Fall Semester Roster Finalized for U.S. Soccer's U-17 MNT Residency Program
- Mix of Players born in 1992, 1993 and 1994 Will Train at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.
- Players Born in 1992 and 1993 Competing to be Part of U.S. Team that Will Compete at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria
- U.S. Kicks Off World Cup Campaign on Oct. 26 Against Spain, Continues Oct. 29 Against Malawi and Nov. 1 Against UAE
CHICAGO (Sept. 9, 2009) â€“ U.S. Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera and his staff have finalized 40 players who will participate in U.S. Soccerâ€™s Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team Residency Program for the 2009 fall semester. The roster blends 24 players who were born in 1992 and 1993 as they build toward the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup from Oct. 24-Nov. 16, in Nigeria, and 16 born in 1994, who are also eligible for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
â€œWe had to bring our roster of players for this cycle down to 25, which was difficult for us, but we came down to the best 25 players that we thought can compete to make the final roster for the World Cup in October,â€ said Cabrera. â€œWe need to make this link between the two age groups so weâ€™re not starting over at the end of this semester and to keep the continuity of our program. The players who have been added now have the chance to learn from players who have been here for more than two years already, and that learning process will help our program.â€
Of the 24 players born in 1992 and 1993, 17 were part of the U.S. team that successfully qualified for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, where they will play Spain, Malawi and United Arab Emirates in Group E. The U.S. will play Spain on Oct. 26, Malawi on Oct. 29, and UAE on Nov. 1.
The U.S. won all three games at the 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Tijuana, Mexico, before the tournament was cut short due to an H1N1 flu outbreak. During the qualifying tournament, the U.S. used all 20 available players in three games, while scoring 12 goals and allowing only two. Forward Jack McInerney led all players in the tournament with five goals scored in group play, while four other U.S. players also found the back of the net. Earl Edwards earned two wins and a shutout while Spencer Richey also earned a shutout victory in his only start.
Edwards and McInerney are two of the 11 players returning to Bradenton for their fifth semester of Residency, a group that also includes Andrew Craven, Marlon Duran, Zachary Herold, Stefan Jerome, Perry Kitchen, Carlos Martinez, Emilio Orozco, Tyler Polak and Jared Watts. Goalkeeper Keith Cardona and forward Victor Chavez are the only two players born in 1992 who are participating in their first semester of the Residency program.
Along with the 25 older players in Residency, several other players are also in the U-17 player pool and eligible to be on the final roster for Nigeria, including players who are playing for clubs overseas. Additionally, Charles Renken is continuing rehabilitation for his torn ACL (suffered in the spring) near his familyâ€™s home, but is still part of the U-17 player pool.
The younger group will begin the two-year cycle for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup before the current cycle concludes at the 2009 event. Many of the incoming players born in 1994 have been involved with the U-15 Boysâ€™ National Team over the past year, including eight who traveled with the team to MÃ¶enchengladbach, Germany, in late May. Forward Alfred Koroma is the only player born in 1994 who is not in his first semester of Residency, having joined Cabreraâ€™s program in the Spring of 2008.
Eleven of the younger players join Residency from clubs that are a part of U.S. Soccerâ€™s Development Academy, and each represents a different club. They joinÂ 10 '92s and '93s who are also part of the Academy program, representing a total of 20 clubs.
The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., and train in the morning under the guidance of Cabrera and assistant coaches Paul Caffrey, Gerson Echeverry, Paul Grafer and Keith Fulk. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at nearby Bradenton Preparatory Academy. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily under Cabrera, but also has access to the IMG Academiesâ€™ spacious facilities. The team regularly uses the state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nationâ€™s best sports psychologists. The facilities include top-of-the-line soccer equipment, three Bermuda grass fields, an indoor dome with artificial turf, two swimming pools, newly renovated student housing and dining facilities.
Since its inception, nearly 200 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 80 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Sixteen players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Oguchi Onyewu, Santino Quaranta, Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Jonathan Spector, Heath Pearce, Jozy Altidore and Robbie Rogers.
Roster By Position (Detailed Roster)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Keith Cardona (New Red Bulls Academy; Glen Rock, N.J.), Earl Edwards (Nomads SC; San Diego, Calif.), Fernando PiÃ±a (Houston Dynamo Academy; Houston, Texas), Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (14): Michael Ambrose (Texas Fire; El Paso, Texas), Andrew Chang (Sockers FC; Highland Park, Ill.), Jerome Cristobal (Derby County Wolves; Sterling Heights, Mich.), Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic; Indianapolis, Ind.), Jordan McCrary (Concorde Fire; Marietta, Ga.), Boyd Okwuonu (Celtic Green; Edmond, Okla.), Emilio Orozco (Rampage FC; Oxnard, Calif.), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Tyler Polak (CSA Legacy; Lincoln, Neb.), Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.), Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew Academy; Amherst, Ohio), Jared Watts (North Meck SC; Statesville, N.C.), Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride; Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Atsou Ayah (Fusion FC Tampa; Tampa, Fla.), Sean Davis (Match Fit Chelsea; Holmdel, N.J.),Â Marlon Duran (Latino Americana; Ducanville, Texas), Irvin Gijon (Players Club; Las Vegas, Nev.), Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove, Calif.), Eric Gonzalez (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.; San Pedro, Calif), Oscar Ortega (Albion SC; San Ysidro, Calif.), Nick Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC; Battleground, Wash.), Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC; York, Pa.), Sebastian Velasquez (Arsenal FC; Los Angeles, Calif.)
FORWARDS (10): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls Academy; Barnegat, N.J.), Victor Chavez (Real So Cal; Fontana, Calif), Andrew Craven (First Coast Kickers; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Kellen Gulley (MS Chicago Fire Juniors; Clinton, Miss.), Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC; Davie, Fla.), Alfred Koroma (Solar Red; Arlington, Texas), Jack McInerney (Cobb SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Andrew Oliver (Westside United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.), Dominick Sarle (BW Gottschee NYC; Huntington, N.Y.)