US SoccerUS Soccer
Wilmer Cabrera

40 Players Set for Spring Semester of U.S. Soccer's U-17 MNT Residency Program

• Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera Welcomes 26 Players Joining Residency Program for the First Time
• All Players Born in 1994 or 1995 and are Eligible for 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico
• Team Will Travel Internationally During the Semester to Supplement Daily Training at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.

CHICAGO (Jan. 14, 2010) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera has finalized the 40 players for the Spring 2010 semester of U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. All of the players were born in 1994 or 1995, and are age-eligible for the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, and have already begun training.

Cabrera and his staff welcome back 14 players who were part of the program in the Fall 2009 semester and trained with players from the previous cycle. An additional five players joined the team as part of a mini-camp that concluded with the Nike International Friendlies in December, including Ive Burnett, Holden Fender, Nico Melo, Mario Rodriguez and Tarik Salkicic.

“We did our best to select the best 26 new players available to join our group,” said Cabrera. “We also invited a number of younger players because after we saw them perform at a U-15 camp here in December, we felt that they were ready. It’s a very good group, and the players all deserve to be here."

Those 20 players return to Bradenton with U-17 international experience. The three matches in Phoenix, where the U.S. played traditional world powers Portugal, Brazil and the Netherlands, were the first international games for this cycle of players.

Eight of the new players were born in 1995 and have made the jump from the U-15 Boys’ National Team, having participated with Jim Barlow’s team as recently as December. In total, 21 players have been in with the U-15 BNT during the past two years, including Kristian Scott, who joins the U.S. youth national team programs from Bristol City’s academy in England.

There are 21 players who have joined Residency from U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, including six – Joe Anon, Bryan Celis, Brody Hickey, Ryan Masch, Alessandro Mion and Esteban Rodriguez – who played with Select Teams at the 2009 Winter Showcase. The Select Team players were chosen by Development Academy scouts and technical advisors, with input from youth national team coaches. Eight Select Teams came together under the guidance of a youth national team coach to play together once during the Showcase event in Phoenix, with each game serving as a platform for player evaluation at an increased level of play.

The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and train in the morning under the guidance of head coach Wilmer Cabrera and assistant coaches Paul Caffrey, Gerson Echeverry, Keith Fulk, and Paul Grafer. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at Bradenton Preparatory School. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily under Cabrera, but also has access to the IMG Academy’s spacious facilities. The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists that work at the Academy. The IMG Academies 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.

The residency program has given players an excellent opportunity to grow and move up the ladder in the world of soccer and become professionals in Major League Soccer, some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and even make an impact on the full U.S. Men's National Team. The program in Bradenton provides players with an environment where they can prosper as individual players and gel as a team.

Since its inception, more than 300 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Eighteen players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan, Eddie Gaven, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Chad Marshall, Dax McCarty, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce, Santino Quaranta, Robbie Rogers, Jonathan Spector and Danny Szetela.

Roster By Position (Detailed Residency Roster)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Santiago Castano (NY Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC; Murietta, Calif.), Kendall McIntosh (Mustang SC; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo Juniors; Houston, Texas),
DEFENDERS (13): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Juniors; Plano, Texas), Ive Burnett (Central Jackson Soccer; Brandon, Miss.), Russell Canouse (NY Red Bulls; Lancaster, Pa.), Andrew Chang (Sockers FC; Highland Park, Ill.), Jerome Cristobal (Derby County Wolves; Sterling Heights, Mich.), Holden Fender (North Atlanta SA; Marietta, Ga.), Carlos Grande (Central California Blues; Bakersfield, Calif.), Sagar Jambusaria (West Coast FC; San Clemente, Calif.), Riggs Lennon (Sereno SC; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Alessandro Mion (Miami FC Kendall; Miami, Fla.), Marc Pelosi (DeAnza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.), Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew Academy; Amherst, Ohio),
MIDFIELDERS (12): Joe Amon (South Carolina United FC; Summerville, S.C.), Atsou Ayah (Fusion FC; Tampa, Fla.), Bryan Celis (Houston Dynamo Juniors; Houston, Texas), Irvin Gijon (Players Club; Las Vegas, Nev.), Eric Gonzalez (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), Brody Hickey (Dallas Texans; Plano, Texas), Ryan Masch (DeAnza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), Zach Pfeffer (FC DELCO; Dresher, Penn.), Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), Kristian Scott (Bristol City FC; Winterbourne, U.K.)
FORWARDS (9): Martin Arrieta (LAFC Chelsea; Pasadena, Calif.), Nicko Corriveau (Bethesda SC; Potomac, Md.), Kellen Gulley (MS Chicago Fire; Clinton, Miss.), James Haupt (Everest SC; Canton, Ohio), Darius Madison (PSC Cobra; Philadelphia, Pa.), Adam Najem (NY Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Andrew Oliver (Westside United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Esteban Rodriguez (LAFC Chelsea; Palmdale, Calif.), Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)

National Team Staff
Head Coach: Wilmer Cabrera (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Paul Caffrey (Bradenton, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Paul Grafer (Bradenton, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Gerson Echeverry (Holmes Beach, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Keith Fulk (Bradenton, Fla.)
Program Manager: Tim Ryder (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.)
Equipment Coordinator: Jason Peters (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Athletic Trainer: James Spinale (Sarasota, Fla.)