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U.S U-23 MNT Set to Face Italy in Final Toulon International Tournament Match

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team
Toulon International Tournament
Toulon, France
May 24, 2008

READY FOR ITALY: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will finish play at the Toulon International Tournament when it takes on Italy on Sunday, May 25, at 6 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) at Stade Vallis Laeta in La Vallette, France. The U.S. has been mathematically eliminated from the tournament, while Italy has secured a place in the semifinal, picking up wins in its first two games. The match will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel.

Toulon International Tournament Standings
Group B

Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
Italy 2 0 0 6 4 1 +3
Turkey 1 1 0 3 4 4 --
Ivory Coast 1 1 0 3 1 2 -1
USA 0 2 0 0 2 4 -2

Wednesday, March 21
Turkey 3, USA 2
Italy 2, Ivory Coast 0

Friday, March 23
Ivory Coast 1, USA 0
Italy 2, Turkey 1

Sunday, March 25
USA vs. Italy
Ivory Coast vs. Turkey

A DIFFERENT LOOK: Head coach Peter Nowak has used two different lineups throughout the first two games of the tournament in an effort to evaluate all 22 players on the roster before making final selections for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Only one player, midfielder Lee Nguyen, started against both Turkey and Ivory Coast. Of the 22 players that started the tournament, all but goalkeeper Quentin Westberg have played significant minutes.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes)
DEFENDERS (10): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Eric Brunner (out of contract), Kyle Davies (Southampton), Michael Gavin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Jonathan Leathers (Kansas City Wizards), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Julian Valentin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Rob Valentino (New England Revolution), Blake Wagner (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Greg Dalby (SC Charleroi), Lee Nguyen (Randers FC)
FORWARDS (4): Gabe Ferrari (Sampdoria), Bryan Jordan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ellis McLoughlin (Hertha Berlin), Sammy Ochoa (Tecos)

Quick Hits:

  • Some of the players in Sunday’s game squared off in the Round of 16 at the 2005 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. For the U.S., Greg Dalby, Lee Nguyen, Sammy Ochoa and Quentin Westberg all played in that game. The 2005 Italy roster included Antonio Nocerino, Lino Marzoratti, Andrea Coda, Daniele Galloppa and Graziano Pelle, all of whom are in Toulon.
  • Blake Wagner also has experience against Italy in a FIFA tournament as he was part of the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team's match against the Azzurri in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru. Facing Italy in their second group match, the U.S. won 3-1.
  • The U.S. will have a change of venue for the third time in three games. After playing in downtown Toulon and in nearby La Seyne, the U.S. will face Japan in La Vallette, France.
  • The final games of the group stage are being played simultaneously in order to prevent teams from having the advantage of playing the later game.
  • Four players on the U.S. roster - Bryan Arguez, Kyle Davies, Ellis McLoughlin and Brek Shea - are age-eligible for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
  • Seven leagues across the world –Mexico, Denmark, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, France - are represented on the roster in addition to Major League Soccer, which sends 11 representatives.
  • Along with Fox Soccer Channel in the United States, the tournament is being televised live in Japan, Chile and across Europe.
  • Americans who have played in previous tournaments include Marcelo Balboa (1989), Eric Wynalda (1989), Kasey Keller (1989, 1991), Brad Friedel (1990, 1991, 1992), Claudio Reyna (1991, 1992), Cobi Jones (1992) and Oguchi Onyewu (2000).
  • Josh Wolff was one of three players in 1997 who led the tournament in scoring with five goals. He shared the Golden Boot Award that year with Portugal’s Carlitos and France’s Thierry Henry.

A GLIMPSE AT ITALY: Italy, one of Europe’s four Olympic qualifiers, has brought their Under-23 team to Toulon to prepare for the Olympic Games this summer. Though midfielder Antonio Nocerino is the only player on the Italian side to have earned a cap with the senior team, head coach Pierluigi Casiraghi can call on a number of players with a wealth of experience at the Under-21 level. All but one player on Italy’s roster play in the domestic leagues.

Italy Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Davide Bassi (Empoli), Enrico Alfonso (Venezia)
DEFENDERS (6): Marco Motta (Torino), Lino Marzoratti (Empoli), Salvatore Bocchetti (Frosinone), Andrea Coda (Udinese), Hernan Dellafiore (Torino), Lorenzo de Silvestri (Lazio Roma)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Paolo De Ceglie (Siena), Lino Marzoratti (Empoli), Tiberio Osvaldo (Atalante Bergame), Claudio Marchisio (Empoli)Daniele Gappoppa (Siena), Ignazio Abate (Empoli), Antonio Candreva (Udinese), Daniele Dessena (Parme), Luca Cigarini (Parme)
FORWARDS (4): Davide Lanzafame (Bari), Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Fiorentina), Sebastian Giovinco (Empoli), Graziano Pelle (AZ Alkmaar)

JAPAN, CHILE SIT ATOP GROUP A: Group A will be decided tonight, after Chile battles Japan for positioning, as both teams have six points from their first two matches, assuring both a place in the semifinal round. Host France will be trying to earn its first win of the tournament against the Netherlands.

Toulon International Tournament Standings
Group A

Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
Chile 2 0 0 6 7 3 +4
Japan 2 0 0 6 3 1 +2
Netherlands 0 2 0 0 0 3 -3
France 0 2 0 0 4 7 -3

Tuesday, May 20
Japan 1, Netherlands 0
Chile 5, France 3

Thursday, March 22
Japan 2, France 1
Chile 2, Netherlands 0

Saturday, May 24, 2008
Chile vs. Japan
France vs. Netherlands

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CATCHING THEIR ATTENTION: The young talent on display at the tournament will be carefully observed all over the world, but especially by the more than 130 professional scouts in attendance. It is the most number of scouts in the tournament’s 36-year history.

OLYMPIC PREPARATION: Four teams in Toulon will join the U.S. in Beijing at this summer’s Olympic Games. Italy, Ivory Coast, Netherlands and Japan have all advanced out of their respective qualifying tournaments. Additionally, Japan and Netherlands have been drawn into Group B of the Olympic Games along with the United States and Nigeria.

NEW KITS: The Under-23s are the first youth team to play in the new Nike jerseys debuted by the full Men’s National Team earlier this year. The U-23 Men have worn the white home kits for their first two matches and will wear them again against Italy. The team has been training in the new official Nike training gear and with the state-of-the-art Nike Omni soccer balls, while in Toulon.

C’EST LE BLOG: The YNT Blog is back in action, with insider info, exclusive photos and interviews and all the happenings with the U-23 MNT at the Toulon International Tournament. To keep up with the team in Toulon, check out