U.S. U-20 Men's National Team Notes
FIFA U-20 World Cup
ARRIVAL IN EGYPT: The U.S. U-20 Menâ€™s National Team traveled to Suez, Egypt, today for the final days of training and the start of the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Sept. 26. The team has been together since Sept. 14 in Larnaca, Cyprus, training under the guidance of head coach Thomas Rongen, who will be at the helm of his third world cup in this age group. The U.S. was drawn into Group C and will open against Germany on Sept. 26, before facing Cameroon on Sept. 29 and rounding out group play against Korea Republic on Oct. 2. All three of the USAâ€™s group matches will be played at the brand new Mubarak Stadium in Suez, and will be televised on the ESPN family of networks and Galavision. Fans can also follow the USA games on ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker and via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ussoccer.
DateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â OpponentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Time (ET)Â Â Â VenueÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â TVÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Sept. 26Â Â Â Â Â GermanyÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10 a.m.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mubarak Stadium; SuezÂ Â Â ESPN Classic/Galavision
Sept. 29Â Â Â Â Â CameroonÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 12:45 p.m.Â Â Â Â Â Mubarak Stadium; SuezÂ Â Â ESPN2 / Galavision
Oct. 2Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Korea RepublicÂ Â Â Â Â 12:45 p.m. Â Â Â Â Mubarak Stadium; SuezÂ Â Â ESPN2 / Galavision
For a full tournament schedule, click here.Â
U.S. U-20 Men's National Team World Cup Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham, N.C.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin, Miami), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Gerson Mayen (Chivas USA; Los Angeles), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (3): Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)Â
TUNE-UP AGAINST T & T: Late last week the USA played a tune-up match against Trinidad & Tobago in Cyprus, with goals by Brek Shea and Bryan Arguez helping the U-20s to a 2-0 win against their CONCACAF neighbors. In a rainy afternoon on the Mediterranean island, head coach Thomas Rongen used all field players for at least 45 minutes in the game. In an off-the-field note, midfielder Kyle Davies and T & T's Jake Thomson enjoyed a reunion of sorts: the two were roommates during their time at Southampton in England.Â
GETTING INTO THE MIX: One of the newest members of the U.S. U-20 team, Mikkel Diskerud, has only been a part of two training camps before arriving in Cyprus, but has quickly adapted to his surroundings and his teammates. Diskerud, whose mother is American and father is Norweigian, is a dual citizen of both countries and grew up in Oslo. He has family from both sides in Arizona, which he gets to visit a few times a year during the holidays and offseason. On the soccer side, Diskerud made his Norweigian league debut in 2008 and featured in a Champions League qualifier for his team earlier this year. ussoccer.com sat down with the midfielder and asked him about his experience thus far with the U.S. national team.Â
COMING TOGETHER: One of the biggest challenges for this age group is blending players who play in Europe (3), Major League Soccer (7), USL(1) and college (9) to form a cohesive team in just two short weeks leading up to Sept. 26. These 21 players have done just that, both on and off the field, and weâ€™ll give you the scoop on some of the ways theyâ€™ve been able to make it happen with usoccer.com's all_access video.Â
PODCASTING WITH PERI: One of the most experienced members of the U.S. team, forward Peri Marosevic has been through U.S. Soccerâ€™s Residency Program and been a staple of the U-20s since the start of the current cycle in late 2007. The FC Dallas forwardâ€™s leadership both on and off the field is an important part of the team, and ussoccer.com sat down with the former Michigan Wolverine for an exclusive podcast from the team hotel in Cyprus.
EXPERIENCE ON THE FIELD: GoalkeeperÂ Brian Perk and midfielder Bryan Arguez are the only U.S. players on the squad with prior experience at a FIFA U-20 World Cup. Both were members of the 2007 team that advanced to the quarterfinals in Canada, with Perk featuring between the posts for the second round come-from-behind victory against Uruguay. Five players were members of the U.S. team that competed in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007. Joshua Lambo, Sheanon Williams, Danny Cruz, Jared Jeffrey and Brek Shea were all part of the team that advanced to the second round in South Korea. Perk is also a U-17 veteran, having competed in the 2005 edition of the tournament in Peru.
EXPERIENCE ON THE BENCH:Â Few countries on the youth international stageÂ can boast the experience that comes with having 11 previous world championships under their belts, but that is exactly what the U.S. has on its bench before even arriving in Egypt for the FIFA 2009 U-20 World Cup. In fact, the only other team in the USA's group that has world championship experience on the sidelines is Korea Republic, as head coach Hong Myung-Bo was an assistant coach at the 2008 Olympic Games. To go along with Thomas Rongenâ€™s two previous U-20 World Cups in 2003 and 2007, his assistants at the 2009 event have experience at the U-17, U-20 and Olympic levels, having all been a part of U.S. efforts at big tournaments in the past. Read more about the experienced 2009 U.S. U-20 coaching staff here.Â
U-20 VETERANS: One look at the USA's most recent FIFA World Cup qualifier reveals how U-20 veterans have had an impact even after their time in the U.S. Soccer youth system. Eight of the starting 11 in Trinidad & Tobago are veterans of FIFA U-20 World Cups: Carlos Bocanegra ('99), Tim Howard ('99), Oguchi Onyewu ('01), Landon Donovan ('01), Clint Dempsey ('03), Jonathan Spector ('05), Michael Bradley ('07), Jozy Altidore ('07). Substitute Benny Feilhaber played in the 2005 World Cup, while from the reserves Steve Cherundolo ('99) and Chad Marshall ('03) also have U-20 ties.Â
MEETING DILLON POWERS: One of the youngest members of the U.S. team, Dillon Powers has come a long way in the past year. His first training camp under Rongen came in June, and by August he was named to the final roster. Still eligible for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Notre Dame freshman talked to ussoccer.com about his journey from Development Academy Player of the Year to World Cup.Â Â
BLOGGING IT UP: Donâ€™t forget, you can always keep up with the U.S. U-20 MNTâ€™s daily activities, travel, training and off the field happenings by keeping up with the new YNT Blog on ussoccer.com.
- The USA leads CONCACAF in FIFA U-20 World Cup matches played (45), wins (17) and tournament appearancess (12, including 2009).
- The U.S. has scored in seven consecutive U-20 World Cup matches, dating all the way back to their match against Germany in 2005 which ended scoreless.
- Forward Eddie Johnson is the only American to win the Golden Boot during a FIFA U-20 World Cup. His four goals in the UAE in 2003 were a tournament best.