March 10, 2008
CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Under-23 Men’s Soccer National Team head coach Peter Nowak named the 20- player roster for 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in advance of the team’s first game against Cuba on March 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The team arrived in Tampa Sunday after a nine-day training camp in Bradenton, Fla.
Included in this group are two former Clemson players, Nathan Sturgis and Stuart Holden. Sturgis played at Clemson in 2004 and 2005 and was named All-American by Soccer America, the NSCAA (Third-Team), and College Soccer News (Second) in 2005. He was named first-team All-ACC and All-South in 2005. Sturgis was named the ACC’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2005.
Holden played at Clemson in 2003 and 2004. He was named second team All-ACC in 2004.
“We have seen many strong players over the past few months, and had some difficult decisions to make,” said Nowak. “We feel that the group of players that will compete in the qualifying tournament represent the team that gives us the best chance of going through a difficult stretch of games to advance to the Olympic Games in Beijing.”
After playing Cuba in their opening game on March 11, the U.S. will face Panama on March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and then finish Group A play against Honduras on March 15 at 7 p.m. ET. All three U.S. matches will be the second match of three doubleheaders played at Raymond James Stadium and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN Deportes.
Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20. The top two teams from Group A and B will move on to the semifinals in Nashville, Tenn., where the winners will earn berths to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN Deportes will broadcast both semifinal games live on March 20 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, and the championship match on March 23 at 5 p.m. ET. The third-place match on March 23 will be live on ESPN Deportes at 2 p.m. ET, but delayed at 3 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
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