Six Pros Highlight Young U.S. Roster in Schmid’s First U-20 Camp; USA Will Face Honduras on Nov. 19, Mexico on Nov. 21 at Lockhart Stadium
CHICAGO (Wednesday, November 17, 2004) – United States Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Sigi Schmid named his 21-player roster that will face CONCACAF rivals Mexico and Honduras during a week-long training camp in Sunrise, Fla., that kicked off on Monday. 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.
The roster will be unique for this camp as a number of the players in the U-20 player pool will not be able to participate due to commitments with their college team as they compete in the 2004 NCAA Division I Men’s College Cup, which kicks off this weekend.
“The roster is quite young as a number of the college players are competing in the first round of the NCAA tournament and are not available for the camp,” said Schmid, who is conducting his first training camp with the Under-20s since being named the head coach in late October. “To account for those missing players we’ve invited in a number of players currently in U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program, who I believe will still allow us to be competitive against both Honduras and Mexico.”
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.
Only 14 players have arrived in camp as six of the seven college players that are available will not arrive until Wednesday afternoon. Those six college players will only be able to play against Honduras as they will leave on Saturday morning to rejoin their college team for the second round of the NCAA tournament, leaving the U.S. with a mix of professionals and high school-aged players to face Mexico on Sunday night.
“Playing these two games with a young squad will be a challenge, especially going up against Mexico when we will be missing a number of our college players,” said Schmid. “We will obviously be going with a vastly different roster than the one we will be using for qualifying, but it also presents an opportunity for these players to make a statement and we’re looking forward to both matches.”
Leading the way on the roster are five MLS players, including Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Michael Bradley (MetroStars) and Guillermo Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy). The final two professional players are goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who plays for ESTAC Troyes in the second division in France, and Jay Denny of Stoke City in the English first division.
One other professional was also expected to be in camp, but Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) fell ill earlier this week and was unable to make the trip.
To fill out the roster, Schmid brought in six players from U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., including goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner, defenders Ofori Sarkodie and Carlos Borja, midfielders Ryan Soroka and Nikolas Besagno, and forward Preston Zimmerman. He also brought in another high school-aged player in Robby Rogers from Fairfax Station, Va., who will be attending the University of Virginia next year.
Defender Nathan Sturgis was the only college player to arrive into camp early as Clemson did not make the NCAA tournament, but he will be joined today by Hunter Freeman (Virginia), Greg Dalby (Notre Dame), Brandon Owens (UCLA), Marvell Wynne (UCLA), Jacob Peterson (Indiana) and Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest).
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. 26 and Dec. 10. 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.
Advance tickets for both doubleheaders are $30 for adults and $20 for kids under the age of 12 ($20 and $10 for one doubleheader) and are on sale now through Complete Ticket Solutions. Groups of 25 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.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
U.S. U-20 MNT Staff
Position Name Residence
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Assistant Coach: Dave Dir Addison, Texas
Assistant Coach: John Harkes Fairfax, Virginia
Assistant Coach: Mike Lapper New Albany, Ohio
Coordinator: Erik Carlson Long Beach, Calif.
Trainer: Mike Overturf Aurora, Ill.
Equipment Manager: Mike Manning Newberry Park, Calif.
Press Officer: Neil Buethe Chicago, Ill.