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Under-20 MNT in the Midst of World Cup Preparations


TOGETHER AGAIN: The Under-20 Men’s National Team arrived throughout the day on Sunday and Monday in Somerset, N.J. for a 10-day training camp leading up to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. With the exception of Michael Bradley, who is in the midst of defending the Gold Cup Championship with the senior team, all players are present and accounted for. The players have been going through two-a-days leading up to a preparation match against Chile on June 23 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (tickets). Kickoff time for the game is 2:15 p.m. ET, and fans can follow the game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchAccess.


U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (F.C. Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Johann Smith (Bolton F.C.), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)


HANDLING THE HEAT: The first few days of training camp have been competitive, good-spirited and hot. Players were soaking their shoes to keep them from burning on the hot field turf, which got as high as 106 degrees before the thermometer broke. Check out Studio 90’s all_access on June 20 for more on how the team is handling the New Jersey summer.


THE RETURN OF JULES’ JOURNAL: For more behind-the-scenes coverage of the Under-20 Men’s National Team during their quest for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Julian Valentin is back with a player’s perspective on the daily life of training camp, including surviving the heat and what really happens at the hotel. Jules’ Journal returns after a two-year hiatus and can be found here.


WORLD CUP LOOMING: The match for the U.S. and Canada begins the final preparations for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from June 30-July 22 in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf. All of the United States’ matches can be seen live on ESPNU, while ESPNU and ESPN360.com will combine to show all 52 games of the tournament, while Galavision will broadcast the USA's second and third group games.

USA's FIFA U-20 World Cup Schedule - Group D
Date          Match-up                                     Venue      Kickoff (ET)            Television
June 30    Korea Republic vs. USA          Montreal   2:15 p.m.                 ESPNU
July 3        USA vs. Poland                          Montreal  7:45 p.m.                  ESPNU/Galavision
July 6        Brazil vs. USA                             Ottawa     7:45 p.m.                  ESPNU/Galavision





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