U.S. under-17 national team head coach John Hackworth welcomed eight new players for the ninth year of U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The semester kicked off at the beginning of January, but a few players were on trial, giving Hackworth and his staff time to evaluate which players would be invited into the program full-time.
A majority (25) of the players in the 40-player program were born in 1990 and will be vying for a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualifying Tournament April 21-29, along with Canada, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and host Jamaica The U.S. is the only country that has qualified for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. The 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18-Sept. 9.
Some of the new players were brought because they are to have a chance of helping the USA in qualifying. Others were brought in as long-term prospects.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.), Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), David Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill.).
DEFENDERS (9): *Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), *Brice Carr (Mequon, Wis.), *Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Christian Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.).
MIDFIELDERS (16): *Eder Arreola (Chino Hills, Calif.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), *Chris Cummings (Chatsworth, Calif.), Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Ryan Gracia (Rockville, Md.), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Axel Levry (Fort Washington, Md.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Matthew Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).
FORWARDS (11): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Abdus Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), *Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), *Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.), Israel Sesay (Gaithersburg, Md.), *Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.).