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U.S. U-17 MNT to Open 2010 Nike International Friendlies Against Korea Republic on Dec. 1

READY FOR KICKOFF AT REACH 11: The 2010 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies are set to kick off at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. The event kicks off with two international games on Wednesday, Dec. 1, as the U.S. U-17 MNT takes on Korea Republic live on Fox Soccer Channel at 5 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET). On Friday, 156 teams representing 78 Development Academy clubs begin play. In all, 242 games will be played during the extended weekend. For the complete schedule in Phoenix, check out the Academy section of
U-15/16 Schedule | U-17/18 Schedule 

THE FRIENDLY TOURNAMENT: This year will mark the first time that the Nike International Friendlies will be played as a tournament, with the U-17 Men’s National Teams of the U.S., Brazil, Korea Republic and Turkey playing a six-game round-robin format. Fox Soccer Channel will televise all three of the U.S. U-17 MNT games, starting with the match against Korea Republic on Dec. 1, Brazil on Dec. 3 and Turkey on Dec. 5, with all three games kicking off at 5 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) on Field 4 of the Reach 11 Complex. It will be one of the last events for Wilmer Cabrera’s team ahead of the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in February.

Date      Match                         Kickoff (ET)   TV      Venue
Dec. 1   Brazil vs. Turkey          4 p.m.           --       Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix
Dec. 1   USA vs. Korea Rep.      7 p.m.          FSC     Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix
Dec. 3   Turkey vs. Korea Rep.  4 p.m.           --       Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix
Dec. 3   USA vs. Brazil             7 p.m.           FSC    Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix
Dec. 5   Korea Rep. vs. Brazil    4 p.m.           --       Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix
Dec. 5   USA vs. Turkey           7 p.m.           FSC    Reach 11 Field Four; Phoenix

A LOOK AT THE ROSTER: U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera has invited 20 players to travel to Phoenix, Ariz., including one player in Matt Dunn who is not currently part of the Residency program. There are 12 players who play for Development Academy clubs and will have their hometown teams in attendance to cheer them on in the international matches. Nine players on the U.S. have experience at this event, having played at Reach 11 against Brazil, the Netherlands and Portugal this time last year.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kendall McIntosh (Mustang Academy; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo, Japan), Luis Martir (Chivas de Guadalajara; Los Angeles, Calif.), Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.), Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Joe Amon (South Carolina United FC; Summerville, S.C.), Matt Dunn (FC Koln: Dallas, Texas), Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.), Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (4): Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), Daniel Flores (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Andrew Oliver (Westside United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)

MORE ABOUT THE YOUNG AMERICANS: The U.S. U-17 MNT spends most of its time in Bradenton, Fla., as part of U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program, but 20 players have traveled to Phoenix ahead of the three-game Nike International Friendlies tournament. All 20 players on the U.S. roster were born in 1994 or 1995, making them age eligible to participate in the biannual CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will both be held next year. The CONCACAF (regional) event will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Feb. 12-28, 2011. That event will mirror this weekend’s format of three games played every other day and will qualify four teams to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, slated for Mexico in late June. The U.S. holds the distinction of being the only country in the world to have qualified for all 13 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups dating back to 1985.

WHAT IS RESIDENCY: The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program was founded in 1999 with the intention of bringing together the nation’s top young players to train together on a daily basis. The program has since expanded from 20 players to 40, but continues to live and train at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. Players train daily under Cabrera and his staff and attend school in the afternoons. They also have access to some of the country’s top strength and conditioning experts, nutrition programs and mental conditioning.

A GLIMPSE AT THE FIRST OPPONENT: Korea Republic, which will be participating in its first Nike International Friendlies event, has proven to be a formidable competitor at the youth national team level. Though they did not qualify from the difficult Asian confederation for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, they participated in three of the four most recent events and played host in 2007.

Korea Republic Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Jang Dae Hee, 21-Ham Seok Min
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Lee Chang Min, 3-Hwang Ju Hyun, 4-Song Ju Hun, 5-Lim Dong Hyun, 12-Choi Joon Gi, 13-Lee Jong Hun, 15-Park Sang Min,
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-Shin Il Soo, 7-Kwon Chang Hoon, 8-Kim Seung Jun, 14-Kim Min June, 16-Shim Gwang Uk, 17-Shin Hak Yeong, 19-Jung Woo Min, 20-Myeong Jae Kang
FORWARDS (3): 9-Han Nam Kyu, 10-Bang Chan Jun, 11-Jeon Dong Min

WELCOME TO REACH 11: As teams arrive in Phoenix, they will come across one of the best soccer complexes in the country at the brand-new Reach 11 Sports Complex, built by the City of Phoenix and located well within city limits. Reach 11 will be hosting the event for the second-straight year with 18 fields, all equipped with lights, hosting as many as 60 games in a single day. The 33-acre complex opened its first nine soccer fields in February 2007, with eight more opening in January 2009. The site also features two traditional baseball fields and two fully accessible baseball fields for players with disabilities, sponsored by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

SCOUTS ABOUND: More than 300 college and professional coaches are expected to be in Phoenix to check out more than 4,000 of the nation’s most talented players. Development Academy Showcases have become one of the premier places to scout potential players with dozens of athletes signing professional contracts and hundreds of Academy players having moved on to play Division I soccer. Additionally, head coaches from all five men’s youth national teams will be in attendance – Manny Schellscheidt (U-14 BNT), Jim Barlow (U-15 BNT), Wilmer Cabrera (U-17 MNT), Mike Matkovich (U-18 MNT) and Thomas Rongen (U-20 MNT).

ACADEMY SELECT TEAMS SET FOR TWO SATURDAY GAMES: Saturday evening, one of the off-days for the international teams, will feature four Development Academy Select Teams going head to head. Two teams made up of players born in1992 and 1993 will do battle at 2:30 p.m. local time and will be followed by two teams made up of players born in 1994 and 1995. Select Team players are chosen by the Development Academy scouting network, technical advisors and youth national team coaches. They will have the unique opportunity to play alongside the top players in their age group in a competitive environment in front of hundreds of college and youth national team coaches. For complete rosters of all four teams, click here.

OFF THE FIELD: Along with 242 games spread across six match days, the Winter Showcase will once again feature unique opportunities for players and coaches off the field. Players will have access to a state-of-the-art athletes lounge located at midfield of Field 4, which will be used for the international matches. The lounge is equipped with Xbox game systems, Gatorade G-Series, an AT&T interactive area, laptops available for use and television screens that will be showing exclusive U.S. Soccer content.

COACHING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND: Surrounding the event, coaches will have the opportunity to further their education through symposiums, access to youth national team coaches and technical advisors and scouting practicals. U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Rene Miramontes will host a coaching symposium around the U.S. U-17 MNT game on Wednesday for coaches not currently part of the Development Academy. Throughout the weekend, Academy coaches can follow a Technical Advisor or scout as they watch a game and provide feedback about players and the team overall. U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna will also be in attendance for the duration of the weekend.

STAY TUNED IN TO PHOENIX: Once again will be your best source for all information related to the Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies. Studio 90 will be on hand all weekend as part of complete coverage available on the 2010 Winter Showcase section of and the Youth National Teams blog. Be sure to stay tuned for videos, photos and written content that you won’t find anywhere else.