U-20 Men Face Argentina in Rochester in World Cup Preparations
CHICAGO (April 23, 2007) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will continue their preparations for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer with a match against reigning world champion Argentina on Tuesday, May 15, at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. ET, and fans can follow the match live with streaming video coverage on ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS.
U.S. Soccer and ussoccer.com will present complete MatchACCESS live coverage of the match against Argentina, starting coverage live at 6:45 p.m. ET / 3:45 p.m. PT. MatchACCESS will also include post-match coverage and interviews with U.S. Under-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen and select players. This will be the second U-20 MNT match broadcast exclusively on ussoccer.com, and is a part of the popular website’s extensive online video streaming coverage.
Rongen named a 16-player roster for the match, inviting in 13 professional players. Of those professionals, 11 play in Major League Soccer. The two non-MLS players are forward Johann Smith with Carlisle United in England’s second division and Jesus Padilla with Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico.
Out of the 16 players, 12 were part of the team that won Group A of the CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama, this past January to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will take place from June 30-July 22 in six cities in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil.
Tickets for the match against Argentina, ranging from $18 to $35, go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, April 23, and can be purchased at PAETEC Park, by phone from Ticketmaster at (585) 232-1900 or at ticketmaster.com.
"This will be a great game for us to play as we really start to begin the final stages of preparing for the World Cup this summer," said Rongen. "Not only will the match provide our players with an immense challenge in going up against the reigning world champions, but they will also get to play on the artificial turf at PAETEC Park in Rochester which is beneficial because it is the same surface we'll be playing on during the World Cup. We're certain the fans in Rochester will create a fantastic atmosphere and we’re hoping as many people as possible check out the broadcast live on ussoccer.com.”
Seven MLS teams provide the 11 professional players, including a trio from the Columbus Crew in forward Robbie Rogers, midfielder Danny Szetela and defender Tim Ward. Real Salt Lake provides two of the marquee players in first-choice goalkeeper Chris Seitz and captain Freddy Adu, while the Los Angeles Galaxy released central defender Nathan Sturgis and defender/midfielder Quavas Kirk.
N.Y. Red Bulls’ Josmer Altidore, D.C. United’s Bryan Arguez, New England Revolution’s Amaechi Igwe and Chivas USA’s Rodrigo Lopez are the other MLS professionals on the roster. Lopez makes his first appearance on a U-20 roster since 2006.
The three non-professionals are Jalil Anibaba, Alec Dufty and Julian Valentin. Valentin, a junior at Wake Forest, was a starter for the U-20s in qualifying. Anibaba is making just his second appearance on a U-20 roster and is the only high school player on the squad, while Dufty, a goalkeeper from the University of Evansville, will be part of his first national team camp.
This will be the sixth time the U.S. and Argentina have met at this age level in the past five years. The U.S. has faced Argentina twice during this cycle, with both games occurring in 2006 and the teams each coming away with a victory. In the first meeting, the U.S. fell, 4-0, in Argentina during their tour of the country in April. Five months later, the U.S. defeated Argentina, 3-1, in their final match of the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea. Altidore scored the opening goal in the U.S. victory.
Rongen coached the U.S. in both those previous meetings, but his most well-known match against Argentina came during the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA Youth World Championship in the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. allowed an equalizing goal during the final minute of injury time and eventually lost in overtime. Despite the loss, the U.S. finished in fifth place and set numerous records during their remarkable quarterfinal run.