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U.S. U-20 MNT Ready to Face Jamaica In First Match of CONCACAF U-20 Championship


U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
Bacolet, Tobago
Thursday, March 5, 2009


U.S. TO OPEN QUALIFYING CAMPAIGN AGAINST JAMAICA ON FRIDAY: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is ready to kick off its campaign against Jamaica on Friday, March 6, at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) and fans can follow the action from Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. will continue Group A play against Honduras on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. ET and El Salvador on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET. Should the U.S. advance out of Group A as one of the top two finishers, they will advance to the semifinals on March 13 and either the third-place game or final on March 15. More importantly, the four semifinalists from Group A and B will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. U.S. U-20 CONCACAF Championship Hompeage

U.S. U-20 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
Date Opponent Time (Local / ET) Venue; City
March 6 Jamaica 7 p.m. / 6 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 8 Honduras 6 p.m. / 6 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 10 El Salvador 7 p.m. / 7 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 13 Semifinal TBD Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad
March 15 Final / Third Place TBD Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad


Group A Schedule
March 6
Honduras vs. El Salvador
Jamaica vs. USA

March 8
El Salvador vs. Jamaica
USA vs. Honduras

March 10
Honduras vs. Jamaica
USA vs. El Salvador

A LOOK AT THE U.S. ROSTER: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen named 20 players who will compete for the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Of the 20 players on the qualifying roster, nine are currently professionals, with six in Major League Soccer and three overseas. The roster also features three players who were part of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in midfielder Bryan Arguez, goalkeeper Brian Perk and defender Anthony Wallace. Learn more about all 20 U.S. players by clicking here.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster by Position (Detailed Roster)
2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
Feb. 24-March 15

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (Southampton; Danville, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (unattached; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin; Miami, Fla.), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.); Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Billy Schuler (North Carolina; Allentown, N.J.), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)

ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Average Age: 19
Average U-20 Caps: 4.3
Most U-20 Caps: 17 (Anthony Wallace)
Least U-20 Caps: 0 (Six Players: Dilly Duka, Sam Garza, Sean Johnson, Brian Ownby, Billy Schuler, Tony Taylor)
Oldest: 20 (Bryan Arguez)
Youngest: 17 (Gale Agbossoumonde)

BY THE NUMBERS
10 — Veterans of previous FIFA Youth World Cups (U-20 and/or U-17)
9 – Professional players (three defenders, four midfielders, one goalkeeper, one forward)
8 – College players
8 – Colleges represented
6 – MLS players - FC Dallas (4), Houston Dynamo (1), Chivas USA (1)
5 – Players who were part of the U.S. team during the 2007 U-17 World Cup, the previous World Cup cycle for this age group
4 – Players from California, the most of any state
3 – Members of the 2007 U-20 World Cup team that advanced to the quarterfinals in Canada (Arguez, Perk and Wallace)
3 – Players based in European leagues (one each from Belgium, England and Germany)
3 – MLS clubs represented

HONDURAS EARNS FINAL SPOT IN T&T: Honduras defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3-1 on Monday, March 2, to earn the eighth and final place in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. It seemed that an upset may have been in the cards as St. Vincent’s scored first with Cornelius Stewart converting a 23rd minute penalty kick, but Honduras finally broke through late in the game. Roger Rojas leveled the score in the 74th minute before Mario Martinez and Erick Andino made it a 3-1 final.

CHECKING OUT GROUP B: Group B of the 2009 CONCACAF Championship is made up of Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago and will play first round games at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. Mexico and Canada and Trinidad & Tobago all earned automatic berths to the final round of qualifying while Costa Rica came out on top of their group in Central American qualifying. Group B will play their games on the Group A off days, which makes for six straight days of football in Trinidad & Tobago.

Group B Schedule
March 7
Mexico vs. Costa Rica
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Canada

March 9
Canada vs. Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica

March 11
Costa Rica vs. Canada
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico

BACK TO THE OLD FORMAT: The CONCACAF U-20 Championship has returned to a title format for the first time in more than a decade. After being run strictly as a two-group World Cup qualifying tournament since 1996, CONCACAF will crown a winner this time. With 11 FIFA U-20 World Cup appearances, the U.S. has qualified more than any other CONCACAF nation, but has never won the regional crown. The U.S. will, however, be vying to qualify for its record seventh-straight FIFA U-20 event after winning its group in both 2007 and 2005.

EYES ON EGYPT: The four CONCACAF teams will be the last qualifiers for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup as 20 other countries have already booked their place in Egypt. Asia will send four representatives in Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. Africa will have five teams in the tournament, including the hosts, as Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa have qualified. The 2008 U-19 European Championship served as the qualifying tournament that saw the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain advance. Oceania sends Tahiti to their first ever world championship, while Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela will represent South America.

Teams That Have Qualified For The FIFA U-20 World Cup
AFC: Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
CAF: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa
CONCACAF: Four teams to be determined
CONMEBOL: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
OFC: Tahiti
UEFA: Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain
Host: Egypt

MAUND GIVEN THE GO-AHEAD: FIFA has approved Aaron Maund’s request for a change of association and he is now eligible to represent the United States in international matches. Maund has been officially added to the 20-player U.S. roster for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Maund holds dual citizenship with the United States and Trinidad & Tobago, but was required to request the change of association after representing T&T at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. During the U-17 World Cup, he started in all three matches and played all but 16 minutes of the group phase.

NOT A LOT OF HISTORY: Surprisingly, the U.S. and Jamaica have not met in U-20 qualifying since Aug. 21, 1986, in Trinidad. The U.S. won that group stage match 5-0 en route to their third appearance at what was then called the FIFA World Youth Championship and is now the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The two teams have only met three times in this event, including a 0-0 draw in 1982 in Guatemala and a 2-1 U.S. victory in 1974 in Ontario, Canada.

A GLIMPSE AT JAMAICA: Jamaican head coach Donovan Duckie has brought 20 players, mostly from the domestic league, to Trinidad & Tobago. They enter the final round as Caribbean champions, with Dever Orgill of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Alonza Adlam each contributing six goals in Jamaica’s eight-game unbeaten run. Midfielder Evan Taylor will also be a player to watch as he has already earned exposure to the senior side. Reneil Sappleton of Leicester City in England is a late addition to the team.

Jamaica Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Andre Blake (Sporting Central Academy), Gariece McPherson (Portmore United)
DEFENDERS (7): Levaughn Williams (Sporting Central Academy), Keithy Simpson (Sporting Central Academy), Andre Darby (Portmore United), Damaine Thompson (Bamboo United), Andrae Campbell (Portmore United), Christopher Banner (Sporting Central Academy), Brenton Griffiths (Portmore United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Evan Taylor (Reno FC), Davion Thorpe (Reno FC), John-Ross Doyley (Portmore United), Kaydian Wynter (Sporting Central Academy), Romario Campbell (Harbour View FC), Shamar Shelton (Harbour View FC), Andre Steele (Harbour View FC)
FORWARDS (4): Andre Clennon (Waterhouse FC), Dever Orgill (Vancouver Whitecaps), Alonzo Adlam (Sporting Central Academy), Reneil Sappleton (Leicester City)

WALLACE’S NEW ROLE: Defender Anthony Wallace was one of the youngest members of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada and one of only five players born in 1989. Though he wasn’t penciled in as a starter in the team’s first game against Korea Republic, Wallace would go on to start each of the remaining four games of the tournament. Now, in his second cycle under U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, Wallace has taken on a different role as one of the oldest and most experienced players on the roster that will compete at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Read more about “Wally” and his new role here.

FIFA INTERACTIVE WORLD CUP: U.S. Men’s National Team members Sacha Kljestan and Eddie Lewis will appear at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009 U.S. Qualifiers in Santa Monica, Calif. They’ll be meeting with FIFA Soccer 09 gamers and trying their hand at the game against fans and media to promote the event. If you’re interested in attending and meeting with either player, the event will take place from 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, at 3rd Street Promenade in the heart of Santa Monica, LA. Eddie will be making his appearance at 11 a.m. while Sacha will be arriving at 1:30 p.m. The FIFA Interactive World Cup is a global tournament organized by FIFA themselves in conjunction with EA SPORTS.

STUDIO 90 STAYING ON TOP OF THE U-20S: Studio 90, ussoccer.com’s popular web show, is keeping up with the U-20 MNT on their road to Egypt and the U.S. WNT at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Check out the latest edition that includes a preview of the U-20s vs. Jamaica by clicking here.

YNT BLOG IS BACK IN ACTION: As the U.S. U-20s entering their qualifying campaign, the YNT Blog is with them every step of the way. Meet some of the new players, keep up with all the inside jokes and get a behind the scenes look at the preparations and life on a Caribbean island by clicking here.

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