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Rongen to Bring 17 Players to Laredo for Match Against Mexico


CHICAGO (June 30, 2008) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named  a 16-player roster that will compete against the Mexico U-20 MNT on Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m. CT in Laredo, Texas. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

Advance tickets for the game the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex are on sale now, ranging from $25-40 dollars and can be purchased locally at Palenque Bar and Grill, Talk Time or Gametronics, or via phone at 956-723-4700. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for $35-50.

"It's always a challenge to play a team like Mexico at this point in our two-year cycle," said Rongen, in his third cycle as the U-20 head coach. "Playing our rival in a border town will be a great experience for our players and will also help us evaluate where some of our players stand as we start to filter our pool moving forward toward Egypt in 2009."

The meeting between the two CONCACAF rivals is the first in the two-year cycle leading up to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Both teams advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2007 edition of the event, held last summer in Canada. Defender Anthony Wallace and goalkeeper Brian Perk are the lone U.S. player on this roster who participated in last year's event.

The roster includes five Major League Soccer players, including three from FC Dallas – Lambo, Brek Shea and Wallace. Chivas USA’s Jorge Flores returns to the roster for the first time since scoring his first three MLS goals. Rounding out the professional contingent is the Brandon Manzonelli, who joined the New England Revolution in late May from the Villareal (Spain) youth system.

Five players join the team from the college ranks, including a pair from the ACC in Wake Forest’s Ike Opara and North Carolina freshman Sheanon Williams. Michigan stand-out Peri Marosevic represents the Wolverines, and Eder Arreola will join goalkeeper Brian Perk at UCLA this fall.

Arreola is one of five players on the roster born in 1991 along with Jose Altamirano, Frank Lara, Amobi Okugo and Zarek Valentin, who are all age-eligible for the next two FIFA Under-20 World Cups in 2009 and 2011. Lara, who plays for local PDL club Laredo Heat, will be joined by Heat teammate and fellow Laredo native Felix Garcia, who has scored three goals in five games for the U.S. already in 2008.


Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club
Altamirano, Jose M 5-5 135 07/17/91 San Diego, Calif. Del Mar Sharks
Arreola, Eder F 5-7 145 11/13/91 Chino Hills, Calif. UCLA
Balchan, Richard D 6-0 165 01/18/89 Carmel, Ind. Indiana University
Cruz, Daniel M 5-8 180 01/03/90 Glendale, Ariz. UNLV
Flores, Jorge M 5-11 150 09/16/89 Anaheim, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
Garcia, Felix F 6-1 160 07/30/90 Laredo, Texas Laredo Heat (PDL)
Lambo, Josh GK 6-0 205 11/19/90 Middleton, Wis. FC Dallas (MLS)
Lara, Frank M 5-11 165 01/15/91 Laredo, Texas Laredo Heat (PDL)
Manzonelli, Brandon M 5-8 165 03/13/91 Hopkinton, Mass. New England Revolution (MLS)
Marosevic, Peri F 5-9 160 05/05/89 Rockford, Ill. University of Michigan
Okugo, Amobi M 5-11 165 03/13/91 Sacramento, Calif. San Juan Lightning
Opara, Ike D 6-2 170 02/21/89 Durham, N.C. Wake Forest University
Perk, Brian GK 5-11 180 07/21/89 Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. UCLA
Shea, Brek M/F 6-3 180 02/28/90 College Station, Texas FC Dallas
Valentin, Zarek D 5-9 145 08/06/91 Lancaster, Pa. IMG Academy
Wallace, Anthony M/D 5-11 165 01/26/89 St. Petersburg, Fla. FC Dallas (MLS)
Williams, Sheanon D 5-11 165 03/17/90 Boston, Mass. University of North Carolina



U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (4): Richard Balchan (Indiana), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Danny Cruz (UNLV), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Frank Lara (Laredo, Texas), Brandon Manzonelli (New England Revolution), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Eder Arreola (UCLA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Peri Marosevic (Michigan)


U.S. Under-20 MNT Staff

Head Coach Thomas Rongen Sewalls Point, Fla.
Assistant Coach: Dave Dir Dallas, Texas
Assistant Coach: Tab Ramos Holmdel, N.J.
Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Team Coordinator: Jon Fleishman Carson, Calif.
Equipment Coordinator: Marthell Vasquez Long Beach, Calif.
Athletic Trainer: Jim Bollinger Prospect Park, Pa.




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