U.S. under-20 national team coach Sigi Schmid called up 22 players for the team's final training camp at the Home Depot Center before the U-20s attempt to qualify for the 2005 World Youth Championship.
The players will arrive into camp on Jan. 2, and Schmid will select his final 18-player roster days before the U.S. competes in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament, which will be held at the Home Depot Center Jan 12-16, 2005. The U.S. is in Group A along with Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. The top two finishers in Carson will advance to the 2005 World Youth Championship, which will be held in the Netherlands June 10-July 2.
Of the 22 players named to camp, 16 play in college, while four of which play in MLS -û Freddy Adu (D.C United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew) -- and first-choice goalkeeper Quentin Westberg plays for the Troyes ''B'' team in the French Fifth Division. Midfielder Robbie Rogers recently had a two-month trial with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands and is currently not under contract with any pro team.
Of the 16 college players, four played at Schmid's former school, UCLA. Only five players -- Westberg, Gaven, Szetela, Adu and Indiana's Jacob Peterson -- played in the 2003 Under-17 World Cup.
Defender Jonathan Spector will most likely not be able to assist the U.S. U-20s in qualifying as he is currently playing in England with the Blackburn Rovers, which recently retained his services on loan from Manchester United.
Here's a positional breakdown of the team.
GOALKEEPERS --Andrew Kartunen (Stanford) and Justin Hughes (UNC) are fighting it out for the backup job behind Westberg. Kartunen and Hughes spent the majority of the 2004 college seasons on the bench.
DEFENDERS --Patrick Ianni (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Saint Louis) and Greg Dalby (Notre Dame) are all options at central back. On the outside, Hunter Freeman (Virginia), Nathan Sturgis (Clemson) and Marvell Wynne (UCLA) will attempt to nail down spots. Freeman was the 2004 NCAA Division I leader in assists. Wynne is the son of the former baseball star of the same name. Ward and Sturgis, both 17, benefited from a year as underage players at the U-17 residency program in 2003-04.
MIDFIELDERS --Gaven, the lone player with a senior international cap, will provide an offensive bite from his central midfield position, but the amount of time he sees on the field may be limited as he is still recovering from hernia surgery he underwent in November. At the outside midfield positions, Szetela provides a formidable attack with his speed, vision and pinpoint passing on the right wing, while Alvarez brings experience on the left with 17 international caps over the past two years. Will John (Saint Louis) has made a big impact over the past two years for the U-20s as the Kansas City productÆs versatility has made him a valuable asset. He's capable of at attacking midfielder, on the wing or even up front as the lone forward. He leads the team with four goals in international play. Benny Fielhaber (UCLA), Sacha Kljestan (Seton Hall), Randi Patterson (UNC Greensboro) and Rogers may also play a role in midfield for the U-20s during qualifying. The Brazilian-born Fielhaber was one of the revelations of the 2004 college season. Kljestan is one of seven Californians in camp.
FORWARDS --At 15, Adu is the only holdover from the U.S. team that finished fifth at the 2003 World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. In the past two years with the U-20s, Adu has played in midfield and as a forward. He has appeared in nine international matches with two goals and one assist. Other options up front include Chad Barrett (UCLA), Charlie Davies (Boston College), Jacob Peterson (Indiana) and Patterson. Davies (9, 4, 22), Peterson (11, 2, 24), and Patterson (19, 8, 46) were the scoring leaders for their respective college teams. Barrett finished second in scoring for UCLA (6 goals, 10 assists, 22 points) this season. Peterson has won back-to-back NCAA Division I men's titles and scored in both finals.
U.S. Under-20 Training Camp Roster:
Goalkeepers -- Justin Hughes (Univ. of North Carolina), Andrew Kartunen (Stanford Univ.), Quentin Westberg (Troyes/FRA).
Defenders -- Greg Dalby (Notre Dame Univ.), Hunter Freeman (Univ. of Virginia), Patrick Ianni (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest Univ.), Nathan Sturgis (Clemson Univ.), Tim Ward (Saint Louis Univ.), Marvell Wynne (UCLA).
Midfielders -- Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Benny Fielhaber (UCLA), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Sacha Kljestan (Seton Hall Univ.), Robbie Rogers (free agent), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew).
Forwards -- Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Chad Barrett (UCLA), Charlie Davies (Boston College), Will John (Saint Louis Univ.), Randi Patterson (UNC Greensboro), Jacob Peterson (Indiana Univ.).