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Preston Zimmerman Replaces Johann Smith on U.S. U-20 MNT Roster for FIFA U-20 World Cup


SOMERSET, N.J. (June 26, 2007) – Forward Preston Zimmerman has been added to the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team roster in advance of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup after forward Johann Smith injured his ankle in a scrimmage on Monday in Somerset, New Jersey.

Zimmerman, who plays with Hamburg SV in Germany, will join the team in Montreal on Tuesday evening. Zimmerman was part of the U.S. team that traveled to Canada for one of the team’s final preparation camps in early June, scoring a goal in the United States’ 4-1 win against Canada on June 3 at Frank-Clair Stadium in Ottawa. The Ottawa venue will host the USA’s final game of the group stages on July 6 against Brazil.

“This is obviously a difficult time for Johann, missing out on a tournament that he was clearly looking forward to, so our hearts go out to him,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen. “Fortunately, we have a player in Preston Zimmerman who brings a lot of experience to our team, having scored goals previously in the U-17 World Cup and with the U-20s. We are looking forward to arriving in Canada on Tuesday and beginning our final preparations in advance of Saturday’s opener.”

Smith suffered a third-degree sprain of his right ankle in the U-20s 4-0 scrimmage win against New Zealand on Monday. In January, Smith was a part of the U.S. team that qualified for FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scoring a goal and an assist in one appearance in Panama. The 20-year-old forward plays professionally in England for Bolton F.C.

The U.S. was drawn into Group D of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with South Korea, Poland and Brazil. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16.

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s road through the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada will be broadcast live on ESPNU. ESPNU and ESPN360.com will combine to present every match of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place in six cities across Canada from June 30 to July 22. Each of the United States’ matches will be shown live on ESPNU, and the final, on July 22, will also be broadcast live on ESPNU and on tape delay on ESPN2. The U.S. Group D matches against Poland and Brazil will also be televised live on Galavision.

U.S. U-20 MNT FIFA World Cup Schedule

Date          Matchup                              Time                     TV
June 30    USA vs. South Korea        4:45 p.m.ET        ESPNU
July 3        USA vs. Poland                  4:45 p.m. ET       ESPNU & Galavision
July 6        Brazil vs. USA                     7:30 p.m. ET       ESPNU & Galavision

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