CHICAGO (Dec. 14, 2004) — Tickets for the Under-20 world championship qualifying tournament taking place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from January 12-16, 2005, go on sale nationally this Friday (Dec. 17) at 10 a.m. PT. The four-team, Group A qualifying tournament will feature the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, along with Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $10 to $24 will be 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.
The CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship will consist of three doubleheaders, with each team playing on January 12, 14, and 16. The U.S. U-20s, who are attempting to qualify for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship, play the second match on each day and open against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 12 before facing Panama on Friday, Jan. 14. The U-20s wrap up the tournament against Costa Rica on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The top two finishers in Carson will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands from June 10-July 2, 2005.
While a roster for the qualifying tournament will not be announced until early January, head coach Sigi Schmid has a deep pool (players born since January 1, 1985) to chose from that includes a blend of MLS players, European professionals and the top college players in the nation.
Despite a few exclusions due to injury or club commitments, the final 18-player qualifying roster will be selected out of the 30 players currently taking part in the Under-20 camp this week at The Home Depot Center. Of the 30 players in camp, 24 are in college while six are professional players, four of which play in Major League Soccer – Freddy Adu (D.C United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew). The final two professional players are goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who plays for ESTAC Troyes in the second division in France, and Jay Denny of Stoke City in the English first division.
Two of the Under-20’s top players – midfielder Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and defender Jonathan Spector (Manchester United) – were not available for this camp and may not be available for the qualifying tournament. Gaven is still recovering from hernia surgery that he underwent after the MLS season and Spector is in season with Manchester United.
The other qualifying group, Group B, consists of Honduras, Mexico, Canada and Jamaica, and will be played from Jan. 26-30 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The top two teams from each group’s qualifying competition will advance to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
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.
CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament – The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif. – Group A
January 12-16, 2005 (Carson, Calif.) – All Times PT
Wednesday, Jan. 12
5:30 p.m Costa Rica vs. Panama
8 p.m. USA vs. T&T
Friday, Jan. 14
5:30 p.m. T&T vs. Costa Rica
8 p.m. USA vs. Panama
Sunday, Jan. 16
12 p.m. Panama vs. T&T
2:30 p.m. USA vs. Costa Rica