Categorized | U-20

Rongen names World Cup squad

Posted on 28 August 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has finalized the 21-player roster that will represent the United States at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup from Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt. The roster features a blend of professional and collegiate players, including two players with prior U-20 World Cup experience in UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk and FC Dallas defender Anthony Wallace.

“It’s a culmination of two years of investing and looking at players through a good training environment and playing high level games and trying to figure out which 21 eventually would represent the United States well in Egypt.,” said Rongen, who will be at the helm of his third U-20 World Cup squad.

The U.S. team will depart for Larnaca, Cyprus, on Sept. 14 and play a final tune-up against Australia before traveling to Suez, Egypt, on Sept. 21. The U.S. will open against Germany on Sept. 26 before facing Cameroon on Sept. 29 and rounding out group play against Korea Republic on Oct. 2. All three of the USA’s group matches will be played at the brand new Mubarak Stadium in Suez.

The defensive corps will be led by team captain Kyle Davies, who has become a regular in the FC Dallas starting lineup since a mid-season transfer from English club Southampton. He will be joined by club teammate Wallace and three others who return from the team’s successful qualifying campaign in March, in Gale Agbossoumonde, Aaron Maund and Sheanon Williams. That group, which posted four shutouts during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March, will be bolstered by Wake Forest’s Ike Opara.

The midfield represents an even mix of college and professional players, including two who will join the team from European clubs with Jared Jeffrey, who plays for Belgian side Club Brugge, and Norwegian-based Mikkel Diskerud, who plays for Stabek. The Houston Dynamo’s Danny Cruz and Chivas USA’s Jorge Flores round out the pro players in midfield. Rutgers University’s Dilly Duka, who had a standout performance in Trinidad & Tobago during qualifying, leads a collegiate contingent that includes Virginia’s Brian Ownby, Michael Stephens from UCLA and Notre Dame freshman Dillon Powers, who will be looking to continue a breakout year that saw him earn both the U-17/18 Development Academy and Gatorade National Boy’s Soccer Player of the Year Awards.

A pair of forwards, Peri Marosevic and Brek Shea, complete the group of five players who will represent FC Dallas in Egypt. The duo also tops the roster in career goals, with Marosevic netting five in 14 caps and Shea tallying four goals in 10 U-20 internationals. Sam Garza, who in 2008 helped lead the University of Denver to its first NCAA Tournament since 1970, and Jacksonville University’s Tony Taylor are also expected to be key members of the U.S. attack.

The U.S. will be competing in its seventh consecutive and 12th overall FIFA U-20 World Cup, previously known as the FIFA World Youth Championship. They will be looking to build upon a successful campaign under Rongen in 2007, where the Americans took the top place in what was widely considered to be the tournament’s “Group of Death” that included Brazil, Poland and Korea Republic before falling in overtime in the quarterfinals to Austria.

The U.S. qualified for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup by posting a 2-1-2 record at the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March, collecting four straight shutouts before being downed by Costa Rica in the final. Costa Rica, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago will all join the U.S. to represent the region in Egypt.

Out of the 11 appearances in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA’s best finish came during the tournament in 1989 in Saudi Arabia. With goalkeeper Kasey Keller leading the way, the U.S. advanced to the semifinals and finished in fourth place.

Roster By Position: (Detailed Roster)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham, N.C.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston, Mass.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabak; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.)

FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)

1 Comments For This Post

  1. soccer goals Says:

    Gregory Garza should have been included.

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