Bradley to Convene First Training Camp for U-23 MNT in Carson, Calif.
CHICAGO (February 9, 2007) — U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has called 20 players into training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in preparation for a two-match tour of Japan. This will be the first gathering of the U-23 MNT since the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in August of 2004, and the first under Bradley and assistant coach Peter Nowak.
The team will gather Feb. 9 in Carson and train for a week before departing on Feb. 16 for Japan. The U-23s will play two matches, against the Japan Under-22 Men’s National Team on Feb. 21 and a Japanese club team two days later.
"This is a good opportunity to get together with many of our domestic-based players and begin to instill some of the ideas that will be the foundation of our work together,” said Bradley. "This is the beginning of a long process of preparing for Olympic qualifying, and we’re fortunate to get a couple of quality matches in Japan as we get started.”
Of the 20-man roster assembling in Carson, 18 are playing professionally in the United States and abroad. Tally Hall is the lone representative from Europe, having recently signed with Esjberg FB of the Danish Superligaen. He is joined in the goalkeeping ranks by Chris Seitz, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 MLS Super Draft. Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan is coming off a month-long camp training with the senior team.
Nine players are graduates of the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., and 12 have youth world championship experience.
Eight players were part of the 2005 FIFA Youth World Championship in Holland, where the U.S. opened with a stunning 1-0 victory over eventual champions Argentina and then shutout Germany (0-0) and Egypt (1-0) to win Group D before eventually falling to Italy, 3-1, in the Round of 16 to finish in 11th place.
Five players are also part of the current U.S. Under-20 team that recently qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada this summer. Quavas Kirk, Seitz, Nathan Sturgis, Julian Valentin and Tim Ward all started in the USA’s dominating 5-0 victory against Panama that enabled the U.S. to win Group A of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament and secure a berth to a record sixth straight FIFA U-20 World Cup.
While the two goalkeepers on the roster, Seitz and Tally Hall, are entering their first professional seasons, there are a number of field players that have experience playing in Major League Soccer and will lead the U-23s in Japan. At forward, Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire) and Jacob Peterson (Colorado Rapids) have emerged as scoring threats, while Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Kirk (L.A. Galaxy) and Kljestan (Chivas USA) were integral members of their team’s midfield during 2006. Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids), Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy) and Ward (Columbus Crew) have all registered minutes on the backline and will be counted on to become consistent starters for the upcoming season.
ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2) – Tally Hall (Esjberg FB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders (7) – Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Nathan Sturgis (Los Angeles Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest University), Rob Valentino (University of San Francisco), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
Midfielders (7) –Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Nico Colaluca (Colorado Rapids), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Will John (Kansas City Wizards), Quavas Kirk (Los Angeles Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Ryan Solle (New England Revolution)
Forwards (4) - Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Michael Harrington (Kansas City Wizards), Jacob Peterson (Colorado Rapids), Jamie Watson (Real Salt Lake)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley