Friday, March 26, 2010

Dallas Cup Super Group Preview US Men's National Team

Dallas Cup Super Group Preview: US Men's National Team
By Daniel Robertson

Led by Head Coach Thomas Rongen and Assistant coach and former Dallas Burn Head Coach Dave Dir, the US Men's Under 20 National Team returns to the Dallas Cup Super Group after a six year absence from the tournament. Led by a team full of future professionals like Freddy Adu and Eddie Gaven, the US Youth national team's last appearance in 2003 saw them advance all the way to the championship game losing 2-1 to Tigres in an epic final.

While many of the European based players were not released from their club teams for the tournament, the U20 roster is full of players hungry and eager to impress coach Rongen as they being preparations for the 2011 Youth World Cup in Colombia. The Yanks will be looking to rebound from a disappointing appearance at the Copa Chivas in late January that saw them go 0-3-2 in matches against youth teams of Pachuca, Tigres, Brazil, Atlast and Saprissa.

The roster features a mix of six players at professional club teams, ten players at D1 college programs and four players on youth clubs. The team's strength lies in the center of the midfield with Amobi Okugo, Will Packwood, Cesar Zamora , and hometown product Dillon Powers . Okugo, who made his professional debut with Philadelphia Union just last night, will be available just for the Mexico game, but looks to boss the midfield with his strong play. Zamora, a Chivas USA Academy product who was promoted to the first team in May 2009, is a strong and imposing defensive midfielder with good range and silky passing.

Those midfielders will be looking to get the ball to two speedy wingers in Ruben Gonzalez and Francisco Navas Cobo. Navas Cobo, recently signed to the Houston Dynamo, and Gonzalez, a Chivas USA Academy product, are wide attacking players with lots of skill and ability to take their defenders one on one as well as put in dangerous crosses.

At the top of the attack will be a player that US Soccer fans are fairly familiar with in Virginia forward Will Bates and one that fans will get their first look at in Tigres forward Moises Orozco as well as Duke forward Ryan Finley.

The USA defense features three Akron products in Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin and Chad Barson as well as Wake Forest defender Jared Watts and three club team players in Jesus Gonzalez from fellow Dallas Cup participants CZ Elite, Tyler Polak from CSA Legacy and Ian Hines-Ike from the Chivas USA Academy.

The Yanks open up with the showpiece game of the group stage with their 6PM Pizza Hut Park showdown against archrival Mexico. They continue group play in a very intriguing matchup against Vancouver Whitecaps at 2PM on Monday at PHP field #6 before finishing group play in another Pizza Hut Park stadium game against Germans Eintracht Frankfurt at 6PM on Wednesday.

Stay tuned to the Dallas Cup for the final two team previews of Chelsea and Mexico as we have just 2 days until the start of Dallas Cup XXXI with our Pizza Hut Park stadium tripleheader featuring Tottenham vs Dallas Texans at noon, FC Dallas vs Chelsea at 2PM, our opening ceremonies at 4PM and USA taking on Mexico at 6PM.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster By Position:

Goalkeepers: Justin Luthy(Boston College), Zac MacMath(Maryland)

Defenders: Chad Barson(Akron), Jesus Gonzalez(CZ Elite), Ian Hines-Ike(Chivas USA Academy), Tyler Polak(CSA Legacy), Kofi Sarkodie(Akron), Zarek Valentin(Akron), Jared Watts(Wake Forest)

Midfielders: Jose Altamirano(San Diego State), Bryan De La Fuente(Chivas USA Academy), Ruben Gonzalez(Chivas USA Academy), Amobi Okugo(Philadelphia Union), Will Packwood(Birmingham City), Dillon Powers(Notre Dame), Cesar Zamora(Chivas USA)

Forwards: Will Bates(Virginia), Ryan Finley(Duke), Francisco Navas Cobo(Houston Dynamo), Moises Orozco(Tigres)

Past Super Group previews

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice, you gonna have video of the US matches, especially the US vs Mexico and US vs Vancouver?

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