Fifteen collegians selected to play in Under-20 World Cup

Fifteen prospective '07 U.S.-based collegians -- seven for the USA, six for New Zealand and two for Canada -- will be playing at the Under-20 World Cup, which starts Saturday in Canada.

UCLA leads all teams with three players, and defending champion UC Santa Barbara and Dartmouth have two.

Soccer America MVPs Julian Valentin (Wake Forest) and Sal Zizzo (UCLA) were among seven prospective '07 collegians who were called up by U.S. under-20 men's national team coach Thomas Rongen.

Three other '06 collegians -- MVP Chris Seitz (Maryland), Anthony Wallace (South Florida) and Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara) -- signed with MLS clubs in January.

New Zealand brought six collegians to Canada -- including Michael Boxall and Sam Jenkins, who will enroll as freshmen at defending national champion UC Santa Barbara. Junior-to-be Kiwi Aaron Clapham has transferred from St. Francis (Pa.) to Louisville, where his former coach at St. Francis, B.J. Craig, is now an assistant.

Host Canada has a long tradition of tapping into the U.S. college ranks for youth team players.

Besides Alex Elliott (Portland) and Tousaint Ricketts (Wisconsin-Green Bay), who had a hat tick in a 4-0 win over the U.S. U-20s earlier this month, Canada's U-20 roster includes Michael D'Agostino, who left Kentucky after completing his junior season in 2006 and has been training in England, and backup goalie David Monsalve, who spent part of the 2006 season with NAIA power Mobile.

Both South Korea (6 players) and Japan (1) have players on their U-20 rosters from university teams in their respective countries.

U-20 COLLEGIANS:
USA
Steve Sandbo UCLA sr.
Julian Valentin Wake Forest sr.
Sal Zizzo UCLA jr.
Andre Akpan Harvard soph.
Tony Beltran UCLA jr.
Brian Perk UCLA soph.
Ofori Sarkodie Indiana soph.

New Zealand
Aaron Clapham Louisville jr.
Craig Henderson
Dartmouth jr.
Dan Keat
Dartmouth soph.
Kieran Purcell
Evansville soph.
Michael Boxall UC Santa Barbara fr.
Sam Jenkins UC Santa Barbara fr.

Canada
Alex Elliott Portland jr.
Tosaint Ricketts Wisconsin-Green Bay jr.

Next story loading loading..