U.S. under-17 men
Roster for New Zealand world championship is announced.CHICAGO (October 27, 1999) -- The United States under-17 men head to New Zealand next week attempting to bring home the first FIFA world championship ever won by an American men's side of any age.
Coach John Ellinger today named his 18-man roster for the tournament that runs from November 10-27.
The roster includes three professional youths -- Landon Donovan (Bayer Leverkusen), DaMarcus Beasley (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Seth Trembly (Colorado Rapids). There are six confirmed college-bound players -- Kellen Kalso (Indiana), Jordan Cila (Duke), Bryan Jackson, Kenneth Cutler and Oguchi Onyewu (Clemson) and Delvin Countess (UCLA).
The team has been in full-time residency at the Bollettieri Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla. since January 17.
"We've looked at a lot of players over the past two years and the U-17 player pool is very rich in talent," Ellinger said. "This team is a very effective unit and we feel comfortable with the 18 chosen. This is a squad that respects everyone they play but fears nobody. There are 16 teams going into the world championship, all of which have a chance of winning the title. We have just as good a chance of winning it all as anyone else does. With this team we have the ability to get to the medal round, but our first goal is to win our group and our focus is on one game at a time."
This team is one of the most successful national teams in United States Soccer Federation history and is currently riding a 20-match unbeaten streak (16-0-4), the longest of any U.S. men's team ever. The players average 26 international appearances each and the team is 27-7-7 against international competition.
Seven of the players are from California, three from Maryland and two apiece from Virginia and Texas.
Ellinger also named five alternates; goalkeeper Martin Hutton (Spring, Tex.), midfielders Ryan Daley (Modesto, Calif.), Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) and Danny Bolin (Knoxville, Tenn.), and forward Peter Withers (Portland, Ore.).
The following is a breakdown of team by position.
Delvin Countess (Sacramento, Calif.) -- The number one goalkeeper who has started and played in every U-17 international match in 1999 posting a 10-0-3 record and a 1.15 goals-against average.
Steve Cronin (Sacramento, Calif.) -- Preserved a win and shutout, 1-0, going in as a substitute on his international debut against Sweden on November 26, 1998.
Nelson Akwari (Houston, Tex.) -- Co-captain and one of five players to play every minute (450) during the qualifying tournament. The team's best one-on-one defender, he made his international debut with U.S. under-23 team at the 1999 Pan Am Games.
Kellen Kalso (Oxford, Mich.) -- Indiana University-bound, he made his mark with the this team tallying an assist in his debut. A strong and versatile player who can play in the midfield in addition to defense.
Greg Martin (Plano, Tex.) -- Participated in every U-17 camp in 1998 and 1999. Has made 29 appearances for this team and was named a 1999 Parade High School All-American.
Oguchi Onyewu (Olney, Md.) -- The team's hardest tackler, the six-foot-two-inch defender has gone from substitute to starter in the last six months, leading the team in scoring (three goals) during the home-and-away playoff series against El Salvador to clinch qualification.
Seth Trembly (Littleton, Colo.) -- At age 17, he signed a Major League Soccer contract on August 17 and was assigned to Colorado Rapids. He started and played every minute at the qualifying tournament.
Alexander Yi (Easton, Md.) -- Considered to be one of the top youth defenders in the country, he is one of only three players to have started (or even played) in every U-17 international match in 1999. One of the U.S.'s strongest threats in the air, his two U-17 goals have come off headers on corner-kicks.
DaMarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) -- One of the quickest players on the team, he leads the U.S. in assists (6) in 1999. Helped the U.S. U-23 team to a bronze medal in the Pan Am games, playing every minute of every match, except for one game missed because of a one-game suspension following a red card. Became the youngest player to sign a Major League Soccer contract at the age of 16 years, 10 months in March.
Kyle Beckerman (Crofton, Md.) -- The team playmaker, he had eight goals and two assists in the last seven U-17 international matches. He netted a total of five goals against Paraguay and Mali, two countries that qualified for this world championship.
Kenny Cutler (Richmond, Va.) -- Co-captain, silent leader and workhorse in midfield, he played every minute during qualification and has earned 37 caps with the team. Hit a 25-yard rocket that left Italy's keeper stunned in the Americans' 1-1 draw May 19, 1998 in Salerno, Italy.
Adolfo Gregorio (Hilmar, Calif.) -- Tallied two assists in the historic U.S. 4-3 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on February 4. Made his international debut against the Solomon Islands in New Zealand last December 11.
Bryan Jackson (La Canada, Calif.) -- A tenacious and consistent midfielder, he started every match at the qualifying tournament. A 1999 Parade High School All-American scored the game-winning goal against Jamaica on July 16, 1998 and since then has gone onto earn 28 caps.
Jordan Cila (Jericho, N.J.) -- The U-17s are unbeaten (12-0) in international play when he scores a goal. Earned his first international hat-trick against El Salvador on May 9, in the U.S.'s 6-1 win in the first-leg of the two-game qualification series.
Bobby Convey (Philadelphia) -- At age 15, was the youngest player for the U.S. in the qualifying tournament. Named the 1998 Philadelphia high school player of the year as a freshman.
Landon Donovan (Redlands, Calif.) -- He is the all-time U-17 leading scorer with 32 goals in 35 matches. The U-17s are 10-0-2, when he scores two or more goals in a match. Signed with German Bundesliga's Bayer Lerverkusen in March.
Raul Palomares (Inglewood, Calif.) -- Only player named to the 1999 roster for the world championship who was not part of this year's residency program. He currently lives in Germany where he trains with FC Kaiserslautern.
Abe Thompson (Fairfax Station, Va.) -- Joined the U.S. U-17 residency program in September. He scored his first international goal just three minutes into his debut against El Salvador on May 9.