U.S. SOCCER: Rongen calls up 22 U-20s for stretch drive

U.S. under-20 national team coach Thomas Rongen has called up 22 players for the stretch drive before the World Youth Championship, scheduled to take place in the United Arab Emirates in March and April.

The U-20s face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University, then travel to Portugal on Feb. 27 for the Madeira International Tournament.

Of the 22 players called up, 20 will make the final roster.

U.S. U-18 star Arturo Alvarez, Mike Magee, Justin Moose, Drew Moor and Heath Pearce are five players who will compete in this camp after missing out on CONCACAF qualifying tournament.

Of the 18 players who were with the U-20s for qualifying last November, only Chris Lancos (University of Maryland) and No. 3 goalie Baumstark (UAB) haven't been called up. Baumstark replaced the injured Ford Williams (University of North Carolina), who is expected to be the backup to Steve Cronin.

The U-20s are led by Bobby Convey, who started for the U.S. national team in its first three games of 2003, and third-year MLS players Santino Quaranta and Ed Johnson.

No. 2 MLS SuperDraft pick Ricardo Clark (MetroStars) heads the core of players who played college ball last fall. With the signing of Clark, his MetroStars teammate, Mike Magee, and Alvarez, 11 of the 22 players are pros. Frank Simek (Arsenal, England) and David Johnson (Willem II, Netherlands) are the two foreign-based players. The 11 players still with college teams have been training in Florida since Feb. 13.

Alvarez, Simek and David Johnson will join the U-20s in Madeira. Quaranta will not travel with the team for what were termed ''personal reasons'' by U.S. Soccer.

The World Youth Championship could be postponed or moved if war breaks out in the Middle East this spring. There are rumors that FIFA plans on postponing the tournament until the fall. There were reports that the tournament would be moved to World Cup 2002 co-host Japan, though FIFA will go to great lengths to keep the tournament in the UAE.

The UAE hosts a U.S. military base and has sent troops to train with U.S. troops in Kuwait.

U.S. SOCCER: U.S. Under-20 Training Camp Roster

GOALKEEPERS

Steve Cronin (Santa Clara Univ.), Ford Williams (Univ. of North Carolina).

DEFENDERS

C.J. Klaas (Univ. of Washington), Frank Simek (Arsenal, England), Chad Marshall (Stanford Univ.), Ryan Cochrane (Santa Clara Univ.), Jordan Harvey (UCLA), Drew Moor (Furman Univ.), Heath Pearce (Univ. of Portland).

MIDFIELDERS

Ricardo Clark (MetroStars), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Ned Grabavoy (Indiana Univ.), David Johnson (Willem II, Neth.), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Justin Moose (Wake Forest Univ.), Jordan Stone (Dallas Burn).

STRIKERS

Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Devin Barclay (D.C. United), Knox Cameron (Univ. of Michigan), Eddie Johnson (Dallas Burn), Mike Magee (MetroStars), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United).

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