hotel and the stadium grounds at each stop. What could've easily taken a full week to accomplish was done in just two days. That's right--two days, four stadiums, five hotels, and 13 training sites.

MOOCH ON THE MOVE, PART III: Being on the road for over a month with little more than a roller bag instead of a large suitcase means that doing laundry while on the road is essential.  Mooch took advantage of some down time on Tuesday afternoon to do just that, but just like his European travels, he had to go all over the place to get it done. After visiting a recommended dry cleaner nearby the hotel that was going to charge him a whopping $50 to do a small bag of laundry, he was relegated to a coin laundromats in one of Fort Lauderdale's hundred strip malls.  It was Mooch's lucky day, as Tuesday was "Free Dryer Day," meaning the he saved $47 on the day.

Following Monday's afternoon training session, the team got a surprise visit from former Costa Rica/former U.S./former Mexico/former Nigeria/former China/current Honduras head coach Bora Milutinovic, whose full Men's National Team is also training at the Sunrise Hilton before facing Finland in Houston. The Honduras Under-23 team, led by head coach Edwin Roberto Pavon, will gather on Thursday as they prepare for the away leg of their second-round series on Sunday night at the Orange Bowl in Miami against Haiti, who the U.S. defeated 1-0 on Oct. 15 in Fort Lauderdale in front of over 9,000 of their passionate fans. Bora and the team were just arriving to the hotel as the U.S. was cooling down at the adjacent training field, and he stopped by to shake hands, meet the team and chew the fat with the coaching staff. On Tuesday, he could be seen holding court in the hotel lobby, exchanging stories with the dozens of soccer coaches and local organizers as they passed through. In addition to the two Honduras teams, the Canadian U-23 team is also training here before they travel to face El Salvador on Saturday for the away leg of their second-round series.

QUOTABLE: "Is your mom still giving you a ride to practice or do you have your own car now? Does she wait in the parking lot for practice to be over?"
        --U.S. U-20 head coach and U-23 assistant coach Thomas Rongen, giving MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven a hard time about his mode of transportation. Gaven just turned 17 on Oct. 25.