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Notes from the National Training Center - Jan. 11, 2004

 With nine national teams holding training camps this January at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., will be providing you with updates on the progress of each team’s camp with "Notes from the National Training Center." Below are today's notes.

Men's National Team Notes

U.S. MEN OVERPOWER U-23s IN SECOND HALF, WIN 3-1: After the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team struck first and controlled much of the first half, the full U.S. Men's National Team picked up the pressure to get an equalizer a minute before halftime and went on to dominate the second half, winning 3-1 yesterday at The Home Depot Center. Midfielder Kyle Beckerman lined up and cracked a 20-yard shot past MNT goalkeeper Joe Cannon to give the U-23s a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. But in the 44th minute, the Men made the most of a U-23 turnover, with midfielder Chris Klein putting John Wolyniec through, where he slipped a shot under the arm of a sliding Doug Warren. In the second half, the MNT turned the tables and controlled the flow of the game, breaking through for the game winner in the 65th minute when Josh Wolff sent a low cross from the right flank that Jeff Cunnigham knocked home in traffic. The full team added a final goal in the 85th minute as Steve Ralston converted for the final result.
Lineup (1st Half: 4-4-2): Doug Warren; Chris Wingert, Jose Burciaga, Nat Borchers, Logan Pause; Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Brian Carroll, Bobby Convey; Landon Donovan, Conor Casey.
Lineup (2nd Half: 4-5-1): D.J. Countess; Eddie Lewis, Kelly Gray, David Stokes, Scot Thompson; Kyle Beckerman (Pause, 67), Alecko Eskandarian, Eddie Gaven, David Testo, Kyle Martino; Edson Buddle.

JULES CHATS UP MNT PLAYERS CONVEY AND POPE: You know him from his humorous, witty and always interesting piece on, "The Valentin Chronicles," but now that he's out in Carson with the Under-20s, defender Julian "Jules" Valentin has decided to shake things up a bit. Jules is taking his talents to the interview chair, as he spoke with a number of players on the Men's National Team and put together a Valentin Chronicles Special Report: "Jules With the Big Boys." In his last two interviews Jules chatted up MNT defender Eddie Pope and midfielder Bobby Convey.

Jules With Pope:

Jules With Convey:

Under-23 MNT Notes

U-23s DROPS "L.A. SELECT" SQUAD 4-0 IN FIRST SCRIMMAGE OF CAMP: In their first game action of the current camp, the U.S. Under-23 MNT dropped a Los Angeles area select team, 4-0, in a morning scrimmage on Saturday (Jan. 10) at The Home Depot Center. With a strong starting lineup that included Conor Casey and Landon Donovan paired up top for the first time since the bronze medal match of the 2000 Olympics in Syndey. Despite plenty of chances, including three in the first seven minutes, the first squad couldn't get on the board. The U-23s had better luck with an entirely new lineup for the second half, earning the first of four unanswered goals just four minutes in when midfielder Kyle Martino ran on to a Kelly Gray square ball and ripped the ball past goalkeeper Josh Saunders. The U-23s went ahead 2-0 in the 61st minute when midfielder Brad Davis exposed a poor free kick wall set-up and bent a perfect free kick to the far post from 25 yards out.  Forward Edson Buddle finished the opponent off, converting a pair of headers in the 66th and 73rd minutes. The only bad part of the result was that Davis came off limping in the 85th minute with a groin pull. While most of the L.A. Select team was made up of players from local Premier Development League team the Orange County Blue Star, it also featured legendary German international Jurgen Klinsmann, who played up top for the L.A. Select team in the second half, former U.S. MNT star Alexi Lalas, U-20 MNT midfielder "Memo" Gonzalez and U-17 forward Robbie Rogers, as well as former #1 draft pick Steve Shak and former Colorado Rapids forward Jayson Boyce. On the U.S. side of the ball, U-20 defender Chad Marshall stepped in for the U.S. and started the first half and will remain with the team through the 2004 MLS SuperDraft next Friday (Jan. 16).
U-23 Lineup (1st Half; 4-4-2): D.J. Countess; Jose Burciaga, Chad Marshall, Nat Borchers, Logan Pause; Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Brian Carroll, Bobby Convey; Landon Donovan, Conor Casey.
U-23 Lineup (2nd Half: 3-5-2): Doug Warren; Ricky Lewis, David Stokes, Scot Thompson; Kelly Gray, Eddie Gaven, Brad Davis, Kyle Martino, Alecko Eskandarian; David Testo, Edson Buddle.

WINGERT WINS "SOCCER HEISMAN" IN ST. LOUIS: As expected, defender Chris Wingert walked away with the M.A.C./Hermann Award, or as the team likes to call it--the "soccer Heisman," as the top male collegiate soccer player. The presentation was made at a banquet on Friday night at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., where he was joined by female winner and U.S. Women's National Team defender Cat Reddick and his parents, who flew in from New York state. Sure to be a first round draft pick at the 2004 MLS SuperDraft next Friday (Jan. 16), the Big East Defender of the Year returned back to camp Saturday morning and was greeted with a rousing round of applause from his teammates at lunch following the first scrimmage. With the honor, Wingert joined forward Alecko Eskandarian as the other M.A.C./Hermann winner in camp.

BAD HAIR DAY: A number of players have come into camp with rather questionable hair styles and facial hair. The worst offender is forward Landon Donovan, who must have recently discovered that he can grow a full beard. But of course he got bored the other day and shaved a portion on each side that now makes him resemble Hugh Jackman's Wolverine character from the X-Men movies. Normally shy and reserved, defender David Stokes surprised the squad by showing up to a team meal with a puffy afro, the result of undoing his previously braided hair. Making his first appearance in camp since 2000, forward Conor Casey almost went unrecognized on the first day of camp by some staffers with his shaggy hair, a vast difference from the shaved head he wore the last time he was wearing a U.S. jersey. And finally, midfielder Bobby Convey decided that the curly mops of Wingert and defender Logan Pause makes them look like hobbits, dubbing them Frodo and Samwise.

A MUCH-NEEDED DAY OFF: With seven days of training now under their belts, the U.S. Under-23 get their first full day off from training today (Sunday). After a team breakfast at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, the players and coaches will be free to hit one of the nearby beaches, catch a movie at the theater across the street or watch the two great NFL match-ups on the tube. On Monday, the team will be back where they left off, playing a pair of afternoon scrimmages against the U.S. Men at the H.D.C.