The first match of the home-and-home series will be played on Saturday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) in Bassaterre, St. Kitts, with the USA’s home leg to be played on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md., at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow both matches live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
Leading the U.S. roster is a host of young MLS stars, including U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United midfielder Bobby Convey, Dallas Burn goalkeeper D.J. Countess, and Columbus Crew forward Edson Buddle, who finished 11th in MLS scoring with 10 goals and four assists.
A pair of possible MLS Rookie of the Year finalists also made the squad in midfielder Ricardo Clark, who played in 28 of 32 games to lead the MetroStars in minutes played while scoring three goals, and defender Nat Borchers, who went undrafted in the off-season before signing on with the Colorado Rapids and playing in 25 of their 32 games.
A-League Rookie of the Year David Testo leads the trio of non-MLS players on the roster, joined by defenders Chris Wingert (St. John’s University) and Oguchi Onyewu. Former North Carolina standout Testo notched six goals and two assists in his first season with the Richmond Kickers. Big East Defender of the Year Wingert was recently nominated for the M.A.C./Hermany Award as the nation’s top collegiate player for the second consecutive year after helping the Red Storm to a Big East-leading nine shutouts and adding three goals and three assists from the backline. Onyewu was transferred this summer from F.C. Metz in France to Belgium’s R.A.A. Louviere, where he has appeared in nine of the club’s last 10 matches.
The eight teams who advance out of the second round will head to Guadalajara, Mexico from February 2-12, 2004, to compete in two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group earning a spot in the single elimination semifinals. The two finalists of the 2003 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament will receive the confederation’s two automatic berths for Athens 2004.
The U-23s have gathered just three times in 2003, posting a 3-1-3 record on the year. The team’s most recent action was a tense 1-0 win over Haiti at Lockhart Stadium in front of over 9,000 pro-Haitian fans.
The team’s biggest result was a 3-1 win at Mexico, which featured one of the most unlikely goals in U.S. Soccer history. After coming on in the 90th minute to help preserve a 2-1 lead with Mexico mounting wave after wave of attacks in an attempt to equalize, Testo collected a clearance just outside the penalty box and struck an 85-yard shot that took several bounces and somehow found its way across the unguarded Mexico goalline in the 92nd minute. The incredible goal was named one of six finalists for Best U.S. Youth Goal 2003 last week. [Vote starting today at ussoccer.com]
The U.S. opened the year with a 1-1-1 in a three-game series against reserve teams from the Portuguese First Division before posting a pair of hard-fought 1-1 draws with Russia and Portugal as part of the Vale de Tejo International Tournament.
The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team advanced to a record fourth place finish at the 2000 Sydney Games behind the play of stars like Landon Donovan, John O’Brien and Josh Wolff that have since emerged as forces for the full U.S. Men’s National Team, and helped lead the U.S. to the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.
U.S. Under-23 MNT Roster -- vs. St. Kitts & Nevis -- CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club/College
Beckerman, Kyle M 5’11” 155 04/23/82 Crofton, Md. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Borchers, Nat D 6’2” 175 04/13/81 Pueblo, Colo. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Buddle, Edson F 6’1” 170 05/02/81 New Rochelle, N.Y. Columbus Crew (MLS)
Carroll, Brian M 5’10” 150 07/20/81 Springfield, Va. D.C. United (MLS)
Clark, Ricardo M 5’10” 150 05/10/83 Jonesboro, Ga. MetroStars (MLS)
Convey, Bobby M 5’8” 150 05/27/83 Philadelphia, Pa. D.C. United (MLS)
Countess, D.J. GK 6’2” 195 01/09/82 Sacramento, Calif. Dallas Burn (MLS)
Eskandarian, Alecko F 5’9” 160 07/09/82 Montvale, N.J. D.C. United (MLS)
Gaven, Eddie M 6’0” 145 10/25/86 Hamilton, N.J. MetroStars (MLS)
Johnson, Eddie F 6’0” 170 03/31/84 Palm Coast, Fla. Dallas Burn (MLS)
Lewis, Ricky D 6’0” 170 05/29/82 Spring, Texas L.A. Galaxy (MLS)
Martino, Kyle M 5’10” 150 02/19/81 Westport, Conn. Columbus Crew (MLS)
Onyewu, Oguchi D 6’3” 210 05/13/82 Olney, Md. R.A.A. Louviere (Belgium)
Stokes, David D 6’3” 185 05/28/82 Dumfries, Va. D.C. United (MLS)
Stone, Jordan M 5’9” 145 03/16/84 Allen, Texas Dallas Burn (MLS)
Testo, David M 5’10” 160 08/07/81 Arden, N.C. Richmond Kickers (A-League)
Warren, Doug GK 6’0” 185 03/18/81 Hoffman Estates, Ill. D.C. United (MLS)
Wingert, Chris D 5’10” 160 06/16/82 Babylon, N.Y. St. John’s University
Goalkeepers (2): D.J. Countess, Doug Warren;
Defenders (5): Nat Borchers, Ricky Lewis, Oguchi Onyewu, David Stokes, Chris Wingert;
Midfielders (8): Kyle Beckerman, Brian Carroll, Ricardo Clark, Bobby Convey, Eddie Gaven, Kyle Martino, Jordan Stone, David Testo;
Forwards (3): Edson Buddle, Alecko Eskandarian, Eddie Johnson.
U.S. U-23 MNT Staff
Head Coach: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick
Assistant Coach: Thomas Rongen
Goalkeeper Coach: Peter Mellor
Team Coordinator: R.J. Noto
Doctor: Dr. William Hynes
Trainer: Scott Piehl
Equipment Manager: John MacDonald
Press Officer: Bryan Chenault