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Eight Mexican-based players called up
June 30th, 2010 4:49AM

TAGS:  mexico, under-20 world cup, youth boys


[U.S. UNDER-20 MEN] Eight players based at pro clubs in Mexico were called up by Thomas Rongen for the U.S. under-20 national team camp that runs through Monday in San Jose.

Such is the diversity of players available for selection that 11 are based abroad. Besides the eight in Mexico -- three at Monterrey and one at Tigres, Morelia, Cruz Azul, Santos and Guadalajara -- one player each from clubs in Brazil, Costa Rica and Portugal are in camp.

There are also 10 players from the college ranks, including the starting goalkeepers for each of the last two U-17 World Cups in Earl Edwards (who will be a freshman at UCLA) and Zac MacMath (Maryland).
U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS: Earl Edwards (UCLA), Zac MacMath (Univ. of Maryland), Justin Perez (Monterrey/Mexico)
DEFENDERS: Cristian Flores (Monterrey/Mexico), Greg Garza (Sporting/Portugal), Sacir Hot (Boston College), Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Albertson SC), Aubrey Perry (Univ. of South Florida), Gerardo Saavedra (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Zarek Valentin (Univ. of Akron), Ethan White (Univ. of Maryland)
MIDFIELDERS: Kevyn Batista (Desportivo Brasil/Brazil), Steven Birnbaum (Univ. of California), Victor Garza (Tigres/Mexico), Ernest Nungaray (Morelia/Mexico), Moises Orozco (Real So Cal), Dillon Powers (Univ. of Notre Dame), Roberto Romero (Cruz Azul/Mexico); Conor Shanosky (D.C. United Academy)
FORWARDS: Julio Cesar Castillo (Monterrey/Mexico), Adam Jahn (Stanford Univ.), Ronald Medrano Williams (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Adrian Ruelas (Santos/Mexico), Omar Salgado (Guadalajara/Mexico)

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 8:31 a.m.
    Looks like Rongen is finally worried about his job. Better late than never Thomas but I wouldn't sign any long term leases if I were you !!!!!!!!

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 12:57 p.m.
    Maybe there is a storm brewing at US Soccer? If the heads roll, let them roll from top to bottom. The soccer public in this nation has matured faster than USSF. It is time for fresh ideas, and I don't want the good ol' boys trying to muscle their way to the front of the parade. It is time for them to step aside.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 1:53 p.m.
    WOW, AND HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! Eight, -ocho - players based and playing in Mexico and other based in Brazil, Costa Rica and Poprtugal have been called up by Mr. Rongen, is in and of itself a MIRACLE!!! This fina and fantastico, but I do have one burning question and that is how come these players - I will assume grew up in the US? - are NOT playing in the MLS, or before they decided to go pro in the countries of their parents' birth, were recruited to at least play college ball? WHY IS IT, IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN, that we all "rush to close the barn gate after the horses, have all escaped?" Lastly, thank you Mssrs. Froelich and Anderson for your comments, as I in full 100% agreement with you! Indeed, fresh ideas are sorely needed from the very top down. (Actually, I must tell you that US Soccer President, Sunil gulati has been in favor of reaching into the communities, inner cities, etc., but for some reason or other, the good old boy network is far too imbedded in the US Coaching ranks, yet "hope springs eternal! Change is inevitable!)

  1. Felix Moyano
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
    It's interesting how this enormous and beautiful country of ours proclaims its 'diversity' to the world but our U.S. National soccer team looks more like the U.S. Olympic Hockey team. U.S. Soccer will begin to make important strides in soccer once we realize EVERYONE (Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc.) get serious consideration for the Men's National team. And please stop shoving English-based coaches down our throats and depending upon their 'expertise' for our contry's futbol development. As far as I'm concerned they've done nothing in the past 44 years (and counting) to merit such distinction. Gracias!

  1. Christian Navarro
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 5:01 p.m.
    change is coming with this latin flavor...this means the style of play will change as well and for the better! No longer will we have to employ the long ball technique! Now, only if we keep taping into our latin roots and another question I would like to pose is why is it that a lot of these kids get picked up by Mexican teams and not MLS?

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 30, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.
    To Felix Moyano and Christian Navarro: Muchas gracias for your insightful comments. Funny, have you noted that this item has received only five - cinco - comments? And Christian, you and I or of kindred spirit as I also wondered why they haven't been picked up by MLS teams? FYI and averyone else who will sort of "wander" to this page, there is an organization, presided by the son of US soccer's president who is actuall in the business of identifying US born or US resident players and "marketing" to teams of the Mexican Primera league, e.g. those teams listed after the player's name. I wonder also, why he isn't "marketing" them not only to the MLS but also to US colleges and universities. Answer to this is the obvious "economic" angles, read this dinero for the organization. Lastly, and where are the portavoces, coices, of the much touted radio-tv program "Futbol de Primera," on all this, and why haven't they made some hay from this???

  1. David Huff
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 4:11 a.m.
    Yo Christian and Ric, Its a pretty simple case of economics as to why these players play abroad, the Mexican Primera League is the highest-paying league in the Americas, paying much more than Brasil or Argentina and absolutely blowing away MLS which presently can't compete when team salary cap is $2.3 million total (not counting the use of the 3 DPs which eats into some of the cap money). Its simple $ question until such time that MLS payscale/cap allowance goes up we will continue to lose homegrown talent to Europe and Mexico where the lucrative opportunities are much better.

  1. Terence Chu
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 4:39 a.m.
    Mix the technique and flair of Mexican soccer with the toughness and never say die attitude of US soccer and you've got a formula that will take us to the semi-finals next time around.

  1. Scott Nelson
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 4:52 a.m.
    When I was playing soccer in the 80's, the teams I played on that mixed Latin, European, and American players could almost always beat a homgenous team that was all one flavor. I agree with Terrance. Maybe not about the semifianls part, but at least about performing better at the top level. Interesting though that the African flavor of recent youth teams seems to be absent, at least looking at the names

  1. Michael Romeo
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
    What I find most amazing about this news is that Thomas Rongen is still coaching!

  1. Guy Berg
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.
    Diversity should be assumed and expected. I am disappointed to hear that there is concern about the ethnic backgrounds of players. However, given the number of youth involved in soccer in the U.S., I am also amazed that there is not better talent being selected for the US teams. In general, the coaching and selection process in the youth programs has a long way to go. I seldom see true teaching of game situation tactics and field strategies. When soccer youth coaching and selection processes catch up to baseball, hockey and basketball the USA will get to the next level of consistent global competitiveness.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.
    Rongen needs to go and an overhaul of the development system must take place...what is, is not working...U-17 coach must stay, he's a class act and knows how to develop talent. It seems that Mexico has better talent scouts in the U.S. and know what they're doing.

  1. Art Robles
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 11:17 a.m.
    No kidding about Thomas Wrongagain. I can't stand how the US keeps trotting this testaments to mediocrity as our youth coaches. Starting at the U17s, this is when the team should be learning the tactical side of the game. This is when players and systems should be fitted. Wrongagain can't do it. VERY interesting that one of the call ups is a Chivas man. Wonder if this will make him not Mexican enough to stay on the team.

  1. Mark Ellis
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 11:47 a.m.
    I agree with the statements so far; more diversity in the players and Mr. Huff is correct that it's all about economics. The MLS is one of the poorest paying leagues in the world. Not much reason to play here if you're a talented player and the salary is much higher elsewhere. And please; no more coaches for our National Teams from the US. Before you counter that Rongen is "from Holland and not from the US", realize he never played for the first team while with Ajax. The majority of his football was played here in the American leagues. Let's employ someone who has won some worldly titles and has experience training/coaching world football.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
    TO David Huff: Thanks for your pointing out the economic part of the MLS. I agree that the central ownership of the league hamstrings youth player selection and or development. Cripes some of my college students make more $ in financial aid than some of the youth players that MLS has! And GUY BERG, you should be concerned about the ethnic background of the youth players, just do a little research and you'll see just home much short shrift has been given to the inner city - and yes, some suburban - players of ALL colors. How many Asian Americans (save Ching and one or two others in MLS?) As for Mexican temas having scouts in the US, this is or has been taken over by a US-based group, headed by the son of the former US Soccer president who provides this service and not pro-bono either! Finally! I agree with Felix Moyano that we need to STOP having English (or for that matter Argentine) coaches down our throats. I firmly believe that the US now has a very large pool of qualified US born, trained, and experienced coaches. Here's an idea: why don't we send these coaches on an all-US Soccer paid - coaching symposion in Holland, Germany, Brasil, etc? Lastly, I am glad that SA saw fit to have this item for everyone to read and comment.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 1:09 p.m.
    For my education, could someone tell me if this (the large number of Mexican based players) ever happened before?? I don't want to get "all conspiratorial" but isn't this a REAL COINCIDENCE that as a new coach is being talked about along with a new direction towards ethnic players, we have Mr. Rongen suddenly seeing the light!!!

  1. N J F
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 2:29 p.m.
    It is nice to know that we have players with US availability playing in a quality league like the premera. I agree with Mr. Ellis about economics, too. I wonder if Reyna's appointment had anything to do with the recognition of developing talent in Mexico.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.
    A warm thanks to Ric and Mark, it certainly helps to be around youth soccer in SoCal, where you hear discussions of where talented youth players are headed. The kids are pretty smart in figuring out where the $$$ aare to be made and thus the departures to Mexico and entry-level clubs in Europe such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc. I think our youth system needs to be vastly revamped so that it can produce technically gifted players such as other countries. To me the model is not Mexico but rather Brasil which produces the world's best players. A lot of this is because of the futsal training that Brasilian kids are exposed to when they are younger, 9-13 yrs. old. This training maximizes touches on the ball which produces great ball comfort and technique. It is this type of training that should be introduced into our youth system that will make us a world powerhouse.

  1. Bertrand Hamilton
    commented on: July 1, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.
    Ball possession! Ball possession with some strategic American muscle can take us a long way.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: July 2, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.
    I definitely agree with Huff about trying to model our youth systems to those of Brazil. It's been a long time coming that there needed to be some changes on all levels of our youth systems, I would agree that we need to keep U-17 coach Cabrera. I don't know about some of the comments about diversity in our teams, I would agree with Latin players but saying we lack African Americans I would definitely disagree. I also wonder why you are disappointed with these kids going to the Primera and Europe. They make more money PLUS the main reason I want them out of the MLS is because those players that leave develop technically faster than those here. Great example, Torres, never played in the MLS is one of the more technical players we have on the squad. I also can't stand that the MLS is one of two leagues where the league own the rights to the players so they control when a player can leave to go overseas. I hope that our young and promising players skip the MLS and go straight to Europe or the Primera.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 3, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
    TO JAMES FROELICH: In my humble opinion (or not...) the number of Latino/Mexican players being called up by Rongen is NOT coincidence. As David Huff tells it, I've been in So Calif/Los Angeles since 1970 and since then it has been totally mind-boggling to time and again see Latino soccer players be continuosly ignored by the coaches, not just for college, but for the then fledging pro leagues. And JARLAN BARTLAM is also correct in his keen commentary, BUT I must emphasize here that the Torres, Gomez, etc., ended up going to Mexico is BECAUSE some MLS coaches don't think too highly of these guys. Just please keep in mind what happened to H. Gomez: after not resigned by the Galaxy he was shopped around and went to another MLS (don't remember which one) team, and when he wasn't resigned by that team, his agent shopped him in Mexico where he signed with Puebla. His success there is well documented and it's why he was all of a sudden "called up" for a look-see by BB a few scant months/weeks before the FIFA team deadline together with Torres! And as for Claudio Reyna's appointment, absolutely NO, his main task, according to Sunil Gulati is to ID and select up and coming young talent, in the inner sity, and urban and suburban areas of the US and (hopefully) use his European training experiences, and MAYBE employ the Brasilian model, he is to bring these players up through the ranks. Finally, Mr. Rongen is not new to the situation at hand, he is very much aware of the dearth of Latino players) and he could've done something about it many months if not years ago. So is it "coincidence?" Maybe, but I think not. Itis about doggone time!!!

  1. Reuben Valles
    commented on: July 9, 2010 at 12:39 a.m.
    Personally, i dont think there is anything wrong with our current style of play. No we are not an elite 4 or 5 team in the world yet, but we are a very good team. Round of 16 berths are nothing to scoff at. That is a real accomplishment. We can do better, but lets not turn our backs on a true accomplishment. Now i am totally ready for a little more flair, but at this point we havent found the right hispanic player who can play with the fitness level needed. For instance, Torres is a tremendous talent, but he does not possess the ability/fitness yet to run the field in the manner that is required. He is a small and slow. We need another Feilhaber type player who has size, speed, fitness, and a little more technical ability. Torres has the technical ability, but lacks the size, strength, and speed. I hope everyone realizes that although the Brazilians have technical ability ooozing out their ears, they also have one of the largest teams in the world sizewise. They are a big strong group. As is Germany. Brazil is not good because of latin flair. They have size and technical ability, again like the Germans. I only mention this because i love Torres, but i am not blinded to his inadequacies. The US is a good team and i do not believe a whole change in philosophy and style is required. They need a few more athletes with technical ability. Guys in 2002, we tied the Germans in the quarter finals if not for a blown call. I dont mention this to bring up sour grapes, but it needs to be realized that our current style and method is not as poor as most would try and make us believe. I do realize we need to improve, but the glass is a little more full than it is empty....thats all i am saying.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 10, 2010 at 6:27 p.m.
    With one game to go, and after reading the articles on Xavi's experience with Barcelona since he was 11 (plus other) maybe we should take a page from the book and apply it to our teaching techniques? We DO have players right here in the US with very good technical ability and individual skills, players that have been largely or by design, ignored by the US Soccer coaching cadres, in the inner cities where we have the "barrios" and "ghettos" and even in the affluent urban-suburban and agricultural areas. And REUBEN VALLES, size does not mean jack diddly (cf Puyol, or Iniesta) and as for Torres being that, "small and slow," have you seen the same Torres I've seen? On the other hand you have Findley, who is small, yet fast, couldn't do jack! So what is the solution to all of this? The ENTIRE US Soccer coaching cadre needs a complete revamping and restructuring, and it ain't something that will change over night, I know, I speak from experience because this is something that has been on the back burner on simmer, and someone has NOT stirred the pot since the 1980s. So it is about time to raise the temperature, get a good cook to take charge of the pot, give a good stirring and serve an excellent stew of quality, skilled, and technical players. All you gotta do is to go shopping in your own back yard. And so, hope does spring eternal!

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