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MLS and California well represented among new U-17 residents
by Paul Kennedy, September 11th, 2009 8:45AM

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As U.S. Soccer readies to send a team to one Under-17 World Cup, it begins preparations for another Under-17 World Cup two years from now.

U.S. under-17 coach Wilmer Cabrera welcomed 40 players for the 2009 fall semester at the Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.

A core of 25 players are in residency to prepare for the Under-17 World Cup Oct. 24-Nov. 16 in Nigeria. Sixteen players -- 15 first-semester players and holdover Alfred Koroma -- were born in 1994 and begin the two-year cycle for the 2011 U-17 World Cup.

Goalkeeper Keith Cardona and forward Victor Chavez, who are fighting for spots on the USA's 2009 U-17 World Cup team, are the only two players born in 1992 who are participating in their first semester of residency.

Cardona is one of four players from MLS's academies to join the program. The others are Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo), Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew) and Eric Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy) In addition, Kellen Gulley plays for the Chicago Fire's Mississippi affiliate. (The only holdover from an MLS program is '92 forward John Agudelo of the Red Bulls.)

Half the new '94 players hail from California. Besides the Galaxy, they represent six different clubs, four of whom are sending their first player to Bradenton.
 
"We had to bring our roster of players for this cycle down to 25, which was difficult for us, but we came down to the best 25 players that we thought can compete to make the final roster for the World Cup in October," said Cabrera. "We need to make this link between the two age groups so we're not starting over at the end of this semester and to keep the continuity of our program. The players who have been added now have the chance to learn from players who have been here for more than two years already, and that learning process will help our program."

Seventeen players were part of the U.S. team that qualified for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, where they will play Spain, Malawi and United Arab Emirates in Group E. Eleven of them are returning to Bradenton for their fifth semester.

No longer in residency one are Joseph Gyau, who is reported to be headed to German club Hoffenheim via the Vancouver Whitecaps' academy program, and Dustin Corea.

Sebastian Lletget, who was only briefly in Bradenton for U-17 qualifying, signed with West Ham's academy program.

Zambian-born Charles Renken, who has been injured and missed Concacaf qualifying, is also reported to be headed to Hoffenheim via the Vancouver Whitecaps' academy program. He is currently rehabbing at his home in Illinois.

Key:
*1st semester
**2nd semester
***3rd semester
****4th semester
*****5th semester
 
2009 FALL RESIDENCY
GOALKEEPERS:
'92 Earl Edwards (Nomads, Calif.) *****
'92 Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier, Wash.) ****
------------------------------------------------------------
'92 Keith Cardona (New Red Bulls Academy) *
'94 Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo Academy) *

DEFENDERS:
'92 Zachary Herold (West Pines United, Fla.) *****
'92 Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic, Ill.) *****
'92 Emilio Orozco (Rampage FC, Calif.) *****
'92 Tyler Polak (Capital Soccer Academy, Neb.) *****
'92 Jared Watts (North Meck, N.C.) *****
'92 Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride, Ind.) ****
'93 Jordan McCrary (Concorde Fire, Ga.) ***
'93 Boyd Okwuonu (Tulsa Thunder, Okla.) ***
'93 Michael Ambrose (Texas Fire) ****
------------------------------------------------------------
'94 Andrew Chang (Sockers FC, Ill.) *
'94 Jerome Cristobal (Derby County Wolves) *
'94 Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force, Calif.) *
'94 Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew Academy) *

MIDFIELDERS:
'92 Bryan Duran (Latino Americana, Texas) *****
'92 Carlos Martinez (Downtown Las Vegas SC, Nev.) *****
'92 Nick Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC) **
'93 Sean Davis (Matchfit Academy, N.J.) ***
'93 Luis Gil (Pateadores, Calif.) ****
'93 Alex Shinsky (SuperNova FC, Pa.) ****
------------------------------------------------------------
'94 Atsou Ayah (Fusion FC Tampa, Fla.) *
'94 Eric Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy Academy) *
'94 Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.) *
'94 Oscar Ortega (Albion SC, Calif.) *
'94 Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey) *
'94 Sebastian Velasquez (Arsenal FC, Calif.) *

FORWARDS:
'92 John Agudelo (N.Y. Red Bulls Academy) ***
'92 Andrew Craven (First Coast Kickers, Ga.) *****
'92 Stefan Jerome (West Pines United, Fla.) *****
'92 Jack McInerney (Cobb SC, Ga.) *****
'92 Dominick Sarle (BW Gottschee NYC, N.Y.) ***
'94 Alfred Koroma (Solar Red, Texas) ****
------------------------------------------------------------
'92 Victor Chavez (Real So Cal) *
'94 Kellen Gulley (Mississippi Chicago Fire Juniors) *
'94 Andrew Oliver (Westside United, Ind.) *
'94 Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs, Calif.) *



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