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U-17 Head Coach John Hackworth Names 20-Player Roster for CONCACAF Group B Qualifying

CHICAGO (April 24, 2007) – United States Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth has announced the 20-man roster that will represent the U.S. at the CONCACAF Under-17 Final Round Group B Qualifying Tournament from April 28-May 6 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Hackworth selected the majority of his 20-man roster from the 40 available players in U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program based in Bradenton, Fla. Defender Tommy Meyer, who was formerly in Residency for two semesters, is the only player selected not currently with the U-17s on a full-time basis in Bradenton. All of the players were born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, with five making the roster from the younger 1991 age group.

The U.S. has a bye during the opening day of the tournament on April 28 and will open up against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET. The U.S. will then face Canada on May 2 at 6 p.m. ET, Jamaica on May 4 at 8 p.m. ET and finish against Costa Rica on May 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The U.S. will play all four matches at the National Stadium in Kingston. Every U.S. match of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament can be followed live via’s MatchTracker.

The top three teams will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9. Those three teams will join Haiti and Honduras, which qualified from Group A earlier this month, to make up the five CONCACAF berths. Mexico, which won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup, finished third in Group A with three straight draws and did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup.

The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. The U.S. won the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament twice (1983 and 1992) when just one winner was crowned from 1983-1996. Since the event became a final round qualification consisting of two groups in 1999, the U.S. has won their group four times, taking home the Group A title during the past four competitions in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

"Heading down to Jamaica to try and qualify for the World Cup will be a difficult task for us to accomplish, and one we are definitely looking forward to,” said Hackworth. “With a bye on the first day of the tournament, we will have to play four games in seven days, but we’re confident that the 20 players we’ve selected will give us the best chance to get through to South Korea. We will no doubt need to play our best to succeed, but the players know our goal is to come out on top in the group and guarantee ourselves a spot in the World Cup.”

Looking to ignite the U.S. attack will be forward Ellis McLoughlin, who has been the U-17’s most consistent goal scorer during the past two years. Since joining the U-17s in Residency, the Seattle, Wash., native leads the U.S. with 11 goals in 29 international appearances. Hackworth has a number of options to join McLoughlin up top, with Bryan Dominguez, Abdusalam Ibrahim, who was drafted by FC Dallas this January, and two players who joined Residency just this past January, Alex Nimo and Billy Schuler. Alex Dixon, who has also played in midfield, is another option up front.

Jared Jeffrey and Daniel Wenzel will patrol the center of the field for the U.S., the midfielders two of the most experienced players in international play. Jeffrey leads all players with 30 appearances and his composure and field awareness will complement the hard-nosed tackling of Wenzel. On the wings, the U.S. has a complement of players including Greg Garza, who had a goal and an assist from his left midfield position in the U-17s’ last international match against El Salvador on March 25 in Tampa, Fla. Also available will be Brendan King and Jesse Paredes, who connected in the tying goal against Brazil during the Nike Friendlies, along with Nick Millington and Dane Shea.

In defense, Sheanon Williams’ athletic ability provides the U.S. with coverage at the right back spot, but also allows him to push forward into the attack. Mykell Bates, Howard Turk and Meyer are options centrally for the U.S. in the back, and while all three are dutiful as defenders, they’re also dangerous on set pieces. Brandon Zimmerman can be counted on to fill an outside back position with gritty play and an ability to get forward.

The least worrisome position for Hackworth is at goalkeeper, where he has the option of two capable players in Josh Lambo and Zac MacMath. The two ‘keepers will push each other as they battle for playing time.

Since joining U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program in September of 2005, the Under-17s have won twice as many international games then they’ve lost with a 14-7-11 record. In 2006, the U.S. competed in six international tournaments in Argentina, England, Japan, Northern Ireland, and the United States, three times finishing in second place.

U.S. Under 17 Men’s National Team
CONCACAF Qualifying
April 30th – May 6th, 2007

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Club
1 Lambo, Josh GK 6’0”  205  11/19/90  Middleton, Wis. Chicago Magic
2 Williams, Sheanon D 5’11”  165  03/17/90  Boston, Mass. FC Greater Boston Bolts
3 Bates, Mykell D 5’9”  170  04/15/90  Roseville, Calif. River City Clash
4 Turk, Howard D 6’1”  165  07/01/90  Fairfax, Va. SYA Force
5 Meyer, Tommy D 6’2”  170  03/20/90  St. Louis, Mo. Scott Gallagher
6 Wenzel, Daniel M 5’11”  165  04/13/90  Federal Way, Wash. FC United
7 Millington, Nick M 5’7”  140  08/09/91  Raleigh, N.C. CASL
8 Jeffrey, Jared M 5’10  160  06/14/90  Dallas, Texas Dallas Texans
9 McLoughlin, Ellis F 5’10  170  07/08/90  Seattle, Wash. Crossfire Premier
10 Dominguez, Bryan M/F 5’4”  145  03/07/91  Atlanta, Ga. Concorde Fire
11 Ibrahim, Abdusalam M/F 6’0”  155  08/15/91  Richfield, Minn. FC Dallas (MLS)
12 King, Brendan M 5’11”  150  02/25/90  Naperville, Ill. Chicago Magic
13 Schuler, Billy F 5’11”  155  04/27/90  Allentown, N.J.  Matchfit Academy FC
14 Paredes, Jesse M 5’6”  150  04/01/90  Los Angeles, Calif. ISC Strikers
15 Shea, Dane D/M 6’3”  180  02/28/90  College Station, Texas Texans FC
16 Zimmerman, Brandon D/M 5’9”  180  10/06/90  Pasco, Wash. Crossfire Premier
17 Garza, Greg M 5’7”  140  08/16/91  Grapevine, Texas Dallas Texans
18 MacMath, Zac GK 6’1”  170  08/07/91  St. Petersburg, Fla. Clearwater Chargers
19 Nimo, Alex F 5’6”  150  03/21/90  Portland, Ore. FC Portland Academy
20 Dixon, Alex M/F 5’8”  140  02/07/90  Humble, Texas Texans FC

Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (4): Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)