CHICAGO (Wednesday, November 20, 2002) — U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick announced a 23-player roster today for the annual Nike Project-40 fall foreign tour, which will take place from Nov. 22-Dec. 6 and consist of six matches against reserve teams from some of the top clubs in Germany and Holland.
All 10 Major League Soccer teams are represented on the roster, with the Dallas Burn, D.C. United San Jose Earthquakes all placing three players in the group. Just under half (11) of the players are currently part of the Project-40 program, with 12 guest players from around the league filling out the roster.
The roster features 2002 MLS Rookie of the Year candidate and U.S. Under-23 captain Kelly Gray (Chicago Fire), as well as four players – forwards Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthquakes) and Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn) and midfielders Justin Mapp (D.C. United) and Jordan Stone (Dallas Burn) – who played major roles in the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s successfully qualification for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship this past weekend in Charleston, S.C. Gray turned out to be one of the key figures on an injury-depleted Fire team that battled to qualify for the post-season, providing two goals and five assists from his central defense position, while Johnson led the U-20’s with two goals and one assist in the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament.
In addition to including members of the 2002 class of Project-40 signees like defender Nelson Akwari (MetroStars) and midfielder Craig Capano (Chicago Fire), a pair of guest players from both the San Jose Earthquakes (goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Eddie Robinson) and D.C. United (midfielders Mark Lisi and Bryan Namoff) will likely lead the mixed squad. Robinson joins the Pro-40 team after spending a week training for his first call-up to the full U.S. Men’s National Team in Washington, D.C., prior to the USA”s 2-0 win over El Salvador on Sunday.
“We’ve got a lot of good young players who showed well in MLS this year,” said Myernick, who will lead the Pro-40 team on their fall foreign tour for the second consecutive year. “There are also a lot of new faces on this roster, and this trip should prove to be a great measuring stick against some solid pro clubs from Europe."
After arriving in Dusseldorf on Saturday morning, the U.S. will train for three days before meeting the reserves from German Second Division club Monchengladbach on Nov. 26 and German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund on Nov. 27, both in Krefeld, Germany. The team will then travel to Holland for a Nov. 28 exhibition against reserves from PSV Eindhoven of the Dutch Honor Division. The Pro-40 squad will have a four-day break from matches to train in Dusseldorf before relocating to Holland for a second string of three consecutive games against reserve teams. The Pro-40s will meet FC Utrecht on Dec. 3, Volendam on Dec. 4 and conclude the tour with a second match with PSV on Dec. 5. Below is the complete schedule for the trip:
Date Opponent Kickoff (Local)
Nov. 26 Borussia Monchengladbach (Reserves) 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 Borussia Dortmund (Reserves) 3 p.m.
Nov. 28 PSV Eindhoven (Reserves) 2 p.m.
Dec. 3 Utrecht (Reserves) 3 p.m.
Dec. 4 Volendam (Reserves) 3 p.m.
Dec. 5 PSV Eindhoven (Reserves) 2 p.m.
The trip marks the first time that a group of Pro-40 players has gathered together to compete since November 2001, when the Pro-40s went 1-2-0 on a 10-day tour of England against reserves teams from Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Crewe Alexandria.
Created in 1997, the Nike Project-40 program is a joint venture between the U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer aimed at providing America’s top young talent with the valuable training needed to develop their skills and further the United States’ international success. The goal of Nike Project-40 is to enable the United States to maximize the development of their young professional players and to compete with the top soccer-playing countries around the world.
Project-40 players compete in MLS and earn the minimum annual salary during their initial season, as well as a five-year academic package covering tuition. In most cases, each MLS team will have one to three Project-40 players, all of whom do not count against the club’s 20-man roster.
Pro-40 Foreign Tour Roster
|Akwari, Nelson*||D||5’11”||190||01/04/82||Houston, Texas||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Barclay, Devin*||F||5’9”||165||04/09/83||Annapolis, Md.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Bardales, Isaias*||F||5’10”||170||08/18/79||San Jose, Calif.||L.A. Galaxy (MLS)|
|Beckerman, Kyle*||M||5’11”||155||04/23/82||Crofton, Md.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Behncke, Matt||M||6’3”||190||08/12/82||Williamsburg, Va.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Brunt, Chris||D||5’11”||165||01/01/80||Omaha, Neb.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Capano, Craig*||M||5’6”||140||07/07/85||Hyde Park, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Conway, Jon||GK||6’6”||205||05/06/77||Aston, Pa.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Curtis, Ali||F||5’9”||165||12/18/78||Milan, Mich.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Downing, Nick*||M||5’9”||145||01/25/80||Redmond, Wash.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Glinton, Gavin||F||5’10”||160||03/01/79||Livermore, Calif.||L.A. Galaxy (MLS)|
|Gonzalez, Luchi||F||5’8”||156||07/14/80||Miami, Fla.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Goode, Taly||GK||6’2”||200||08/25/78||Woodbridge, Va.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Gray, Kelly*||D||6’2”||170||04/07/81||San Jose, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Johnson, Ed*||F||6’0”||170||03/31/84||Palm Coast, Fla.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Leitch, Chris||D||5’11”||165||04/01/79||Baltimore, Ohio||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Lisi, Mark||M||6’0”||170||10/11/77||Englewood, Colo.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Mapp, Justin*||M||5’10”||140||10/18/84||Brandon, Mass.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Namoff, Bryan||D||5’10”||155||05/28/79||Rockford, Ill.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Robinson, Eddie||D/M||6’1”||180||06/19/78||Greensboro, N.C.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Saavedra, Miguel||M||5’11”||155||07/03/83||Milwaukee, Wisc.||---|
|Stone, Jordan*||M||6’1”||170||03/16/84||Allen, Texas||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Trembly, Seth*||M||5’6”||145||03/21/82||Littleton, Colo.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
* - indicates current Nike Project-40 players
Head Coach: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick
Assistant Coach: Brian Bliss
Goalkeeper Coach: Daryl Shore
Team Coordinator: Aaron Barrett
Doctor: Michael Haak
Doctor: Geoff Kuhlman
Trainer: Jason Wulf
Equipment Manager: Scott Meineke