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Olympic coach Nowak goes with experience
by Paul Kennedy, July 18th, 2008 11:30AM



Lack of experience won't be an issue with the U.S. Olympic men's soccer team. The 18-player squad selected by Coach Peter Nowak includes 12 players who have experience at the full national team level, including Brian McBride, who has played in three World Cups.

One player headed to the English Premier League and another player returning from the EPL head the 18-player Olympic men's roster as overage selections made by Coach Nowak.

Brad Guzan, whose deal to join EPL club Aston Villa is in the process of being finalized, was called up to play in goal, while 35-year-old Brian McBride, who played in three World Cups, is looking to return to MLS from English club Fulham.

New England defender Michael Parkhurst, the third overage player, will step into the lineup in the middle of the backline.

The U.S. roster features 12 players who have experience at the full national team level, including the three youngest players on the team, Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. Adu and Altidore are both 18, almost half of McBride's age.

Of the players who started Canada in the 3-0 victory in March that clinched a berth in the finals, only two won't be headed to China. Jonathan Spector and Dax McCarty have both been injured.

(McCarty is one of four alternates along with Frankie Hejduk, a veteran of the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, Robbie Findley and goalie Dominic Cervi.)

Michael Bradley, who did not participate in U-23 qualifying, joins the team for the finals.

Eight different leagues from around the world are represented on the U.S. roster, including Major League Soccer, which sends 10 players from six different teams. The Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC each send a pair to Beijing.

The U.S. will begin its final preparations for the Olympics on Sunday with six days of training in Palo Alto, Calif. The team will then depart for Hong Kong, where it will participate in the ING Cup, facing fellow Olympic participants Ivory Coast on July 30 and Cameroon on Aug. 2.

The USA faces Japan Aug. 7 in its Group B opener in Tianjin.

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis/MEX), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu (Benfica/POR), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen/NED), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Danny Szetela (Brescia/ITA).
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal/SPA), Charlie Davies (Hammarby/SWE), Brian McBride (out of contract), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew).



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