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U.S. Under-20 MNT Travels to Laredo, Tex. for Friendly Against Mexico

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
July 10, 2008
Laredo, Texas

CLOSING IN ON KICKOFF: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team arrived in Laredo, Texas Wednesday morning for the team’s July 11 match against Mexico at 8 p.m. CT. The 16 player squad will train on Wednesday and Thursday evenings leading up to Friday night’s kickoff at Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex. Tickets for the game are still on sale, and fans can follow along live on’s MatchTracker.

JUNIOR CLASICO: This Friday’s meeting between the U.S. and Mexico will be the first for the CONCACAF rivals in their two game series. Both teams advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada and are looking to build toward Qualifying for the 2009 edition of the tournament. CONCACAF Qualifying will take place in Trinidad & Tobago in January or February of 2009.

A LOOK AT THE HOME TEAM ROSTER: Headh coach, Thomas Rongen originally named 17 players to Friday’s roster but has since lost midfielder Jorge Flores to injury. The Chivas USA rookie sustained an ankle injury in training on Wednesday, the day before his scheduled departure to Laredo. Rongen will not call in an alternate and will travel with 16 players.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (4): Richard Balchan (Indiana), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Danny Cruz (UNLV), Frank Lara (Laredo, Texas), Brandon Manzonelli (New England Revolution), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Brek Shea (F.C. Dallas), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Eder Arreola (UCLA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Peri Marosevic (Michigan)

LOCAL TIES: In addition to three players from closeby F.C. Dallas, Josh Lambo, Brek Shea and Anthony Wallace, there are two local stars from the Laredo Heat (PDL), Felix Garcia and Frank Lara, who will suit up for the Red, White and Blue on Friday night at their home stadium, TAMIU Soccer Complex. Garcia has scored three goals in five games for the U.S. already in 2008.

CHECKING OUT THE OPPONENT: Mexico scrimmaged the Laredo Heat Wednesday in preparation for the big game against the U.S. First half goals from Moises Velasco and Daniel Montes were complemented by a second half tally from Ulises Davila to give Mexico a 3-0 win. Head coach Jesus Ramirez, who reclaimed the reigns of the U-20s after a stint as head coach of the full Mexico National Team, has 20 players available for Friday night’s match.

Mexico Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alejandro Vela (Coatzacoalcos), Hugo Gonzalez (America)
DEFENDERS (6): Marco de Leon (Guadalajara), Daniel Montes (Guadalajara), Oswaldo Alanis (U.A.G. Tecos), Kristian Alvarez (Guadalajara), Ivan Islas (Monterrey), Juan Ocampo (Guadalajara)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Cesar Martinez (Monterrey), Israel Jimenez (Tigres), Homero Guajardo (Monterrey), Alberto Soto (Santos), Eduardo Arce (Toluca), Francisco Dorame (Morelia)
FORWARDS (6): Americo Rodriguez (Tigres), Arnold Rivas (U.A.G. Tecos), Axel Velazquez (Atlas), Jose Garza (Morelia), Ulises Davila (Guadalajara), Moises Velasco (Toluca)

CARIBBEAN QUALIFYING ALREADY UNDERWAY: While the USA takes on Mexico in a friendly, 20 Caribbean nations willalready be battling it out for for one of three spots in the Final Round of CONCACAF Qualifying. To make it to the final round, Caribbean Island countries must compete in three phases over the course of seven months.