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U.S. U-18 MNT Roster Set for Northern Ireland Milk Cup

CHICAGO (July 13, 2011) – U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team head coach Mike Matkovich has finalized his 18-player roster for the Northern Ireland Milk Cup, which will be held from July 21-30 in Coleraine and Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Following the opening ceremony on July 24, the U.S. will play Israel on July 25 and Mexico on July 27 before a placement match on Friday, July 29.

The roster features four players currently playing for a national championship at 2011 Development Academy Finals Week in Milwaukee. FC Dallas teammates Michael Ambrose and Boyd Okuwonu will both make the quick turnaround for the U-18 MNT trip, as will New York Red Bulls captain Bryan Gallego and Pateadores' Javan Torre. In all, there will be 11 current or former Development Academy players on the U.S. roster, including a pair from D.C. United in Marcus Salandy-Defour and Jalen Robinson.

There are four players on Matkovich’s roster currently playing overseas in three different countries. Goalkeeper Cody Cropper will join the team from Ipswich Town and Will Packwood from Birmingham City in England, Juan Pablo Ocegueda will travel from Tigres in Mexico and Jerome Kiesewetter from Hertha Berlin in Germany.

There will be 11 players returning from the team’s most recent trip to the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal.

U.S. U-18 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kans.)
DEFENDERS (8): Michael Ambrose (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Bryan Gallego (New York Red Bulls; Kinnelon, N.J.), Jordan McCrary (North Carolina; Marietta, Ga.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas; Edmund,Okla.), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United; Cantonsville, Md.), Javan Torre (Pateadores; Santa Monica, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman University; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.), Marcus Salandy-Defour (D.C. United; Kensington, Md.), Alex Shinksy (Maryland; York, Penn.)
FORWARDS (3): Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Luis Rendon (FC Richmond Magic; Chesterfield, Va.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Tex.).

U.S. U-18 MNT Staff
Head Coach: Mike Matkovich (Chicago, Ill.)
Assistant Coach: Caleb Porter (Akron, Ohio )
Goalkeeper Coach: Eric Yamamoto (San Jose, Calif.)
Strength Coach: Robbie Elliot (Newcastle, England)
Team Physician: Stephan Pro (Portland, Ore.)
Athletic Trainer: Kyle Nelson (Portland, Ore.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Equipment Coordinator: Francis Pyle(Seattle, Wash.)
Team Coordinator: Zach Crusse (Los Angeles, Calif.)