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Stars face first tests in Phoenix
by Paul Kennedy, December 2nd, 2009 10:45AM



[U.S. UNDER-17 BOYS] U.S. U-17 boys national team coach Wilmer Cabrera takes a new class of players for their first important test when the U.S. U-17s face teams from Brazil, Portugal and the Netherlands at the upcoming Nike International Friendlies in Phoenix.

Alfred Koroma is the only holdover from the previous class of U-17s in Bradenton.

The team arrived in Phoenix Monday afternoon to begin training, leading up to its first game against Portugal on Friday. The U-17s will then face Brazil on Saturday and the Netherlands on Monday.

All three games, held alongside the 2009 Development Academy Winter Showcase, will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel at 9 p.m. ET.

All 22 players were born in 1994, making them age eligible for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

U.S. U-17 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS: Kendall McIntosh (Mustang Academy, Fernando Piña (Houston Dynamo Academy)
DEFENDERS: Ive Burnett (Central Jackson SO), Andrew Chang (Sockers FC), Jerome Cristobal (Derby County Wolves), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer), Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey), Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew Academy)
MIDFIELDERS: Atsou Ayah (Fusion FC Tampa), Tarek Beckles (BW Gottschee), Holden Fender (North Atlanta SA), Irvin Gijon (Players Club;), Eric Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy Academy), Nicholas Melo (Florida Rush), Oscar Ortega (Aztecs Premier), Sebastian Velasquez (Arsenal FC)
FORWARDS: Mikhail Doholis (Eastside United), Kellen Gulley (MS Chicago Fire Juniors), Alfred Koroma (Solar Red); Andrew Oliver (Westside United), Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs)

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