Dec. 30, 2003
CHICAGO, Ill. - U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick today announced a 25-player roster that includes Santa Clara University junior goalkeeper Steve Cronin for a two-week training camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
The camp will mark the team's final preparation before heading down to Guadalajara, Mexico for the final round of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 2-12, 2004.
"I'm really looking forward to this camp because it's the very first time that we have what we believe is the pick of the pool together," said Myernick, who led the team to an undefeated international record of 4-0-2 and overall record of 5-1-3 in 2003. "It's been two years since we first got together, so we're excited about this (full camp). I believe at one point the pool was 42 names, but now we're inviting 25 players, of which we can pick 20 for Mexico. The fastest way to build this team is just to play together."
The strongest group of players to be assembled since the first U-23 camp in January 2002, the roster is led by U.S. Men's National Team and 2002 World Cup stars Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, who last played for the U-23s in a 3-1 win over Mexico in Guadalajara back on May 14. The former U-17 and U-20 teammates faced off against each other in Carson just over a month ago, with San Jose topping Chicago 4-2 for the 2003 MLS Cup title.
Donovan was a key member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that exceeded expectations and advanced to the medal round and a record fourth-place finish in Sydney. The 21-year-old San Jose Earthquakes forward, who was just 18 at the time, scored the clinching goal in the 88th minute of a 3-1 win over Kuwait that helped the U.S. not only advance to the second round for the first time in history, but win Group C with a 1-0-2 record. Earlier that year, Beasley was a part of the U.S. team that posted a 2-1-1 record and finished second at the 2000 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hershey, Penn., earning one of two CONCACAF berths for the Olympics.
The roster includes another veteran of the 2000 Under-23 squad in German-based forward Conor Casey, who will be making his first appearance with the team since the 2000 Olympics. Then just a sophomore at the University of Portland for U-23 head coach Clive Charles, the 6'2" striker was an enormous presence up top throughout the competition. Since then, he's been competing professionally in Germany, where he scored four goals in FC Karlsruher's final seven games before the winter break, giving him six on the season.
In addition to veteran forwards Casey and Donovan, the camp also boasts the team's three leading scorers in 2003 in forwards David Testo (Richmond Kickers - USL), Edson Buddle (Columbus Crew) and Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United). Testo, who earned A-League Rookie of the Year honors with six goals and two assists, led the team with eight points (3 g, 2 a), including two goals and an assist in the team's 4-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis on Nov. 19. Buddle, who finished 11th in MLS scoring with 10 goals and four assists, finished second on the U-23s with seven points (3 g, 1 a), including two goals in the team's 6-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis on Nov. 15. Eskandarian, the 2003 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick, finished third on the team with six points (2 g, 2 a).
The roster also features the return of defender Jose Burciaga, Jr., who has recovered from the second of two severe knee injuries that forced him to miss most of his third and all of his second season with the Kansas City Wizards. Before his injury in 2003, he played in five matches for the U.S. U-23s, helping the team to a 1-1-1 record in a trio of exhibitions against reserve teams from Portugal's first division and draws against Russia and Portugal at the at the Vale de Tejo Tournament.
Continuing to pull double duty for U.S. Youth National Teams, midfielders Ricardo Clark (MetroStars) and Bobby Convey (D.C. United) and forward Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn) rejoin the U-23s after spending the end of the year with the U.S. Under-20s, helping them to an impressive fifth place finish at the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. Johnson led the U-20s in scoring at UAE '03, becoming the first U.S. player to claim Golden Boot honors with his four goals and one assist. Convey notched a pair of goals as the team's captain and playmaker, while Clark appeared in all five games as defensive midfielder.
A pair of collegians also dots the roster in goalkeeper Steve Cronin and defender Chris Wingert. Cronin has been the U-20 starting goalkeeper for the last two years and recently earned All-Tournament honors at UAE '03 by posting three wins (including two shutouts) and a 1.20 Goals Against Average. Cronin also led Santa Clara to the Final Four of the NCAA Men's College Cup in Columbus, Ohio, where they were edged 1-0 by eventual champion Indiana. Wingert and his St. John's team made it a step further, falling 2-1 to the Hoosiers in the national championship game. The 2003 Big East Defender of the Year is one of three finalists for the M.A.C./Hermann Award, which goes to the nation's top Div. 1 player and will be awarded on January 9.
Notably absent from the camp roster are Belgium-based defenders and normal U-23 starters Oguchi Onyewu (R.A.A. Louviere) and Alexander Yi (Royal Antwerp F.C.), who will remain in Europe for Winter Break.
The U.S. Under-23 MNT began the road to the 2004 Olympics in November, where they defeated the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis in the second round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying by an aggregate score of 10-0 in a home-and-home series after receiving a bye in the first round.
At the final round of qualifying in Mexico, the USA will play all three Group A matches at Estadio Tres de Marzo, facing Panama first on Tuesday, Feb. 3, followed by matches against Canada on Thursday, Feb. 5 and Honduras on Sunday, Feb. 7. Kickoff times have yet to be determined for any of the final round matches, but all U.S. games can be followed by fans live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The tournament opens on Feb. 2 with Group B action featuring Costa Rica, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the host nation at Estadio Jalisco. The top two teams from each group will meet in the single-elimination semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Estadio Jalisco, with the winner of Group A meeting the second-place team from Group B, and the winner of Group B meeting the second-place team from Group A. The two semi-final winners will earn automatic berths to Athens 2004 and meet in the final on Feb. 12.
GROUP A (All matches at Estadio Tres de Marzo)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local)
Feb. 3 Canada vs. Honduras TBD
Panama vs. USA TBD
Feb. 5 Honduras vs. Panama TBD
Canada vs. USA TBD
Feb. 7 Canada vs. Panama TBD
Honduras vs. USA TBD
GROUP B (All matches at Estadio Jalisco)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local)
Feb. 2 Costa Rica vs. Jamaica TBD
T&T vs. Mexico TBD
Feb. 4 Costa Rica vs. T&T TBD
Jamaica vs. Mexico TBD
Feb. 6 T&T vs. Jamaica TBD
Costa Rica vs. Mexico TBD
SINGLE ELIMINATION (All matches at Estadio Jalisco)
Date Match-up Kickoff (local)
Feb. 10 Semi #1 (A1 vs. B2) TBD
Semi #2 (A2 vs. B1) TBD
Final / Third Place
Date Match-up Kickoff (local)
Feb. 12 Semi Losers TBD
Semi Winners TBD
U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team Roster
|Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5'9"||140||05/24/82||Fort Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Beckerman, Kyle||M||5'10"||155||04/03/82||Crofton, Md.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Borchers, Nat||D||6'2"||175||04/13/81||Pueblo, Colo.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Buddle, Edson||F||6'1"||170||05/02/81||New Rochelle, N.Y.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Burciaga, Jr., Jose||D||6'1"||165||11/16/81||Duncanville, Texas||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Carroll, Brian||M||5'10"||155||07/20/81||Springfield, Va.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Casey, Conor||F||6'2"||190||07/25/81||Gilpin, Colo.||F.C. Karlsruher (Germany)|
|Clark, Ricardo||M||5'10"||150||05/10/83||Jonesboro, Ga.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Convey, Bobby||M||5'9"||155||05/27/83||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Countess, D.J.||GK||6'1"||185||01/09/82||Sacramento, Calif.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Cronin, Steve||GK||6'2"||190||05/28/83||Fair Oaks, Calif.||Santa Clara (NCAA Div. 1)|
|Davis, Brad||M||5'11"||165||11/08/81||St. Charles, Mo.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Donovan, Landon||F||5'9"||155||03/04/82||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Eskandarian, Alecko||F||5'9"||165||07/09/82||Montvale, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Gaven, Eddie||M||6'0"||145||10/25/86||Hamilton, N.J.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Gray, Kelly||D||6'2"||170||04/07/81||San Jose, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Johnson, Eddie||M/F||6'0"||180||03/31/84||Palm Coast, Fla.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Lewis, Ricky||D||6'0"||170||05/29/82||Spring, Texas||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Martino, Kyle||M||5'10"||145||02/19/81||Westport, Conn.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Pause, Logan||M||5'10"||155||08/22/81||Hillsborough, N.C.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Stokes, David||D||6'3"||200||05/28/82||Dumfries, Va.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Testo, David||F||5'10"||160||08/07/81||Arden, N.C.||Richmond Kickers (A-League)|
|Thompson, Scot||D||6'0"||180||02/11/81||Rancho S. Margarita, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Warren, Doug||GK||6'0"||195||03/18/81||Hoffman Estates, Ill.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Wingert, Chris||D||5'10"||160||06/16/82||Babylon, N.Y.||St. John's University (NCAA Div. I)|
- U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team Staff -
Head Coach: Glenn "Mooch" Myernick
Assistant Coach: Thomas Rongen
Assistant Coach: Ralph Perez
Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen
Team Coordinator: R.J. Noto
Trainer: Dave Andrews
Equipment Manager: John McDonald
Press Officer: Bryan Chenault