U.S. under-23 national team coach Peter Nowak
called in 22 players for a training camp at the Home Depot Center in preparation for games in China Dec. 13 and 16 against the Chinese U-23s.
Of the 22 players, all but Furman University defender Jon Leathers
and U.S. U-17 resident keeper Zac MacMath
playing professionally in MLS or Europe.
Three U-23 players of note are playing in major European leagues and were not called up: Freddy Adu
(Portugal's Benfica), Michael Bradley
(Dutch club Heerenveen) and Jonathan Spector
(England's West Ham
Seven players on the squad made their debut at the senior international level in 2007, including European-based Charlie Davies
(Hammarby) and Sal Zizzo
The MLS contingent is led by 2007 Rookie of the Year Maurice Edu
a standout in the senior national team's recent wins over Switzerland and South Africa. Midfielder Stuart Holden
is the only U-23 to have played in the
recent MLS Cup final, having come on as a substitute for champion Houston late in its 2-1 win over New England.
Every Olympic-eligible player who played a 1,000 or more minutes in the
2007 MLS season was called up except Chicago Fire striker Chad Barrett
Seven players were part of the USA's quarterfinal run in the 2007 U-20
World Cup in Canada this past summer. Four players - Jozy Altidore
, Robbie Rogers
and Zizzo - started all five matches, while goalkeeper Chris Seitz
also stood out for the U-20s in Canada.
The U.S. is gearing up for
CONCACAF Olympic qualifying to be played March 11-23 at three U.S. venues.
Seven out of the eight participating teams having been finalized. The USA, Canada and Mexico qualified
automatically. Guatemala and Honduras advanced from the Central American Zone's qualifying tournament, and Cuba and Haiti are through from the Caribbean Zone. Panama and Costa Rica will play a
two-game home-and-away playoff series later this month, with the winner becoming the eighth team in the final round tournament. U.S. U-23
Zac MacMath (U.S. U-17 residency), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS:
Hunter Freeman (New York Red Bulls), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Jon Leathers (Furman University), Mike Randolph (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Tim Ward (Columbus
Crew), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC) MIDFIELDERS:
Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Michael Harrington
(Kansas City Wizards), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas) FORWARDS:
Josmer Altidore (New York Red
Bulls), Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Charlie Davies (Hammarby, Sweden), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96, Germany)