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Youth National Team Update: June 28-July 6

U-20 MNT TO FACE DENMARK, TURKEY AND WALES IN NORTHERN IRELAND MILK CUP: U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen has announced his 18-player roster for the 2004 Milk Cup, which takes place in Northern Ireland from July 16-23. Rongen has called in a roster similar to the one that competed in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea, in late June, as nine of the 18 players will be making their second trip overseas in the past month. Included in the roster are four professionals, with two MLS players – Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) and Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) – joining two overseas players – goalkeeper Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France) and midfielder Jay Denny (Stoke City – England). The U.S. will leave on July 13 and have a couple days of training before opening up the tournament in Group 2 against Denmark on July 17 at the grounds of Donegall Celtic FC in Belfast. The U-20s would then face Turkey two days later at the Ballymena Showgrounds before finishing group play in the eight-team tournament against Wales at the Coleraine Showgrounds on July 21. Depending on how they finish in Group 2, the U.S. will play for their final standing on July 23 in the placement match, going up against the team in Group 1 (Brazil, Russia, Northern Ireland and Israel) that finishes in the same position. The Milk Cup will help Rongen continue to prepare for the CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament in January 2005.
U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Hughes (UNC), Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France); DEFENDERS (6): Kiel McClung (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Enfield, Conn.), Steve Purdy (UC-Berkeley), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Tim Ward (Waukesha, Wis), Mike Ordonez (Miami, Fla.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire), Nico Colaluca (Coventry, R.I.), Stuart Holden (Clemson), Jay Denny (Stoke City – England), Sasha Klejstan (Seton Hall); FORWARDS (4): Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Chad Barrett (UCLA), Kamani Hill (Berkley, Calif.), Will John (St. Louis University).

CONCACAF ANNOUNCES FINAL QUALIFYING ROUND FOR U-20s AND U-17s: CONCACAF announced the fixtures for the final round of qualifying for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship after holding the draws for both competitions this afternoon at the offices of the CONCACAF General Secretariat in New York. The U.S. will host Group A in the Under-20 qualifying tournament from January 12-16 in a location still to be determined, and will be joined by two nations from the Central American Zone (UNCAF) and the Caribbean Zone (CFU) Series 1 winner. Honduras will host Group B from January 26-30, with Canada Mexico and the Caribbean Zone Series 2 winner. The top two finishers from each of the two groups will qualify for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. The final stage of the CONCACAF U-17 qualification has also been set, with the U.S. traveling to Costa Rica to play in Group A with the host, the Caribbean Zone Series 1 winner and the Central American Zone Series 1 winner (Guatemala, Nicaragua or El Salvador) from April 12-16. In Group B, Canada will host with Mexico, Caribbean Zone Series 2 winner and Cental American Zone Series 2 winner (Honduras, Belize or Panama). The group winners will qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru, while the runners-up will compete in a home-and-away playoff, with the winner earning the third and final CONCACAF berth.

U-17 MEN TRAVEL TO MINNESOTA NEXT WEEK TO FACE CANADA AND CRUZ AZUL: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will travel to Blaine, Minn., next week to play three matches in four days, as they will have two matches against Canada’s U-17 Men’s National Team and one match against an elite youth squad from famed Mexican club Cruz Azul. The U.S. will arrive on July 14 and conduct three days of training in the St. Paul area before taking on Canada in their first match on July 17 at the National Sports Center in Blaine at 7:35 p.m. CT. The following day, the U.S. will not play as Canada and Cruz Azul will go head-to-head. The U.S. will then face Cruz Azul on July 19 and Canada for the second time on July 20, with both games being played at the National Sports Center and starting at 7:35 p.m. Head coach John Ellinger is bringing a 20-player roster for the three-game event as he continues to solidify his roster for the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying Tournament in April or May of 2005. The majority of the players on the roster will be part of the 40 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program this fall, with the exception of four players – Dax McCarty, Julian Valentin, Adam Sloustcher, and Marcus Rein – who graduated this past May. The U-17’s matches will lead into the U.S. Women’s National Team’s second-to-last match before leaving for the Olympics in Athens as they go up against Australia on Wednesday, July 21 at the National Sports Center at 6 p.m. CT.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date             Opponent            Kickoff (CT)
July 17         Canada                7:35 p.m.
July 19         Cruz Azul             7:35 p.m.
July 20         Canada                7:35 p.m.
U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Rein (Modesto, Calif.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Julian Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Taylor Hoss (Vancouver, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Eric Avila (Encinitas, Calif.), Dax McCarty (Maitland, Fla.), Adam Sloustcher (Pleasanton, Calif.); FORWARDS (4): Eddie Ababio (Tampa, Fla.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

U.S. U-16 GNT HEADS TO BRAZIL FOR THREE MATCHES: The U.S. U-16 Girl's National Team will take its first and only trip abroad this year when it travels to Brazil for three matches from July 11-19.  It will be the first-ever trip to Brazil for this age group.  Head coach Sue Montagne-Patberg and assistant coach Jillian Ellis, the former U.S. U-21 Women's National Team head coach, will take 18 players to the state of Sao Paulo for matches against three Brazilian women's clubs.  The team is scheduled to face Juventus FC on Thursday, July 15, in Limeira, before traveling to Campinas to face Gaurani on Saturday, July 17, and finishes up the tour with a match against Santos FC in Sao Paulo on Sunday, July 18.  The squad may also have a match against the Brazilian U-19s, who are headed to the FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand in November.  The U.S. roster features five players from the New York/New Jersey area and three players from Arizona, as well as Casey Nogueira, the daughter of indoor soccer's greatest goalkeeper of all-time, Victor Noguiera.
U-16 GNT Schedule
Date             Opponent
July 15          Juventus FC
July 17         Gaurani
July 18         Sao Paolo
U-16 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Chantal Jones (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Naeher (Seymour, Conn.); DEFENDERS (6): Jane Alukonis (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Lindsey Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (Garland, Tex.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Carolyn Blank (Toms River, N.J.), Ali Hawkins (Encinitas, Calif.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), C.J. Ludemann (Holtsville, N.Y.); FORWARDS (6): Rachel Given (Ridgeland, Mass.), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix, Ariz.), Ashley Moore (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Kelly O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas).