GUADALAJARA, Mexico (January 30, 2004) — U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick announced his final 20-player roster for the 2004 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will take place from Feb. 2-12 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The team traveled to Mexico a week ago with 22 players, but Myernick was forced to drop two players from the travel roster by the Jan. 31 deadline imposed by CONCACAF.
“We have not come here to play three games in five days, we’ve come here to play five games in 10 days,” said Myernick, who has guided the team to a 2-0-1 record in a trio of exhibitions this month. “In order to do that with a 20-man roster, you need players that are fit, durable and versatile, and we feel that we have that in our roster.”
The U.S. U-23s will first face Panama on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. (local/CT), followed by matches against Canada on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. and Honduras on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. All three U.S. opening round matches in Group A will be played at the 10,000-seat Estadio Tres de Marzo (in the Zapopan area of Guadalajara) and can be followed by fans live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The tournament opens on Feb. 2 with Group B action featuring Costa Rica, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the host nation at Estadio Jalisco. The top two teams from each group will meet in the single-elimination semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Estadio Jalisco, with the winner of Group A meeting the second-place team from Group B, and the winner of Group B meeting the second-place team from Group A. The two semi-final winners will earn automatic berths to Athens 2004 and meet in the final on Feb. 12.
The U.S. roster is led by current U.S. Men’s National Team stars Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire) and Bobby Convey (D.C. United), all of whom played in a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Jan. 18 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Donovan, who was honored with the 2003 Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year award on Jan. 16 as the top men’s player in U.S. Soccer, scored the long goal for the U.S. on a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
The trio of experienced players, along with defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids) and goalkeeper D.J. Countess (Dallas Burn), all hail from the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team that finished an impressive fourth at the FIFA U-17 World Championship at New Zealand ’99. Donovan and Beasley took the top two individual honors in that tournament, winning the Golden Ball and Silver Ball, respectively.
Donovan was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that exceeded expectations and advanced to the medal round and a record fourth-place finish in Sydney. The 21-year-old San Jose Earthquakes forward, who was just 18 at the time, scored the clinching goal in the 88th minute of a 3-1 win over Kuwait that helped the U.S. not only advance to the second round for the first time in history, but win Group C with a 1-0-2 record. Earlier that year, Beasley was a part of the U.S. team that posted a 2-1-1 record and finished second at the 2000 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hershey, Pa., earning one of two CONCACAF berths for the Olympics.
Including Convey, there are five players on the final roster from the Under-20 Men’s National Team that led the USA to an impressive fifth place finish at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates in December.
The four other former U-20s who are being called up to the next age level are defenders Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew) and Zak Whitbread (Liverpool – England), midfielder Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and forward Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn).
Marshall and Whitbread helped the U.S. hold some of the world’s best teams to six goals in five matches on their jaunt to the quarterfinals at UAE ’03. Marshall and Whitbread have yet to earn a cap at the Under-23 level, while Gaven has only played 31 minutes for the U-23s, coming off the bench to score the final goal in a 4-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis on Nov. 19 in the second leg of the USA’s second round CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying series. At 17 years and just over three months, Gaven, who also played in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland in August 2003, could become the youngest U.S. player to appear in an Olympic Qualifying tournament ahead of current U.S. Men’s National Team captain Claudio Reyna, who made his debut on March 25, 1992, four months shy of his 18th birthday.
Johnson scored four goals with one assist at UAE ’03 and became the first U.S. player to claim Golden Boot honors in a major world championship. For the U-23s, Johnson scored two goals in a 6-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis on Nov. 15 in the first leg down in Basseterre.
Also featured on the final roster are two of the team’s leading scorers in 2003 in forwards David Testo (Richmond Kickers – A-League) and Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United). Testo, who led the USA with eight points (3 g, 2 a) last year, earned A-League Rookie of the Year honors with six goals and two assists in 2003. Eskandarian, the 2003 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick, finished third on the team with six points (2 g, 2 a).
Eskandarian and Convey lead a group of five players on the final roster that hail from D.C. United. The other three players are goalkeeper Doug Warren and defenders David Stokes and Brian Carroll, all of whom were rookies in MLS in 2003. Warren, who has split time in the nets with Countess since the Under-23s first gathered in January 2002, has started two of the three exhibitions that the U.S. has played recently.
Making his return to the U-23s after not appearing once in 2003 is midfielder Brad Davis (Dallas Burn). In his second year as a pro, Davis led the Burn in scoring with six goals and five assists for 17 points in 2003. Another relatively new face on the roster is defender Nat Borchers (Colorado Rapids), who made his U-23 debut in a 1-0 win over Haiti in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 15, 2003, after having a solid rookie season with Colorado.
The U.S. enters the tournament without the services of four key players, two whom are out with injuries – midfielder Ricardo Clark (MetroStars; sports hernia) and forward Edson Buddle (Columbus Crew; Achilles tendonitis) – and two who will remain with their club teams in Europe – defender Oguchi Onyewu (R.A.A. Louviere – Belgium) and forward Conor Casey (F.C. Karlsruher – Germany).
“We’re missing a few names that we anticipated being here,” added Myernick, about the aforementioned four. “But the nature of the sport and some FIFA rules prohibited us from having some of those players.”
The U.S. Under-23 MNT began the road to the 2004 Olympics in November, when they defeated the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis in the second round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying by an aggregate score of 10-0 in a home-and-home series after receiving a bye in the first round.
Below are the tournament dates and match-ups:
GROUP A (All matches at Estadio Tres de Marzo)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 3 Canada vs. Honduras 6 p.m.
Panama vs. USA 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 Honduras vs. Panama 6 p.m.
Canada vs. USA 8 p.m.
Feb. 7 Canada vs. Panama 11 a.m.
Honduras vs. USA 1 p.m.
GROUP B (All matches at Estadio Jalisco)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 2 Costa Rica vs. Jamaica 6 p.m.
T&T vs. Mexico 8 p.m.
Feb. 4 Costa Rica vs. T&T 6 p.m.
Jamaica vs. Mexico 8 p.m.
Feb. 6 T&T vs. Jamaica 6 p.m.
Costa Rica vs. Mexico 8 p.m.
SINGLE ELIMINATION (All matches at Estadio Jalisco)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 10 Semifinal #1 (A1 vs. B2) 5:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2 (A2 vs. B1) 8 p.m.
Final / Third Place
Date Match-up Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 12 Semifinal Losers 5:30 p.m.
Semifinal Winners 8 p.m.
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Roster
|7||Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5’9”||135||05/24/82||Fort Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|5||Beckerman, Kyle||M||5’10”||160||04/03/82||Crofton, Md.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|6||Borchers, Nat||D||6’2”||175||04/13/81||Pueblo, Colo.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|2||Burciaga, Jose Luis||D||6’1”||170||11/16/81||Duncanville, Texas||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|12||Carroll, Brian||M||5’10”||155||07/20/81||Springfield, Va.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|15||Convey, Bobby||M||5’9”||160||05/27/83||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|1||Countess, D.J.||GK||6’1”||185||01/09/82||Sacramento, Calif.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|9||Davis, Brad||M||5’11”||165||11/08/81||St. Charles, Mo.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|10||Donovan, Landon||F||5’9”||155||03/04/82||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|11||Eskandarian, Alecko||F||5’9”||165||07/09/82||Montvale, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|17||Gaven, Eddie||M||6’0”||165||10/25/86||Hamilton, N.J.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|20||Johnson, Ed||M/F||6’0”||180||03/31/84||Palm Coast, Fla.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|3||Lewis, Ricky||D||6’0”||170||05/29/82||Spring, Texas||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|14||Marshall, Chad||D||6’4”||190||08/22/84||Riverside, Calif.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|8||Pause, Logan||M||5’10”||160||08/22/81||Hillsborough, N.C.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|4||Stokes, David||D||6’3”||195||05/28/82||Dumfries, Va.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|19||Testo, David||F||5’10”||160||08/07/81||Arden, N.C.||Richmond Kickers (A-League)|
|18||Warren, Doug||GK||6’0”||190||03/18/81||Hoffman Estates, Ill.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|13||Whitbread, Zak||D||6’3”||180||01/10/84||Liverpool, England||Liverpool Reserves (England)|
|16||Wingert, Chris||D||5’10”||160||06/16/82||Babylon, N.Y.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
GOALKEEPERS (2): D.J. Countess, Doug Warren; DEFENDERS (7): Nat Borchers, Jose Luis Burciaga, Ricky Lewis, Chad Marshall, David Stokes, Zak Whitbread, Chris Wingert; MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Brian Carroll, Bobby Convey, Brad Davis, Eddie Gaven, Logan Pause; FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan, Alecko Eskandarian, Ed Johnson, David Testo
- U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Staff -
Head Coach: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick
Assistant Coach: Thomas Rongen
Assistant Coach: Curt Onalfo
Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen
Team Coordinator: R.J. Noto
Trainers: David Andrews & Scott Piehl
Massage Therapist: Adam Parrett
Equipment Manager: John McDonald
Press Officer: Bryan Chenault