Among the 12 named to the roster are goalkeepers Victor Nogueira (Milwaukee Wave), Otto Orf (Cleveland Crunch - NPSL) and defender Sean Bowers (Detroit Rockers - NPSL), who were all on the 1996 U.S. squad at the last FIFA World Championship in Spain.
"This has been one of the most difficult weeks for me personally," said Tozer. "All the players worked extremely hard to make the final cut. The final selection was a very difficult process but we feel very good about the players who will be going."
The U.S. delegation departed Milwaukee, Wis., this morning via bus to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on its way to Costa Rica for the CONCACAF tournament.
Bowers leads all players with 16 international appearances, while Nogueira, who was named best goalkeeper in the last two world championships (1992, 1996), is second with 14.
The defense also includes veterans Glenn Carbonara (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL) and Wes Wade (Kansas City Attack - NPSL) along with newcomers Jeff Davis (St. Louis Steamers - WISL) and Josh Timbers (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL).
The offense will be led by forwards Temoc Suarez (Charleston Battery - A-League) and Lee Tschantret (Detroit Rockers - NPSL), who played a major factor in the Americans' fifth-place finished at the Singapore Tiger 5 International Tournament last December.
Rounding out the front line are forwards Brian Loftin (Milwaukee Rampage/Wave - A-League/NPSL) and futsal rookies Bernie Lilavois (Connecticut Wolves - A-League) and Matt Tirschman (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL).
The U.S., which won the 1996 CONCACAF Title in Guatemala City, are the top seed in a Group B that includes Mexico, Netherlands Antilles and Puerto Rico. Group A is composed of Cuba, Nicaragua, Surinam and the host Costa Rica. The USA will begin tournament competition on Friday (July 21) against Puerto Rico, before battling the Netherlands Antilles on Sunday (July 23). The Americans will close out group play with a match-up against Mexico on July 25. Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals on July 27.
The two semifinal winners will not only play for the CONCACAF title but will have earned the final two berths to the 2000 FIFA World Championship in Guatemala (Nov. 18 - Dec. 3, 2000). The other 14 qualified nations in the 16-team championship tournament are: Guatemala (host); Brazil (champion); Africa - Egypt; Asia - Iran, Kazakhstan, Thailand; CONMEBOL - Argentina, Uruguay; Oceania - Australia; UEFA - Croatia, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Spain.
The Americans, who are ranked third in the futsal world rankings, are looking to advance to the world championship for a fourth consecutive time. The team won the bronze medal at the 1989 FIFA competition in Holland and then took the silver in 1992 in Hong Kong.
"With this final roster, we can now concentrate our squad in preparation to defend our title," said Tozer. "All the countries involved in this upcoming qualifier have been working extremely hard for the past two years preparing. The team and I look forward to defending and securing a berth in this year's world championship."
|United States National Futsal Team|
July 19-30, 2000 - CONCACAF Championship - Heredia, Costa Rica
|Bowers, Sean||D||6'2"||185||8/12/68||16/2||San Diego, Calif.||Detroit Rockers (NPSL)|
|Carbonara, Glenn||D||5'11"||188||9/17/66||7/3||Vineland, N.J.||Milwaukee Wave (NPSL)|
|Davis, Jeff||D||5'9"||165||4/11/71||0/0||St. Charles, Missouri||St. Louis Steamers (WISL)|
|Lilavois, Bernie||F||5'10"||160||8/31/70||0/0||Buena Park, Calif.||Connecticut Wolves (A-League)|
|Loftin, Brian||F||5'10"||175||4/04/72||7/1||Kansas City, Missouri||Milw. Rampage/Wave (A-League/NPSL)|
|Nogueira, Victor||GK||6'1"||185||7/17/59||14/0||Milwaukee, Wis.||Milwaukee Wave (NPSL)|
|Orf, Otto||GK||6'2"||190||11/04/63||5/0||Elma, N.Y.||Cleveland Crunch (NPSL)|
|Suarez, Temoc||F||5'7"||155||4/19/75||2/0||Mount Pleasant, S.C.||Charleston Battery (A-League)|
|Timbers, Josh||D||5'9"||165||5/27/74||0/0||Morganton, N.C.||Milwaukee Wave (A-League)|
|Tirschman, Matt||F||5'10"||180||8/08/75||0/0||Baltimore, Md.||Milwaukee Wave (NPSL)|
|Tschantret, Lee||F||5'8"||160||4/10/69||5/2||New York, N.Y.||Detroit Rockers (NPSL)|
|Wade, Wes||D||6'0"||174||2/18/68||8/8||San Diego, Calif.||Kansas City Attack (NPSL)|
|Head of Delegation||Alex Para||Hercules, Calif.|
|General Manager||Brian Fleming||Lake Mary, Fla.|
|Head Coach||Keith Tozer||Milwaukee, Wis.|
|Assistant Coach||Vilmar Marques||San Francisco, Calif.|
|Doctor||Dr. Jonathan Ticker||Brookville, N.Y.|
|National Team Coordinator||Kristin Lettiere||Chicago|
|Press Officer||Steve Torres||Chicago|
|2000 CONCACAF Futsal Championship|
Palacio de los Deportes (Heredia, Costa Rica)
(July 20-29, 2000)
|Group A||Costa Rica (host), Cuba, Nicaragua, Surinam|
|Group B||United States, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico|
|July 20||Cuba vs. Surinam||7 p.m.|
|July 20||Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua||8:30 p.m.|
|July 21||Mexico vs. Netherlands Antilles||7 p.m.|
|July 21||USA vs. Puerto Rico||8:30 p.m.|
|July 22||Cuba vs. Nicaragua||7 p.m.|
|July 22||Costa Rica vs. Surinam||8:30 p.m.|
|July 23||Mexico vs. Puerto Rico||7 p.m.|
|July 23||USA vs. Netherlands Antilles||8:30 p.m.|
|July 24||Nicaragua vs. Surinam||7 p.m.|
|July 24||Costa Rica vs. Cuba||8:30 p.m.|
|July 25||Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands Antilles||7 p.m.|
|July 25||USA vs. Mexico||8:30 p.m.|
|July 27||Winner of Group B vs. Second of Group A*||7 p.m.|
|July 27||Winner of Group A vs. Second of Group B*||8:30 p.m.|
|July 29||Third Place Match||7 p.m.|
|July 29||Championship*||8:30 p.m.|
|* Both finalists (semifinal winners) advance to 2000 FIFA World Championship.|