BRENT LATHAM - Friday, August 28, 2009
Bryan Arguez will miss out in Egypt
US Soccer has announced the 21-player roster which will compete in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt beginning late next month.
Coach Thomas Rongen stuck mainly to the squad he used for the qualifying tournament earlier this year in Trinidad and Tobago, in which the Americans finished second after dropping the final match to Costa Rica, 3-0.
The roster includes 17 of the 21 players that comprised that team. The most notable exception is former DC United midfielder Bryan Arguez, who is currently on the books at Hertha Berlin, but has not made an appearance in over a year.
Included in the selection was midfield dynamo Mikkel Diskerud of Norwegian team IF Stabaek, as well as European based holding midfielder Jared Jeffrey of Club Brugge in Belgium. That pair is likely to see extended time along with Danny Cruz of the Houston Dynamo and Dilly Duka, formerly of Rutgers University.
Rounding out the midfield choices are speedster Brian Ownby of the University of Virginia, and newcomers Dillon Powers from Notre Dame and Michael Stephens from UCLA. Jorge Flores from Chivas USA and FC Dallas regular Kyle Davies could also see action in the midfield or on the back line.
Like Duka, defender Sheanon Williams is without a club after leaving the University of North Carolina earlier this year. The pair will be hoping to impress European scouts at the tournament, and secure a contract somewhere on the old continent.
Anchoring the defense will be the imposing presence of Gale Agbossoumonde, who recently signed a professional contract with Traffic Sports of Brazil, and currently lines up for USL 1 team Miami FC. Also included in the defense is old standby Anthony Wallace, along with 'keeper Brian Perk the only holdovers from the 2007 squad that made the quarterfinals in Canada.
The forwards will be led by FC Dallas pair Brek Shea and Peri Marosevic, the team's leading scorers this cycle. Sam Garza of Denver University, and Tony Taylor, who has been trialing in Europe over the last few months, round out the attacking options.
The team will have a tough challenge from the start, as they take on European champions Germany in their opening match on September 26th in Port Suez. South Korea and Cameroon complete the Americans' imposing group.
The team will hope to improve on the Americans' best ever finish at an U-20 event, which came in 1989 when Kasey Keller led the team to a fourth place spot in Saudi Arabia.
US Roster for 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Johnson, Sean Central Florida (NCAA)
Lambo, Josh FC Dallas (MLS)
Perk, Brian UCLA (NCAA)
Agbossoumonde, Gale Miami FC (USL)
Davies, Kyle FC Dallas (MLS)
Maund, Aaron Notre Dame (NCAA)
Opara, Ike Wake Forest (NCAA)
Wallace, Anthony FC Dallas (MLS)
Williams, Sheanon Unattached
Cruz, Danny Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Diskerud, Mikkel Stabaek (Norway)
Duka, Dilly Rutgers (NCAA)
Flores, JorgeChivas USA (MLS)
Jeffrey, Jared Club Brugge (Belgium)
Ownby, Brian Virginia (NCAA)
Powers, Dillon Notre Dame (NCAA)
Stephens, Michael UCLA (NCAA)
Garza, Sam Denver (NCAA)
Marosevic, Peri FC Dallas (MLS)
Shea, Brek FC Dallas (MLS)
Taylor, Tony Jacksonville (NCAA)