U.S. SOCCER: Charles names his Olympic qualifying roster

With just two weeks remaining before the first game of the CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament, U.S. under-23 men's national team head coach Clive Charles announced his final 18-player roster on April 7. After announcing a 25-man player pool one month out on March 21, Charles shaved the U.S. squad to the 18 players that are headed to Hershey, Pa., on April 17 in preparation for the tournament, which runs from April 21-30. Before traveling to Hershey, the U-23s will be in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., from April 10-17, where three alternates will join 17 of the 18 players. During the week-long training camp, the U-23s are scheduled to compete in scrimmages on April 12 against the Miami Fusion and April 15 versus a Miami select team. "These were some very tough choices I had to make," said Charles, who led the under-23s to a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games and on overall 7-4-6 record last year. "But when it comes time to play, I feel we'll be putting the best possible team out there to represent the United States and hopefully qualify for the Olympics in Sydney." Leading the charges to Hershey are experienced U.S. Men's national team midfielders Ben Olsen (D.C. United/MLS), who grew up in nearby Middletown, Pa., and John O'Brien (Ajax/Holland), who will miss the Ft. Lauderdale camp to train with his club overseas before joining up in the States on April 17. Of the 18 players on the final roster, 12 hail from California, including three players at MLS power Los Angeles Galaxy -- midfielder Sasha Victorine, defender Dan Califf and midfielder Pete Vagenas. Other former residents of the Golden State include European-based professionals Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/Germany), John Thorrington (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany) and former U-17 superstar Landon Donovan (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany). The three alternates that will train with the team in Florida are defenders Matt Chulis (Columbus Crew/MLS) and Eric Denton (D.C. United/MLS) and midfielder Brian Winters (Minnesota Thunder/A-League). This year's qualifying will mark the first time the U.S. under-23 men's team has entered a competition of this magnitude with a roster made predominantly of professional players, previously having to rely on current collegiate players and recent graduates to field a team. The CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament, which will place two finalists into the final round of 16 at the 2000 Olympics, will be played over the course of five doubleheaders from April 21-30 at the 16,000-seat Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa. Three teams will join the USA, Canada and Guatemala in the six-team tournament once preliminary qualification is complete on April 9, at which point the order of all match-ups will be determined by CONCACAF. The United States, as part of Group C, received a bye into the final round of qualification as the host federation. Meanwhile, Canada and Guatemala earned a ticket to central Pennsylvania upon finishing first and second in Group A competition, which was completed on March 25. Groups B and C are in the middle of round-robin play that began on April 4 and will end April 9. The top two teams from Group B and the winner of Group C will advance to the final round. 2000 U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team Final Roster CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament April 21-30, 2000/Hershey, Pa.
Name Pos. Birthdate Ht. Wt. Hometown Club
Albright, Chris F 01/14/79 6'1" 185 Philadelphia, Pa. D.C. United/MLS
Beasley, DaMarcus M 05/24/82 5'7" 135 Fort Wayne, Ind. Chicago/MLS
Brown, Adin GK 05/27/78 6'4" 200 Pleasant Hill, Calif. Colorado/MLS
Califf, Danny D 03/17/80 6'1" 185 Orange, Calif. Los Angeles/MLS
Casey, Conor F 07/25/81 6'1" 170 Gilpin, Colo. University of Portland
Cherundolo, Steve D 02/19/79 5'6" 145 San Diego, Calif. Hannover 96/Germany
Corrales, Ramiro D 03/29/77 6'1" 170 Salinas, Calif. MetroStars/MLS
DiGiamarino, Joey M 04/06/77 5'11" 160 Corona, Calif. Colorado/MLS
Donovan, Landon F 03/04/82 5'8" 140 Redlands, Calif. Bayer Leverkusen/Germany
Dunseth, Brian D 03/02/77 6'0" 170 Upland, Calif. New England/MLS
Howard, Tim GK 03/06/79 6'1" 195 N. Brunswick, N.J. MetroStars/MLS
McCarty, Chad D 10/05/77 5'11" 175 Clovis, Calif. Tampa Bay/MLS
O'Brien, John M 08/29/77 5'9" 150 Playa del Rey, Calif. Ajax/Holland
Olsen, Ben M 05/03/77 5'8" 140 Middletown, Pa. D.C. United/MLS
Thorrington, John M 10/17/79 5'8" 150 Palos Verde, Calif. Bayer Leverkusen/Germany
Vagenas, Peter M 02/06/78 5'8" 160 Pasadena, Calif. Los Angeles/MLS
Victorine, Sasha M 02/02/78 6'2" 180 Carmichael, Calif. Los Angeles/MLS
Wolff, Josh F 02/25/77 5'10" 160 Stone Mountain, Ga. Chicago/MLS
Brown, Chris F 03/10/77 5'11" 165 Portland, Ore. Kansas City/MLS
Chulis, Matt D 08/29/77 5'10" 155 Central Islip, N.Y. Columbus/MLS
Denton, Eric D 02/08/78 5'9" 160 Manteca, Calif. D.C. United/MLS
Kirk, Andy GK 10/03/77 6'0" 175 Milwaukee, Wis. Tampa Bay/MLS
Parra, Carlos M 02/03/77 6'1" 175 West Haven, Conn. New England/MLS
Whitfield, Evan D 06/23/77 5'11" 160 Glendale, Ariz. Chicago/MLS
Winters, Brian M 12/31/77 5'10" 172 Tacoma, Wash. Minnesota/A-League
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