Saturday, August 28, 2010

Young Guns Get Ready for Peru

The US Soccer Federation recently released the list of players who will be playing in a four-team U-20 tournament in Peru. The US will play Paraguay September 6th, Colombua September 8th, and Peru September 10th.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Samir Badr (F.C. Porto; Fairfax, Va.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.)

DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (S.C. Braga; Syracuse, N.Y.), Anthony Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA; Bell, Calif.), Christian Flores (Club Tijuana; El Cajon, Calif.), Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), Emilio Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Korey Veeder (Crystal Palace Baltimore; St. Petersburg, Fla.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Victor Garza (Tigres; Edinburg, Texas), Kevin Huezo (C.F. Pachuca; Santa Ana, Calif.), Francisco Navas Cobo (Houston Dynamo; Richmond, Texas), Ernest Nungaray (Monarcas Morelia; National City, Calif.), Moises Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Conor Shanosky (D.C. United; Sterling, Va.), Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA; Sylmar, Calif.)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.Y.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Adrian Ruelas (Santos Laguna; Fontana, Calif.), Omar Salgado (Portland Timbers; El Paso, Texas)

Notice anything special about that roster?

Nope, it's not that only 8 of the 20 players are holdovers from the Milk Cup that the US won last month.

Nope, it's not that there are more players from Tigres (3) than any other team and as many from Mexico's Primera Division as MLS (5).

Nope, it's not that there are 6 players plying their trade in Europe (3 from Portugal, 2 Germany, 1 from England).

But those are all very close!

This is the first time in history that a United States youth team has been made up entirely of professional players. With no disrespect meant to the college programs out there, this is a big step for the US development program. Young players now have the respect and ability to earn roster spots on teams competing in professional leagues and aren't forced to try to improve in a system where they are already better than 99% of the players they match up against. That's a huge advantage for the future of American soccer teams.

Good luck kids.

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