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U-20 Men's National Team Kicks Off Four Day Camp in Sunrise, Fla.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
Sunrise, Fla.
Oct. 9, 2006

ARRIVING ONE-BY-ONE: The first segment of the U.S. U-20 roster arrived on Sunday afternoon when seven players arrived at the hotel in Sunrise in time for a late evening training. Michael Bradley, Rodrigo Hidalgo, Quavas Kirk, Robbie Rogers, Nathan Sturgis, Danny Szetela and Joe Willis were put through the paces by head coach Thomas Rongen for about 60 minutes. The rest of the roster started arriving later in the evening and early Monday morning, which will provide Rongen and his staff a full complement of players for the rest of the four-day camp.

McCARTY AND WALLACE ADDED: Two more players were added to the camp roster as Rongen called in midfielders Dax McCarty from FC Dallas and Anthony Wallace from the University of South Florida. The addition of McCarty and Wallace gives Rongen a total of 18 players, which includes 11 professionals, eight of which are from six MLS teams. Wallace is the second USF player in camp as he joins his college teammate Hidalgo. The three overseas players are Michael Bradley and Robbie Rogers (Heerenveen SC) and Johann Smith (FC Bolton).

U-20 MNT Training Camp Roster
Sunrise, Fla. - Oct. 8-11, 2006

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (UCLA), Joe Willis (Denver)
DEFENDERS (4): Nick Cardenas (San Diego State), Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Miguel Gonzalez (New England Revolution), Rodrigo Lopez (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (USF)
FORWARDS (4): Rodrigo Hidalgo (USF), Quavas Kirk (L.A. Galaxy), Robbie Rogers (SC Heerenveen), Johann Smith (Bolton FC)

HAITI ON WEDNESDAY: After the next two days of training the U.S. will play their lone match of the four-day camp when they meet the Haiti Under-23 Men’s National Team. The match is a closed-door match, but a full match report and video highlights will be available on The match against Haiti will be the U.S. Under-20 MNT’s tenth international match of the year. The U.S. is 3-4-2 overall this year, with wins against Argentina, Canada and Wales.

PREPARING FOR QUALIFYING: The U.S. is preparing for the 2007 CONCACAF Under-20 Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will take place in Mexico and Panama early next year. A total of eight teams – four in each group – will be looking to progress to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. Group A of the 2007 CONCACAF Under-20 Final Round will take place from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama. Group B will occur a month later from Feb. 21-25 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, which is on the Western coast of Mexico. The U.S. will join hosts Panama and Mexico in the final qualifying round, along with Guatemala, Costa Rica and three teams from the Caribbean qualification. The top two squads from each of these groups will qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22 across six cities – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby and Victoria.

GET TO KNOW RODRIGO: With his appearance on this roster, Rodrigo Lopez has been a part of four of the six U-20 camps held this year, but you might not know much about the Chivas USA midfielder. Well, we corralled the Mexican-born 19-year-old to talk about his background, how life in MLS has been for the past two years, his emergence to the national teams and what his goals are with the Under-20s (see win a World Cup). Oh, and we did ask him the pressing question of his allegiance to the U.S. over Mexico. Did he answer correctly? Listen up and find out in this exclusive Center Circle podcast on SUBSCRIBE

U-17 CONNECTIONS: Of the 18 players in camp, 12 were members of U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program for at least a semester. Freddy Adu and Danny Szetela were members of the 2003 U-17 FIFA World Championship squad that took fifth place in Finland, while Amaechi Igwe, Quavas Kirk and Brian Perk were members of the 2005 U-17 FIFA World Championship team that took fifth place in Peru. The other former U-17 Residency members in Sunrise are Michael Bradley, Rodrigo Hidalgo, Dax McCarty, Robbie Rogers, Nathan Sturgis, Anthony Wallace and Tim Ward.

FIRST TIMERS: While the majority of the players are familiar with training camps with the youth national teams, three players are participating in their first ever YNT camp – Nick Cardenas (San Diego State), Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara) and Joe Willis (Denver).