Schmid Will Choose Final 18-Player Roster Before Qualifying Tournament;
U.S. Will Face T&T, Panama and Costa Rica at The Home Depot Center;
Fans Can Follow All Three U.S. Matches on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker
CHICAGO (Dec. 30, 2004) – United States Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Sigi Schmid named the 22 players that will participate in the team’s final training camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., before the U.S. Under-20 MNT attempts to qualify for their fifth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship.
Of the 22 players named to camp, 16 are in college while five are professional players, four of which play in Major League Soccer – Freddy Adu (D.C United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew). The final professional player is first-choice goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who plays for ESTAC Troyes in the second division in France. Midfielder Robbie Rogers, who recently had a two-month trial with PSV Eindhoven in Holland, is currently not under contract with any professional team.
The players will arrive into camp on Jan. 2 and Schmid will select his final 18-player roster days before the U.S. competes in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament, which will also be held at The Home Depot Center, from Jan 12-16, 2005. The U.S. is in Group A along with Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. The U.S. will open against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. PT before facing Panama on Friday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. PT. The U-20s wrap up the tournament against Costa Rica on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2:30 p.m. PT. Fans can follow all three games on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The top two finishers in Carson will advance to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be held in Holland from June 10-July 2.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $10 to $24 are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), by calling 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles), 714-740-2000 (Orange County) or 619-220-8497 (San Diego), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
“Despite the short window we had to choose our team for the qualifying tournament, I’m confident the players we are bringing in will provide us with the best opportunity to finish in one of the top two positions and advance to the world championship,” said Schmid, who was named the U.S. U-20 MNT head coach in late October. “Going up against Trinidad & Tobago, Panama and Costa Rica will be a difficult challenge, but it is one the players are looking forward to meeting head on.”
With four professionals available to play the inside and outside midfield positions, the U.S. will look to lead from the center of the field. While only being 15 years of age, Adu is one of the most experienced international players on the team as he was part of the U.S. Under-20 MNT that had a remarkable run at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, finishing in fifth place. In the past two years with the U-20s, Adu, who has played in midfield and as a forward, has appeared in nine international matches with two goals and one assist.
Gaven will provide an offensive bite from his central midfield position, but the amount of time he sees on the field may be limited as he is still recovering from hernia surgery he underwent in November. At the outside midfield positions, Szetela provides a formidable attack with his speed, vision and pinpoint passing on the right wing, while Alvarez brings experience on the left with 17 international caps over the past two years.
On defense, Westberg is the first-choice goalkeeper as his international experience in France and with the U.S. Under-17 MNT has pushed him to the lead in caps for goalkeepers this year with 10 international appearances for the U-20s.
Defender Jonathan Spector will most likely not be able to assist the U.S. U-20s in qualifying as he is currently playing in England with the Blackburn Rovers, who recently retained his services on loan from Manchester United this past week.
Out of the 16 college players invited into camp, a total of 12 schools from six conferences are represented. The Pacific-10 Conference leads the way with five players (four from UCLA), followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with four, the Big East with three and Conference USA with two. The two remaining – Big Ten Conference and Southern Conference – each have one representative.
There are a number of college players that will be looking to solidify the defensive line in front of Westberg and backup goalkeepers Andrew Kartunen (Stanford) and Justin Hughes (UNC). Patrick Ianni (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (St. Louis) and Greg Dalby (Notre Dame) are all options at central back, with Dalby and Ward also possible fixtures in midfield. On the outside, Schmid has the benefit of choosing from three solid defenders in Hunter Freeman (Virginia), Nathan Sturgis (Clemson) and Marvell Wynne (UCLA).
In midfield from the college ranks, Will John has made the most impact over the past two years for the Under-20s as the St. Louis product’s versatility has made him a valuable asset to the team. John is capable of playing a number of positions on the field, including as an attacking midfielder, on the wing or even up front as the lone forward, performing at a high level every time to lead the team with nine points (four goals, one assist) in international play.
Benny Feilhaber (UCLA), Sacha Kljestan (Seton Hall), and Randi Patterson (UNC-Greensboro) may also play a role in midfield for the Under-20s during qualifying, as all three made an impact in the final camp of 2004 to earn one of the 22 spots.
Schmid will have an array of weapons up front with the ability to choose from Chad Barrett (UCLA), Charlie Davies (Boston College), Jacob Peterson (Indiana) and Patterson, who could also see time as a forward. Barrett finished second in scoring for UCLA with 22 points (six goals, 10 assists) this season, while Davies (22 points - nine goals, four assists), Peterson (24 points - 11 goals, two assists), and Patterson (46 points – 19 goals, eight assists) were the scoring leaders for their respective squads.
Since taking over the reigns of the Under-20s in late October, Schmid has gone undefeated (6-0) with impressive victories over CONCACAF counterparts Mexico (2-1) and Honduras (2-0) in Fort Lauderdale in November and two 1-0 victories over Canada at the HDC in December, increasing their overall record in 2004 to 12-7-6.
In Carson, the U.S. will open play on Jan. 12 against Trinidad & Tobago, who defeated Cuba 6-5 in aggregate in the Caribbean Zone to advance to the final round of qualifying. The U.S. holds a 7-2-0 record against Trinidad & Tobago in world championship qualifying, with a substantial goal differential of 26-5.
The USA’s second match on Jan. 14 pits them against Panama, a team they have never faced in U-20 qualifying. Panama advanced to the final round by finishing second in the Central American Zone behind Costa Rica, who is the third and final team the U.S. will face on Jan. 16. The U.S. and Costa Rica have met eight times in qualifying and the series is tied up at 2-2-4, with the U.S. holding a slight edge in goal differential, 7-6.
The other two CONCACAF representatives to the 2005 FIFA WYC will come from CONCACAF U-20 Group B as Honduras will host Mexico, Canada and Jamaica in San Pedro Sula from Jan. 26-30, 2005.
This marks the second straight time that U.S. Soccer will host an Under-20 qualifying tournament, as just two years ago the U.S. hosted the 2003 Under-20 Group B qualifying tournament in Charleston, S.C. Before that, the U.S. hadn’t hosted the event since 1980.
This will be the first time any U.S. Youth National Team will play at The Home Depot Center, site of U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center. The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have both played matches at The Home Depot Center.
Under-20 Men’s National Team
Training Camp/2005 CONCACAF Qualifying
January 2-17, 2004
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club / College
Adu, Freddy F 5’8 150 06/02/89 Potomac, Md. DC United
Alvarez, Arturo M 5’9 170 06/28/85 Houston, Texas San Jose Earthquakes
Barrett, Chad F 5’11 180 04/30/85 Beaverton, Ore. UCLA
Dalby, Greg D 6’0 175 11/03/85 Poway, Calif. Notre Dame University
Davies, Charlie F 5’10 160 06/25/86 Manchester, N.H. Boston College
Feilhaber, Benny M 5’9 150 01/19/85 Irvine, Calif. UCLA
Freeman, Hunter D/M 5’11 170 01/08/85 Allen, Texas University of Virginia
Gaven, Eddie M 6’0 145 10/25/86 Hamilton, N.J. Metrostars
Hughes, Justin GK 6’0 165 04/23/85 Wake Forest, N.C. University of North Carolina
Ianni, Patrick M 6’1 175 04/15/85 Lodi, Calif. UCLA
John, Will F/M 5’10 155 06/13/85 Overland Park, Kan. St. Louis University
Kartunen, Andrew GK 6’1 175 02/07/85 San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Stanford University
Kljestan, Sacha M 6’1 150 09/09/85 Huntington Beach, Calif. Seton Hall University
Patterson, Randi F 5’10 170 04/16/85 Hackensack, N.J. UNC – Greensboro
Peterson, Jacob F 5’10 160 01/27/86 Portage, Mich. Indiana University
Phelan, Patrick D 6’1 175 01/16/85 Enfield, Conn. Wake Forest University
Rogers, Robbie F 5’9 135 05/12/87 Palos Verdes, Calif.
Sturgis, Nathan D 5’10” 150 07/06/87 St. Augustine, Fla. Clemson University
Szetela, Danny M 5’11 170 06/17/87 Clifton, N.J. Columbus Crew
Ward, Tim D 6’0 160 02/28/87 Waukesha, Wis. St. Louis University
Westberg, Quentin GK 6’1 180 04/25/86 Paris, France ESTAC Troyes (FRANCE)
Wynne, Marvell D 5’10 170 05/08/86 Poway, Calif. UCLA
U.S. U-20 MNT Staff
Position Name Residence
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Assistant Coach: Dave Dir Addison, Texas
Assistant Coach: Mike Lapper New Albany, Ohio
Assistant Coach: Peter Vermes Overland Park, Kan.
Coordinator: Erik Carlson Long Beach, Calif.
Doctor: Scott Powell Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Trainer: Jeff Thomas Chicago, Ill.
Trainer: Mike Overturf Aurora, Ill.
Massage Therapist: John Zecopolis Charleston, S.C.
Equipment Manager: Mike Manning Newbury Park, Calif.
Press Officer: Neil Buethe Chicago, Ill.