U.S. Under-23 Men to Regroup in Indianapolis for July 30 Exhibition in Preparation for Olympics
The match, which is being presented in conjunction with Soccer Services of Indianapolis and the Indiana Youth Soccer Association, will kick-off at 5:00 p.m. (CT). Tickets for this unique pre-Olympic event, which are affordably priced at $12 for adults and $8 for youths (12 and under), are available by calling TicketMaster at 317-239-5151 or logging on to their website at: www.ticketmaster.com.
The match will mark the first time the team has been together since qualifying for the Olympics with a crucial 4-0 win over Guatemala in the difficult international tournament, played in Hershey, Pa., from April 21-30. The Indy trip is also significant in that it will make up one of only two training camps planned for the team before they depart for Sydney during the first week of September.
"This game will be very telling for us," said U.S. U-23 Head Coach Clive Charles, who has led the squad to a 6-4-1 overall record in 2000 play. "It allows me one of my few last looks at the squad before the Games."
The U.S. Under-23 National Team features several players pulling double duty with the full U.S. National Team, including a pair of D.C. United teammates -- midfielder and MLS Cup ?99 MVP Ben Olsen and forward Chris Albright -- and overseas star John O'Brien of famed Amsterdam club Ajax. The young U.S. squad also includes University of Portland sophomore and 1999 NCAA Division I scoring leader Conor Casey, who leads the U-23's in scoring in 2000 with six goals and three assists.
English club Bolton Wanderers, who posted a 21-13-12 record during the ?99-'00 season, finished sixth out of 24 First Division teams but lost in a four-team playoff that would have promoted them to the English Premiership, widely regarded as one of the top leagues in the world. The team also advanced to the semi-finals of both the F.A. Cup and Worthington Cup before bowing out of each.
The U.S. Under-23 team has one prior meeting with Bolton, when the U-23 squad defeated the club's reserve team 1-0 in Manchester, England, on August 1 as part of a successful, four-game tour of England in which the USA posted a 3-1 record and outscored their counterparts 9-5.
The U.S. Under-23 team will arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, July 28 for a two-day training camp prior to the match. U.S. Soccer will likely announce the training camp roster during the week prior to the July 30 contest.
After the trip to Indianapolis, the U.S. Under-23 team will return to their respective professional teams until mid-August, when the final 18-man Olympic roster will be announced and the team will meet one last time for a training camp and exhibition to be determined.
When they arrive in Australia in September, the team will be looking to advance to the second round of the Olympics for the first time in history. Team USA, who were placed in Group C, will kick things off against the Czech Republic in Canberra on Sept. 13, the first day of Olympic competition. The team will then face Cameroon on Sept. 16 in Canberra and will meet Kuwait on Sept. 19 in Melbourne to finish the "round robin"-style group play of the opening round.