U.S. UNDER-20 MNT TO FACE HONDURAS, MEXICO DURING TRAINING CAMP IN FORT LAUDERDALE FROM NOVEMBER 15-22
USA Will Face Honduras on Nov. 19, Mexico on Nov. 21 at Lockhart Stadium;
Freddy Adu, Seven Other Pros Highlight Young U.S. Roster
CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 2004) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play CONCACAF rivals Mexico and Honduras during a week-long training camp in Sunrise, Fla., that begins today and runs through Nov. 22. The U.S. will face both teams at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium, taking on Honduras on Friday, Nov. 19 before meeting Mexico on Sunday, Nov. 21.
This will be the first training camp under Sigi Schmid, who was named the U.S. U-20 head coach in late October. Schmid will be looking at numerous players during the camps as he begins to sort through the U-20 player pool and mold his squad for the U-20 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament that will take place from January 12-16, 2005.
“I’m looking forward to this camp as it will be the first time I’ll see the players together and get a better feel of the team as a whole,” said Schmid. “I’ve seen a majority of the players at some point, but it will be good to see them perform in this environment. We also have two great match-ups against Honduras and Mexico that will provide us with a great test as we begin our final preparations for the qualifying tournament in January.”
The USA’s games will be part of a doubleheader on both nights as reigning U-20 world champion Brazil will also face Mexico and Honduras during their second trip to South Florida this year. The U.S. will not play Brazil, having already met twice earlier this year, falling 2-0 on June 16 in Fort Lauderdale and then allowing two unanswered goals in a 2-1 loss eight days later in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea.
The U.S. will take on Honduras in the opening match on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. ET, which will be followed by Mexico and Brazil at 9 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 21 Brazil and Honduras will clash in the early match at 5 p.m., while the U.S. and Mexico will close the four-game set at 7 p.m.
Advance tickets for both doubleheaders are $30 for adults and $15 for kids under the age of 12 ($20 and $10 for one doubleheader) and are on sale now through Complete Ticket Solutions. Groups of 20 or more can get a $2 discount per ticket by calling the box office at 1-877-877-7677. Tickets are available online at www.tixops.com.
The entire roster for the camp has not been finalized and will be announced later this week as the availability of a number of potential college players is still unknown due to the first round of the 2004 NCAA Division I Men’s College Cup taking place on Nov. 19 and 20. Players on college teams that receive first round byes (draw to be held later today) will be available for the camp and at least the Honduras match.
Of the players that have been secured for the roster, eight are playing professionally, with six players representing teams in Major League Soccer, including Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire), Guillermo Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew) and Michael Bradley (MetroStars). The other two professionals are from across the pond as goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who plays for ESTAC Troyes in the second division in France, and forward Jay Denny, who’s with England’s second division club Stoke City, have both been invited into camp.
To fill out the roster, Schmid will also be inviting in several players from U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner, defenders Ofori Sarkodie and Carlos Borja, midfielders Ryan Soroka and Nikolas Besagno, and forward Preston Zimmerman will all travel to Sunrise for their first Under-20 camp.
Honduras and Mexico are both in Group B of the CONCACAF Under-20 Final Round Qualifying Tournament along with Canada and Jamaica. The U.S. is in Group A along with Costa Rica, Panama and the winner of the Caribbean Zone Series 1 between Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba, which will be determined in a home-and-home series on Nov. 19 and 26. The top two teams from each group’s qualifying competition (taking place in January 2005) will advance to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship set for the Netherlands from June 10-July 2.