June 18, 2007
CHICAGO (June 15, 2007) – United States Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named the 21-player roster that will represent the U.S. at the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada, from June 30-July 22. The roster features 14 professional players, the most ever for a U.S. Under-20 World Cup team, and is led by three-time U-20 World Cup participant Freddy Adu and high-scoring forward Josmer Altidore, the youngest player on the team at age 17.
“We looked at about 80 players and narrowed it down to 21,” said head coach Thomas Rongen. “”We feel that through playing games in qualifying and through camps, that we have a good handle on this age group and that we’ve made some great selections for this team to go forward and hopefully do something special during the World Cup.”
Former Clemson player, Nathan Sturgis will be making his second appearance for the United States in the U20 World Cup. Sturgis played in the U20 World Cup in the summer of 2005. The U.S.lost to Italy in the second round. In the three matches in this tournament, against Argentina, Germany, and Egypt, the U.S. did not give up a goal during his play in the back, and Sturgis named the game’s MVP against Egypt.
The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil.
The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup will be broadcast live on ESPNU, and can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. Each game will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN360.com.
Roster By Position: GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew) MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (F.C. Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas) FORWARDS (6): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Johann Smith (Bolton F.C.), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)
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