Hackworth Names U.S. Under-17 MNT Roster for Match Against Australia
Dec 1, 2004
The U.S.-Australia match will be the premier showcase during U.S. Soccer’s 2004 Nike Friendlies, an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 age divisions are invited to the IMG Academy in Bradenton. The high-level event stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses as standings are not kept during the competition, in which each team plays four 80-minute games over four days from Dec. 2-5.
Australia’s U-17 MNT’s participation marks the third consecutive appearance by an Under-17 international team at the Nike Friendlies, after Brazil competed in 2003 and Finland in 2002.
“We are looking forward to facing Australia as part of the Nike Friendlies this year,” said U-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “The match will act as a good measuring stick as we move into next year and begin final preparations for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in April. Australia will also be looking towards the U-17 World Championship next year, so I’m expecting a competitive and exciting match.”
Hackworth will have a potent trio to use against Australia as Quavas Kirk, Preston Zimmerman and Ryan Soroka have all demonstrated the ability to find the back of the net during their time with the U-17s. Zimmerman leads the team in international goals scored with seven, compiling an impressive strike rate as he’s done it over just 15 games. Kirk is second on the team with three international strikes, while Soroka’s swift play-making skills has generated a team-leading three assists.
On defense, the U.S. is bolstered by a backline of Carlos Borja, Joel Smith, Eric Lichaj and Ofori Sarkodie that has teamed with first-choice ‘keeper Bryant Rueckner to hold their opponents to just three goals in the past eight games.
The match against Australia will provide the U-17’s an opportunity to get valuable experience as the U.S. moves towards CONCACAF qualifying in Costa Rica from April 12-16, 2005. The U-17s will attempt to continue its streak of being the only nation to qualify for each FIFA Under-17 World Championship, a total of 10, one every two years since 1985.
The U.S. will travel to Costa Rica to play in Group A of the final stage of the CONCACAF U-17 qualification along with the host, the Caribbean Zone Series 1 winner (Trinidad & Tobago or Cuba) and the Central American Zone Series 1 winner (Guatemala, Nicaragua or El Salvador). In Group B, Canada will host Mexico, Haiti and the Central American Zone Series 2 winner (Honduras, Belize or Panama). The group winners will qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru, while the runners-up will compete in a home-and-away playoff, with the winner earning the third and final CONCACAF berth.
With 67 teams participating in more than 100 games across the four-day event, the competition has more than tripled in size since 19 teams competed in the inaugural Nike Friendlies in 2001. Elite club teams from 17 states and two countries will participate in this year’s fourth annual event, which has become highly anticipated by clubs and college coaches because of the emphasis on quality soccer and the top-level competition.
For a complete schedule and daily updates during the event, log on to the Nike Friendlies competitions page at ussoccer.com.
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Australia
Dec. 2, 2004
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club
1 Rueckner, Bryant GK 6’0” 155 01/20/88 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. PSG (Calif.)
3 Alston, Kevin M 5’7” 137 05/05/88 Silver Spring, Md. Potomac Cougars
4 Lichaj, Eric D 5’10” 140 11/17/88 Downer’s Grove, Ill. Chicago Magic
6 Kirk, Quavas F 6’1” 165 04/13/88 Aurora, Ill. Chicago Magic
7 Sarkodie, Ofori D 5’9” 170 06/18/88 Huber Heights, Ohio Chicago Magic
9 Zimmerman, Preston F 5’11” 170 11/21/88 Pasco, Wash. Crossfire Premier
10 Borja, Carlos D 5’10” 165 01/18/88 Anaheim, Calif. ISC Strikers
11 Soroka, Ryan M 5’6” 135 03/05/88 Langhorne, Pa. FC Delco
13 Wagner, Blake M 5’9” 140 01/29/88 Tampa, Fla. Blackwatch Saints
14 Nakazawa, Kyle M 5’6” 120 03/16/88 Palos Verdes Est., Calif. ISC Strikers
16 Besagno, Nikolas M/F 6’1” 175 11/15/88 Maple Valley, Wash FC United
17 Hall, Jeremy D 5’9” 150 09/11/88 Tampa, Fla HC United
18 Newton, Evan GK 6’0” 165 04/01/88 Virginia Beach, Va. Beach FC Hurricanes
20 Farfan, Gabriel M 5’10” 140 06/23/88 San Diego, Calif. Nomads
21 Igwe, Amaechi M 6’0” 165 05/20/88 Belmont, Calif. Santa Clara Sporting
23 Ampaipitakwong, Anthony M 5’7” 130 06/14/88 Carrollton, Texas Dallas Inter
26 Ababio, Eddie F 5’11” 156 01/01/88 Tampa, Fla. HC United
30 Smith, Joel D 6’0” 165 02/20/88 Irvine, Calif. ISC Strikers
31 Mariscal, Ernesto D 5’9” 150 06/26/88 Garden Grove, Calif. ISC Strikers
33 Arvizu, David F 5’8” 130 04/19/88 Santa Ana, Calif. Pateadores
National Team Staff
Head Coach: John Hackworth Bradenton, Fla.
Assistant/Goalkeeper Coach: Peter Mellor Longboat Key, Fla.
Assistant Coach: Keith Fulk Bradenton, Fla.
Team Coordinator: Alex Miranda Bradenton, Fla.
Team Coordinator: Thomas Norton Bradenton, Fla.
Trainer: Jacob Joachim St. Petersburg, Fla.
Trainer: Michael White St. Petersburg, Fla.
Equipment Manager: Tim Ryder Bradenton, Fla.
Press Officer: Neil Buethe Chicago, Ill.