Fourteen Project-40 players and six guest players will meet in Manchester, England on December 2 for the first-ever Project-40 international tour under the direction of U.S. Pro-40 Select Head Coach Lothar Osiander and assistant coach Frank Yallop.
The team will play five matches against reserve squads from the Premier League and the First Division to culminate the MLS offseason training abroad for the players.
Following a successful 1998 MLS season, D.C. United midfielder and Bandai Rookie of the Year Ben Olsen will suit up in the U.S. Pro-40 Select uniform for the first time as a member of the Project-40 team. He will join the squad in Manchester on Dec. 5, after playing in the second leg of the Interamerican Cup for United.
Joining Osiander and his club as guest players are Chicago Fire forward Tony Kuhn and defender Rich Kotschau, Colorado Rapids midfielder Ross Paule, Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Steve Jolley, Dallas Burn goalkeeper Matt Jordan and New England Revolution forward Johnny Torres.
Six players will miss the tour due to injuries: San Jose keeper Andy Kirk (strained lower back disk), Colorado midfielder Joey DiGiamarino (strained lower back and hamstring), Miami midfielder Alen Kozic (recovering from torn ACL), Columbus forward Brian West (recovering from torn meniscus), New England forward Jamar Beasley (strained knee) and Chicago forward Josh Wolff (abdominal groin strain).
In addition, MetroStars keeper Tim Howard, who trained at AC Milan during Project-40's international training session, has returned to the U.S. and will be with the U-20 national team during its camp Dec. 9-16 in Richmond, Va.
Here is the Project-40 roster:
Goalkeepers -- Matt Jordan (Dallas Burn), Matt Napoleon (Miami Fusion).
Defenders -- Ubusuku Abukusumo (Columbus Crew), Brian Dunseth (New England Revolution), Rich Kotschau (Chicago Fire), Chad McCarty (Tampa Bay Mutiny), Scott Vermillion (Kansas City Wizards).
Midfielders -- Jose Botello (Los Angeles Galaxy), Judah Cooks (D.C. United), Nino Da Silva (Kansas City Wizards), Steve Jolley (Los Angeles Galaxy), Carlos Parra (Miami Fusion), Ross Paule (Colorado Rapids), Esmundo Rodriguez (San Jose Clash), Tim Sahaydak (unassigned).
Forwards -- Tony Kuhn (Chicago Fire), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Eric Quill (Tampa Bay Mutiny), Barry Swift (MetroStars), Johnny Torres (New England Revolution).
The team's match schedule is as follows:
Dec. 5 -- Manchester United reserves
Dec. 8 -- Sheffield Wednesday reserves
Dec. 11 -- Sunderland reserves
Dec. 16 -- Everton reserves
Dec. 19 -- Manchester United reserves
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