CHICAGO (December 20, 2006) – Studio 90, ussoccer.com’s popular web show that debuted at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, has branched into an area of international soccer never seen before with “Roster Spot,” a two-part series that goes behind the scenes into the intense selection process for a FIFA World Championship qualifying roster.
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is currently training in Bradenton, Fla., with 26 players working to earn a spot on head coach Thomas Rongen’s 20-man roster that will try to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup next July in Canada. The camp runs through Saturday, Dec. 23, and Rongen will announce his final roster on Saturday, Dec. 30, the same day “Roster Spot” will conclude its two-part series on ussoccer.com.
In “Roster Spot,” ussoccer.com will follow the real-time story of three players as they try to make an impression and earn a spot on the USA roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama in January. Fans will see the decisions and reactions of coaches and players as they happen, from the training ground to the meeting rooms. For the first time ever, fans of U.S. Soccer will see how these difficult decisions are made.
The three players being highlighted in “Roster Spot” are forward Andre Akpan, defender Anthony Beltran and defender Julian Valentin.
U-20 Caps: 0
Roster Spot: Forward
Despite having no previous youth national team experience, the Harvard forward scored 11 goals during his freshman season and was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year to earn an invite to the final camp.
U-20 Caps: 5
Roster Spot: Outside Defender
As a central midfielder at UCLA, Beltran recently helped guide the Bruins to the NCAA championship game and will try to show the U.S. coaches he's versatile enough to make the transition to outside back.
Wake Forest University
U-20 Caps: 8
Roster Spot: Central Defender
Coming off a strong collegiate season in which he led Wake Forest to the final four of the College Cup, Valentin returns to the national team fold after previously being a member of the U.S. Under-17 team that competed in the 2003 FIFA World Championship in Finland.
Studio 90 made its debut during the FIFA World Cup in Germany (watch) to rave reviews, airing 23 daily shows that highlighted the detailed intricacies of a team’s World Cup experience for the first time. The groundbreaking show has since followed with multiple episodes from the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (watch) in Oneonta, N.Y., in August, and the 2006 Nike Friendlies (watch) in Bradenton, Fla., in early December. Unlike anything ever produced, Studio 90 has defined itself as a source for unrivaled behind-the-scenes access throughout U.S. Soccer, telling stories with intense detail and trademark humor.
STUDIO 90 presents “ROSTER SPOT”
Wednesday, Dec. 20
Episode One: Judgment Days
Saturday, Dec. 30
Episode Two: The Games
- Watch Each Episode of Studio 90’s “Roster Spot” on ussoccer.com -