U.S. Olympic men
Friedel, Victorine added to roster, replacing injured Brown, Armas,
|Brad Friedel now will be the United States Olympic men's starting goalkeeper after replacing injured Adin Brown.|
Coming on the heels of the withdrawal of Brown, the projected starting keeper, from the team yesterday because of leg injuries, the Armas decision left two open spots -- one under-23 and one "over-age" -- on the final roster, which must be submitted by a Friday deadline.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed that Chris and Adin won't be joining us in Sydney," Charles said. "I'm sorry for them, and I'm sorry for us, but we're bringing in a world-class keeper in Brad and a versatile midfielder in Sasha."
Armas, arguably the best defensive midfielder in the country, suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee while helping the U.S. men defeat Barbados 7-0 in a World Cup qualifying match on August 16 at Foxboro Stadium near Boston. The injury, which came on a vicious tackle from behind in the midfield, was similar to an MCL sprain that he suffered last year on the same knee.
To fill the third and final "over-age" spot and certainly to take Brown's spot in the starting lineup, Charles called on the experienced Friedel, the second most-capped goalkeeper in U.S. men's history with 66 international appearances. The 6-foot-4 Friedel started all three first round games of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as an under-23 player and is a two-time U.S. World Cup veteran from USA ‘94 and France ‘98.
The Bay Village, Ohio, native has spent the last three seasons with heralded Liverpool of England’s Premier League with Liverpool, one of England's most heralded clubs. Prior to his stint in England, Friedel was considered the top goalkeeper in Major League Soccer over the league's first two seasons (1996-97), where he competed for the Columbus Crew and earned "Goalkeeper of the Year" honors in 1997. A three-time All-American at UCLA, Friedel first made a name for himself on the pro level with famed Turkish club Galatasaray, where he spent the 1995 season.
Also a UCLA alumnus, Victorine has earned six caps with the under-23 men and was on the bronze medal-winning Pan American Games team last summer. A groin injury kept him off the U-23 squad that qualified for the Olympics back in April, but he has gone on to have a stellar rookie season with the MLS’s Galaxy, where he has registered three goals and five assists in 25 games.
With the addition of Friedel and Victorine to the squad, the final roster features four UCLA alums, the most of any college, and three players from the Galaxy, the most of any MLS team.
The team will head to San Diego Monday afternoon for their final camp before departing for Sydney via Los Angeles next Wednesday night.
Goalkeepers: Brad Friedel (Bay Village, Ohio, Liverpool, England), Tim Howard, 21 (New Brunswick, N.J., MetroStars, MLS), Matt Napoleon, 22 (Feasterville, Pa., Columbus Crew, MLS).
Defenders: Jeff Agoos, 32 (Dallas, D.C. United, MLS), Danny Califf, 20 (Orange, Calif., Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS), Ramiro Corrales, 23 (Salinas, Calif., MetroStars, MLS), Brian Dunseth , 23 (Upland, Calif., New England Revolution, MLS), Chad McCarty, 22 (Clovis, Calif., Tampa Bay Mutiny, MLS), Evan Whitfield, 23 (Phoenix, Chicago Fore, MLS).
Midfielders: Joey DiGiamarino, 23 (Corona, Calif., Colorado Rapids, MLS), Frankie Hejduk, 26 (Cardiff, Calif. Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), John O’Brien, 22 (Playa del Rey, Calif., Ajax Amsterdam), Ben Olsen, 23 (Middletown, Pa., D.C. United, MLS), Pete Vagenas. 22 (Pasadena, Calif, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS), Sasha Victorine (Carmichael, Calif., Los Angeles Galaxy).
Forwards: Chris Albright, 21 (Philadelphia, D.C. United, MLS), Conor Casey, 19 (Denver, University of Portland), Landon Donovan, 18 (Redlands, Calif., New England Revolution, MLS), Josh Wolff, 23 (Stone Mountain, Ga., Chicago Fire).
Notes: The men’s Olympic competition is for under-23 national teams with three players allowed to exceed the age limit. A third goalkeeper is kept on the roster (Matt Napoleon), but does not count against the 18-player limit. He can be activated only if one of the two other keepers is sidelined by injury.