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U.S. Under-20s Getting Ready to Close Out Sunrise Training Camp

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play its final match of their 7-day training camp in Sunrise, Fla., tomorrow (Saturday) against Haiti Select. The U-20s next camp – their fourth of the year – will be some time in late June, with the exact dates and location yet to be determined. 


The U.S. will be looking for its fourth shutout of the week when they face Haiti Select as they have yet to give up a goal in their first three matches. In their first match against Jamaica on April 20, the U.S. had a number of chances on goal, but only found the back of the net once as defender Brandon Owens headed home a corner kick by Christian Jimenez in the 62nd minute for a 1-0 victory. A day later, in front of 9,105 fans at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Capano ripped a bullet from 20 yards out that deflected off the left crossbar and into the net as the Under-20s defeated Haiti Select 1-0. Their third match was yesterday (Thursday) in a rematch with Jamaica. The U.S. did extremely well converting their chances on goal and dominated the Reggae Boyz 4-0 in Sunrise. St. Louis University forward Will John led the way with two goals and one assist, while Jimenez notched a goal and an assist and Kamani Hill to his first goal with the Under-20s.


Three MLS players – Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) – have left to meet up with their respective teams for their games this weekend, and Adrian Chevannes took a flight home after suffering an injury during the Under-20’s first match against Jamaica. Teammates this week, Adu and Capano will face off against each other as the United hosts the Fire on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Gaven and the MetroStars will take on the New England Revolution on Sunday at the Meadowlands. Chevannes returned home today (Friday) as he was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Pending further tests, the Clemson defender will be out about 4-6 weeks.

Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen held his final practice of training camp this morning, putting the remaining 19 players through an hour workout. While the goalkeeping trio of Justin Hughes, Andrew Kartunen and Stephen Sandbo, went through warm-ups with coach Dave Dir, the 16 field players split into three teams and played a game of keepaway for about 20 minutes. For the remainder of practice the goalkeepers switched between the two goals as the team competed in a short-sided game with full-size goals. Defender Tim Ward had the strike of the day, blasting a shot from 25 yards out into the upper right corner of the goal.

The players got their first chance of the week to spend some time outside of the hotel, as they will travel to South Beach this afternoon. While all the players have commented on the great service and warm welcome they have received by the hotel staff, they were excited to get the chance to experience the Miami beaches, shops and possibly pick up some fast food, which they haven’t had in a week.


The past few days have been sizzling hot during the Under-20s practices and games. With temperatures climbing into the high 80s, trainer Nelson Min has been persistent that the players get enough fluids to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, there is no shade on the side where the team benches are, so players are soaking in the sun’s rays during the games. But, for the final match things may change as the hotel is looking into providing some table-sized umbrellas that could provide some shade for the substitutes and coaches on the bench.