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Hackworth Names U.S. Under-17 MNT Roster for Match Against Australia


CHICAGO (Nov. 30, 2004) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth today named the 20-player roster for the Under-17 MNT’s match against the Australia Under-17 Men’s National Team on the first day of the 2004 Nike Friendlies at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. ET. The match will be will be televised on tape-delay by Fox Sports World, airing on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. ET.

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
Bradenton, Fla.


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. 


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