U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team
Toulon International Tournament
May 20, 2008
READY TO PLAY: After arriving in Toulon last week, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team has had five days of training ahead of its opening game of the Toulon International Tournament on May 21 against Turkey. Kickoff from Stade Mayol in downtown Toulon is set for 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) and the match will be live on Fox Soccer Channel. The U.S. will also play Ivory Coast on May 23 and Italy on May 25 in Group B play. All 16 matches of the tournament, including 14 live broadcasts, will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel.
U.S. U-23 MNT Group B Schedule
|May 21||Turkey||Toulon||3:30 p.m. / 9:30 a.m. ET||Fox Soccer Channel (live)|
|May 23||Ivory Coast||La Seyne||6:30 p.m. / 12:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer Channel (live)|
|May 25||Italy||La Vallette||6 p.m. / 12 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer Channel (live)|
ALL 22 IN: Head coach Peter Nowak has 22 players available for Wednesday’s match against Turkey, with Lee Nguyen arriving from Denmark on Monday afternoon. Three players – Dominic Cervi, Benny Feilhaber and Chris Seitz – were all named to the Men’s National Team player pool for the upcoming trio of blockbuster friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina, and may leave the U-23s at various points throughout the tournament, but will all be available for the match against Turkey.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Quentin Westburg (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 (5): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Greg Dalby (SC Charleroi), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Lee Nguyen (Randers FC)
FORWARDS (4): Gabe Ferrari (Sampdoria), Bryan Jordan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ellis McLoughlin (Hertha Berlin), Sammy Ochoa (Tecos)
- Group A of the tournament features France along with Chile, the Netherlands and Japan. The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals on May 27, with the third-place match and final on May 29. The first matches of the tournament begin on Tuesday, May 20, with Japan taking on the Netherlands at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) and Chile facing the hosts in the second match of the double header.
- Japan and the Netherlands have both been drawn into the USA’s Group D at the 2008 Olympic Games, along with Nigeria.
- The U.S. is participating in the Toulon International Tournament for the eighth time in its history, but the first time since 2001. The U.S. holds a 5-5-14 all-time record in the event, with the team’s best finish coming in 1989 when they finished third.
- Turkey will be participating in the tournament for the third time, finishing in seventh place in their previous two trips in 2003 and 2004.
- Of the 22 players on the roster, only three – Dominic Cervi, Kamani Hill and Chris Seitz – were part of the team that successfully qualified for the Olympics in March.
- Four players in the group - Bryan Arguez, Kyle Davies, Ellis McLoughlin and Brek Shea - are eligible for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
- Seven countries across the world – Mexico, Denmark, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, and France – are represented on the roster in addition to Major League Soccer, which sent 11 representatives.
- Along with Fox Soccer Channel in the United States, the tournament will be 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 LOOK AT TURKEY: The U.S. will face Turkey’s Under-21 National Team on Wednesday, with all 23 players on the Turkish roster born in 1987 or later. Nuri Sahin is the most experienced player on their roster, with 11 appearances for the full national team on his resume. In addition to the Feyenoord forward, midfielders Caner Erkin and Serdar Ozkan have both earned a pair of caps for Turkey.
Turkey Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ufuk Cerylan (Vestel Manisaspor), Onur Recep Kivrak (Trabzonspor), Sinan Bolat (KRC Genk)
DEFENDERS (5): Durmus Bayram (Kayserispor), Eren Gungor (Altay), Orhan Sam (Genclerbirligi Oftasspor), Emre Balak (Samsunspor), Aykut Demir (Excelsior)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alparslan Erdem (Werder Bremen), Mehmet Guven (Glalatasaray), Caner Erkin (CSKA Moscow), Ozer Hurmaci (Ankaraspor), Aydin Yilmaz (Istanbul Belediyespor), Zafer Yelen (Hansa Rostock), Serder Ozkan (Besiktas)
FORWARDS (5): Ilhan Parlak (Fenerbache), Nuri Sahin (Feyenoord), Ozgurcan Ozkan (Gaziantepspor), Bilal Cubukcu (Hertha Berlin), Adem Buyuk (Altay), Tufan Tosunoglu (MSV Duisburg)
CATCHING THEIR ATTENTION: The young talent on display at the tournament will be carefully observed all over the world, but especially by over 130 professional scouts in attendance. It is the most number of scouts in the tournament’s 36-year history.
OLYMPIC PREPARATION: Five teams at the tournament have qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games. Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan and the Netherlands will all join the U.S. in Beijing.
NEW KITS: The Under-23s will be the first youth team to play in the new Nike jerseys, worn by the full Men’s National Team. The U-23 Men will wear the white home kits for all three group matches, keeping the anthracite away matches on hand. 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.
JOURNEY OF CERVI: Goalkeeper Dominic Cervi has had a whirlwind year so far in 2008. Unsure of whether he would be invited to the MLS Combine in January, he has now been called into the player pool for the Men’s National Team’s upcoming friendlies. The 6'6" goalkeeper talked exclusively to ussoccer.com about his adventure and his search for a team.
CATCHING UP WITH KYLE DAVIES: Defender Kyle Davies graduated from U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program with something the majority of his peers dreamed of: a contract with a club in England. Davies signed a contract with Championship side Southampton after catching the team’s eye while in Residency. Davies took time to talk exclusively with ussoccer.com about adapting to life across the pond and trying to break through the ranks for both club and country.
KEEP ON BLOGGING: The YNT Blog is back in action, with insider info, exclusive photos and interviews and all the happenings of the Toulon International. To keep up with the team in Toulon, check out http://ynt-ussoccer.blogspot.com/