Short Camp Will Include a Closed-Door Match Against Haiti Under-23s;
Ten Professionals Invited into Camp, Including Three Overseas Players
CHICAGO (Oct. 5, 2006) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen announced his 16-player roster for the upcoming four-day camp from Oct. 8-12 in Sunrise, Fla., which will include a closed-door match against the Haiti Under-23 Men’s National Team. The players and staff will arrive on Sunday, Oct. 8, and train for three days before facing Haiti on Oct. 11.
Of the 16 players on the roster, 10 are professionals playing in Major League Soccer or overseas. The three overseas players come from two teams, with midfielders Michael Bradley and Robbie Rogers representing SC Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie and Johann Smith from Bolton FC of the English Premier League. Rogers and Smith have both been in with the Under-20s this year, but it will be the first call-up in this cycle for Bradley.
The remaining seven professional players are represented by five MLS teams, with the L.A. Galaxy and Columbus Crew both providing two players. Galaxy midfielder Quavas Kirk and defender Nathan Sturgis have both seen quality time on the field during their rookie seasons, with Kirk appearing in 20 games and Sturgis starting all 15 of his appearances. The Crew’s Tim Ward has played both defense and midfield during his second season, while an injury limited midfielder Danny Szetela to just four appearances.
D.C. United midfielder Freddy Adu is the most experienced player on the roster as he has played in the past two FIFA World Youth Championships, but he will be making his first appearance for this Under-20 team. Adu solidified his spot in Peter Nowak’s squad this season, already starting almost as many games (27) as he did in his first two years combined.
Chivas USA midfielder Rodrigo Lopez returns for his fourth camp with the Under-20s this year, while New England Revolution midfielder Miguel Gonzalez will be involved in his second camp after an impressive showing during his first call-up at the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in early September.
“While it is a short camp, this is a great opportunity for us to have a large number of our professional players together for an international match, while also taking a look at a couple other players from the college ranks that have not been in with us before,” said Rongen. “A few of our professional players have been in at least one camp this year, but we’ve never been able to bring so many of our top players together for a single camp. It will be valuable to be able to put them on the field at the same time against Haiti as we continue to prepare for qualifying early next year.”
Along with the professional players, Rongen has invited in six college players, half of which will be making their first appearance at an Under-20 camp. Defender Nick Cardenas (San Diego State), midfielder Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara) and goalkeeper Joe Willis (Denver) will join defender Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara) and goalkeeper Brian Perk (UCLA), both of whom have played with the U-20s this year, and Rodrigo Hidalgo (USF) who will appear in his first U-20 camp since 2004.
The match against Haiti will be the U.S. Under-20 MNT’s tenth international match of the year. The U.S. is 3-4-2 overall this year, with wins over Argentina, Canada and Wales.
The U.S. is preparing for the 2007 Under-20 Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will take place in Mexico and Panama next year. A total of eight teams – four in each group – will be looking to progress to the 2007 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Canada.
Group A of the 2007 CONCACAF Under-20 Final Round will take place from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama. All six matches will take place at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. Group B will occur a month later from Feb. 21-25 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, which is on the Western coast of Mexico. All six matches will take place at Estadio Carlos Gonzalez y Gonzalez.
The U.S. will join hosts Panama and Mexico in the final qualifying groups, along with Guatemala, Costa Rica and three teams from the Caribbean qualification. The top two squads from each of these groups will qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22 across six cities – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby and Victoria.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team - Training Camp Roster
U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (UCLA), Joe Willis (Denver)
DEFENDERS (4): Nick Cardenas (San Diego State), Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Miguel Gonzalez (New England Revolution), Rodrigo Lopez (Chivas USA), Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (4): Rodrigo Hidalgo (USF), Quavas Kirk (L.A. Galaxy), Robbie Rogers (SC Heerenveen), Johann Smith (Bolton FC)