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U-17 MNT Head Coach John Hackworth Names 2007 Residency Roster

CHICAGO (January 30, 2007) — U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth has named the 40-player roster for the ninth year of U.S. Soccer’s full-time Residency Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The semester kicked off at the beginning of the month, but a few players were on trial giving Hackworth and his staff time to evaluate which players would be invited into the Program full-time.

The 40-player roster consists mainly of players born in 1990 and 1991, with new resident Charles Renken (St. Louis, Mo.), born in 1993, the youngest player in Residency. Including Renken, there are eight new players in Residency: Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Eder Arreolo (Chino Hills, Calif.), Brice Carr (Mequon, Wis.), Chris Cummings (Chatsworth, Calif.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.) and Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.). Of those seven, only Agbossoumonde and Arreolo were born in 1991.

On the overall roster, the majority of the players (25) were born in 1990 and will be vying for a spot on the U.S. Roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Under-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament. The U.S. is in Group B, which will be held in Kingston, Jamaica, from April 21-29, along with Canada, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and the hosts. The U.S. is the only country that has qualified for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups (formerly FIFA U-17 World Championship). The 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18-Sept. 9.

Hackworth and the U-17 staff selected the 40 players after an expansive search for the best players in the nation. To complement the scouting they performed throughout the year and ensure they identified the top players in the extensive player pool, the coaching staff got an in-depth and personal view of possible candidates by inviting them in for events such as the 2006 Nike Friendlies.

“Once again, we scoured the country to find the best players available at this age group and feel we’ve invited the cream of the crop into Residency,” said Hackworth. “We’ve brought in a number of players born in 1990 that we feel can help us as we attempt to qualify for the World Cup in April, while we’ve also invited in a couple of impressive younger players that we believe will benefit from the daily training and continue to develop.”

Started in 1999, the U.S. Soccer full-time Residency Program has become a symbol of U.S. Soccer’s dedication to producing development opportunities for players and the success of the Youth National Teams. With the success of the U.S. Under-17 MNT during the first few years, the number of players invited into the full-time Residency Program was doubled from 20 to 40, adding 10 additional players in both fall semesters of 2002 and 2003. U.S. Soccer has been able to increase the number of players enrolled in the program to provide greater opportunities for young players and increase its investment in player development.

The 40 U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and train in the morning under the guidance of Hackworth and assistant coaches Raul Diaz Arce, Keith Fulk, Brian Maisonneuve and Tim Mulqueen. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at Edison Academy. With 40 players in residency, the program is able to field two full teams that train together during the week, and get the chance to compete against club, college and international teams on the weekends.

"The residency program has given our players an excellent opportunity to grow and move up the ladder in the world of soccer and become professionals in Major League Soccer, some of the biggest clubs in Europe and even make an impact on the full U.S. Men's National Team,” said Hackworth. “We will look to continue this progress here in Bradenton by providing the players with an environment where they can prosper as individual players and gel as a team, crucial elements that have allowed for a positive move forward for all of our men's national team programs."

Since its inception, 170 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 60 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Fourteen players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Oguchi Onyewu, Santino Quaranta, Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Jonathan Spector and Heath Pearce.

In its first year of existence, the U.S. Soccer Residency Program enrolled 20 of the elite players in the country to train together in Bradenton and produced instant success as the Under-17s qualified for the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in New Zealand in November of 1999. On the world stage, the American teenagers rose to the occasion, winning their group and advancing to the semifinals before being ousted in a penalty shootout. The fourth-place finish tied for the best showing by a U.S. Youth National Team in a major international competition. Also, U.S. stars Donovan and Beasley were awarded the Gold and Silver Balls, respectively, as the top two players in the entire tournament.

After struggling in the “Group of Death” two years later, the U.S. rebounded with back-to-back fifth place finishes in the following two FIFA U-17 World Championships in 2003 and 2005. At the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the U.S. went undefeated in group play to win their group for just the third time in 11 appearances, and the first time since 1999.

U.S. Under 17 Men’s National Team
Residency Program – Spring ‘07 Roster
IMG Academy – Bradenton, Fla.

Player Pos. Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Club
Jackson, Larry GK 5’11”  150  09/28/90  East Palo Alto, Calif. DeAnza Force
Lambo, Josh GK 6’0”  195  11/19/90  Middleton, Wis. Chicago Magic
MacMath, Zac GK 6’0”  150  08/07/91  St. Petersburg, Fla. Clearwater Chargers
Meves, David GK 6’1”  180  07/20/90  Arlington Heights, Ill. Chicago Sockers
Agbossoumonde, Gale D 6’2”  185  11/17/91  Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse FC
Bates, Mykell D 5’9”  160  04/15/90  Roseville, Calif. River City Clash
Carr, Brice D 6’0”  160  03/22/90  Mequon, Wis. FC Milwaukee
Klute, Chris D 6’1” 155  03/05/90  Grand Prairie, Texas Dallas Texans
Ibeagha, Christian D 6’2”  175  01/10/90  Edmond, Okla. NOKC Padova
Millington, Nick D 5’7”  130  08/09/91  Raleigh, N.C. CASL
Perry, Aubrey D 5’8”  145  01/20/91  Ocoee, Fla. Ajax America
Sarkodie, Kofi D 5’7”  135  03/22/91  Huber Heights, Ohio Ohio FC Mutiny
Turk, Howard D 6’1”  160  07/01/90  Fairfax, Va. SYA Force
Williams, Sheanon D 5’11”  160  03/17/90  Boston, Mass. FC Greater Boston Bolts
Arreolo, Eder M/F 5’6”  135  11/13/91  Chino Hills, Calif. FC Barcelona
Caldwell, Scott M 5’3”  100  03/15/91  Braintree, Mass. South Shore United Blazers
Cummings, Chris M 5’8”  145  10/23/90  Chatsworth, Calif. Real So Cal
Dixon, Alex M/F 5’6”  120  02/07/90  Humble, Texas Texans FC
Garza, Greg M 5’6”  135  08/16/91  Grapevine, Texas Dallas Texans
Gracia, Ryan M 5’7”  140  04/10/90  Rockville, Md.  MSC Dragons
King, Brendan M 5’10”  142  02/25/90  Naperville, Ill. Chicago Magic
Jeffrey, Jared M 5’8”  145  06/14/90  Dallas, Texas Dallas Texans
Levry, Axel M/F 5’8”  155  03/12/90  Fort Washington, Md. Mclean FC
Okugo, Amobi M 5’11”  160  03/13/91  Sacramento, Calif. San Juan Lighting Crew
Paredes, Jesse M 5’6”  120  04/01/90  Los Angeles, Calif. ISC Strikers
Shea, Dane M 6’2”  154  02/28/90  College Station, Texas Texans FC
Urso, Kirk M 5’10”  150  03/06/90  Lombard, Ill. Chicago Sockers
Uy, Matthew M 5’7”  145  03/22/90  New Hyde Park, N.Y. Blau Weiss Gottschee
Wenzel, Daniel M 5’11”  155  04/13/90  Federal Way, Wash. FC United
Zimmerman, Brandon M 5’9”  160  10/06/90  Pasco, Wash. Crossfire Premier
Abolfathi, Dersu F 5’8”  145  02/24/91  Irvine, Calif.  ISC Strikers
Altamirano, Jose F 5’4”  125  07/17/91  San Diego, Calif. Del Mar Sharks
Dominguez, Bryan F 5’4”  141  03/07/91  Atlanta, Ga. Concorde Fire
Finley, Ryan F 6’0”  160  03/27/91  Lumberton, N.J. Rancocas Valley
Ibrahim, Abdus  F 5’8”  146  08/15/91  Richfield, Minn. Wing Nationals
McLoughlin, Ellis F 5’10  155  07/08/90  Seattle, Wash. Crossfire Premier
Nimo, Alex F 5’8”  150  03/21/90  Portland, Ore. FC Portland Academy
Renken, Charles F/M 5’7”  125  12/19/93  Edwardsville, Ill. Scott Gallagher
Sesay, Israel F 5’7”  140  09/14/90  Gaithersburg, Md. Bethesda Arsenal
Schuler, Billy F 5’11”  155  04/27/90  Allentown, N.J.  Matchfit Academy FC