Youth National Teams: Three U.S. squads to compete at U.S. Soccer Festival

Three of U.S. Soccer's top youth national teams -- the U-18 boys, U-17 boys and U-16 girls -- will compete in the United States Amateur Soccer Association's "U.S. Soccer Festival '99" next week in Portland, Oregon. The fourth annual tournament, which includes men's and women's teams from all four USASA regions, will be staged from August 2- 7, with all games played at the Tualatin Hills Recreation Center. Each U.S. national team will play a total of four games. The U.S. U-18 boys' national team, which holds a 10-3-4 record on the year, is led by midfielder and captain Ian Joy (West Lothian, Scotland). Joy, whose father played with Coventry City and Blackburn in England and later went on the play in America for the San Diego Sockers, recently signed a professional contract with Tranmere Rovers of the English First Division. Several players on the U-18 squad -- goalkeeper Doug Warren (Indiana), defender Kevin Wickart (Wake Forest), and defender Jonathan Weimer (UAB) -- are headed to NCAA Division I colleges in the fall. Coach Mitch Murray will be looking to improve on the team's 1-2-2 performance in their last competition, the Terborg International Tournament in Holland. The U.S. U-17 boys' national team, which recently qualified for the 1999 FIFA Youth Championship in New Zealand in November, will be trying to extend their unbeaten streak in international competition to 15 games when they face Canada's U-17 national team on Aug. 4. The U-17s have not lost a game since Aug. 30, 1998. The Under-17 squad is led by two players -- midfielder DaMarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and defender Nelson Akwari (Houston, Texas) -- that are currently with the U.S. U-23 national team competing in the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. The U-17s will be without the services of superstar forward Landon Donovan, who is headed to Germany after the Pan Am Games, where he is playing with his new Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen. Coach John Ellinger, the winningest U.S. U-17 coach of all-time with a 21-7-7 international record (or a .686 winning percentage), has guided the team to a 12-8-4 overall record in 1999. The U.S. U-16 girls' national team is coached by former U.S. women's national team star April Heinrichs. The U-16s finished third in their last competition, the United States Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program international tournament in February. Look for defender Jessica Ballwig, midfielder Susan Flamini and forward Lindsay Tarpley to lead the charges as the teenagers try to maintain the success of their women's national team role models. In past tournaments, U.S. teams have done very well, with an overall 17-6-4 record over the last two years in which they have been involved, including a 11-1-3 record and two championships in 1997 and a 6-5-1 record in last year's tournament, which did not include overall championship games. Here's a look at the three U.S. rosters for the tournament:

U-18 Boys

Goalkeeper -- Doug Warren (Hoffman Estates, Ill.). Defenders -- Abe Geiger (East Lansing, Mich.), Leonard Griffin (Littlerock, Calif.), Matt Oliver (Waldorf, Md.), Mark Stephenson (Miami), Jonathan Weimer (Hoover, Ala.), Kevin Wickart (Lisle, Ill.). Midfielders -- Guy Abrahamson (Livingston, N.J.), Ian Joy (West Lothian, Scotland), Ryan Kelly (Marlton, N.J.), Kyle Martino (Westport, Conn.), Carlos Morales (North Hollywood, Calif.), Logan Pause (Hillsborough, N.C.), Zach Tallman (Gig Harbor, Wash.). Forwards -- Brad Davis (St. Charles, Mo.), Carlos Espinosa (East Islip, N.Y.), Ryan Gibbs (West Chester, Pa.).

U-17 Boys

Goalkeepers -- Delvin Countess (Sacramento, Calif.), Steve Cronin (Sacramento, Calif.). Defenders -- Nelson Akwari (Houston), Kellen Kalso (Osford, Mich.), Greg Martin (Plano, Texas), Oguchi Onyewu (Olney, Md.), Seth Trembly (Littleton, Colo.), Alexander Yi (Easton, Md.). Midfielders -- DaMarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Kyle Beckerman (Crofton, Md.), Kenneth Cutler (Richmond, Va.), Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.), Adolfo Gregorio (Hilmar, Calif.), Livio Gross (Aarau, Switzerland), Bryan Jackson (La Canada, Calif.), Raul Palomares (Inglewood, Calif.). Forwards -- Jordan Cila (Jericho, N.Y.), Bobby Convey (Philadelphia, Pa.), Abe Thompson (Fairfax Station, Va.).

U-16 Girls

Goalkeepers -- Sarah Lombardo (Long Beach, Calif.), Megan Rivera (Miami). Defenders -- Jessica Ballweg (Meluchen, N.J.), Kathryn Beal (Alexandria, Va.), Katie Bunch (St. Louis), Amanda Burke (Spring, Texas), Jamie Fabrizio (Carmel, Ind.), Kristen Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.). Midfielders -- Carmen Bognanno (Wildwood, Mo.), Ashley Casas (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Susan Flamini (Cranford, N.J.), Kayla Lockaby (Hamilton, Ohio), Leslie Osborne (Menemonee Falls, Wis.). Forwards -- Emily Colvin (Birmingham, Ala.), Lindsay Gusick (Livonia, Mich.), Kelly McDonald (Littleton, Colo.), Natalie Sanderson (Ventura, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.).
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