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Rongen Announces 18-Player Roster for 2006 Milk Cup


CHICAGO (July 24, 2006) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has released the 18-player roster he will take to Northern Ireland to compete in the 2006 Milk Cup.

The U.S. will leave for the tournament on Thursday, July 27 and have a few days of training before facing Wales on Monday, July 31. The U.S. will then go up against Denmark on Wednesday, Aug. 2, and finish the tournament with a placement match on Friday, Aug. 4. The other group consists of Northern Ireland, Paraguay and Turkey.

Rongen included seven professional players on his roster, five of which ply their trade in Major League Soccer. Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Carlos Borja (Chivas USA), Rodrigo Lopez (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas) and Blake Wagner (FC Dallas) are the MLS players represented on the roster. Real Salt Lake defender/midfielder Nikolas Besagno was also on the initial roster, but due to injuries this past weekend his services were required by his club. Besagno was replaced by high schooler Chance Myers.

The other two professionals come from the English and German first divisions as Johann Smith (Bolton FC) and Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV) and will join the team in Northern Ireland. Smith, who hails from Bloomfield, Conn., has been at Bolton since April of 2005 after receiving a three-year contract in the team’s academy program.

The rest of the squad consists of college players, with the University of Maryland, Indiana University and UCLA each supplying two players.

In 2005, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team won the Northern Ireland Milk Cup

GOALKEEPERS (2): Mike Gustavson (University of South Carolina), Chris Seitz (University of Maryland);

DEFENDERS (5): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara), Chance Myers (UCLA), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Blake Wagner (FC Dallas)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Carlos Borja (Chivas USA), Rodrigo Lopez (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Brad Ring (Indiana), Robbie Rogers (University of Maryland), Jonathan Villanueva (University of Virginia);

FORWARDS (4): Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Johann Smith (Bolton FC), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo (UCLA).

U-20 MNT Roster - 2006 Milk Cup
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club
Altidore, Josmer F 5'10" 175 11/06/89 Boca Raton, Fla. N.Y. Red Bulls (MLS)
Beltran, Tony D 5'9" 155 10/1187 Claremont, Calif. UCLA
Borja, Carlos D/M 6'0" 170 01/18/88 Anaheim, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
Gustavson, Mike GK 6'4" 195 03/13/87 Aiken, S.C. University of S.C.
Igwe, Amaechi D 6'0" 165 05/20/88 Belmont, Calif. Santa Clara Univ.
Lopez, Rodrigo M 5'7" 140 05/10/87 Harbor City, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
McCarty, Dax M
5'9" 145 04/30/87 Winter Park, Fla. FC Dallas (MLS)
Myers, Chance D 6'0" 155 12/07/87 Thousand Oaks, Calif. UCLA
Ring, Brad
M
5'10"
165
04/07/87
Rockford, Ill.
Indiana University
Rogers, Robbie
M
5'10"
165
05/12/87 Huntington Beach, Calif. University of Maryland
Sarkodie, Ofori
D
5'9"
170
06/18/88
Huber Heights, Ohio
Indiana University
Seitz, Chris
GK
6'4"
205
03/12/87
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
University of Maryland
Smith, Johann
F
5'10"
170
04/25/87
Bloomfield, Conn.
Bolton FC (EPL)
Valentin, Julian
D
5'11"
180
02/22/87
Lancaster, Pa.
Wake Forest
Wagner, Blake
D
5'10"
160
01/29/88
Tampa, Fla.
FC Dallas (MLS)
Zimmerman, Preston
F
5'11"
180
11/21/88
Pasco, Wash.
Hamburg SV (GER)
Zizzo, Sal
F
5'11"
165
04/03/87
San Diego, Calif.
UCLA
             

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