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U.S. men

Adu, Donovan lead roster of 30 for January training camp.

(Tuesday, December 20, 2005) -- Freddy Adu gets a chance to make the case he belongs on the United States World Cup team when coach Bruce Arena opens a training camp January 4 at the U.S. Soccer Federation's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Arena named 30 players to the training roster today and will use those players for a series of friendly matches in January and February. All but one of the invitees play in Major League Soccer.

"We eagerly look forward to seeing our domestic players," Arena said in a USSF press release. "We want to do the best job we can of making the roster as competitive as possible over the next six months so we can position our team to be successful in the World Cup. We view this camp and the games in January and February as critical towards our preparation for Germany."

The 2006 World Cup runs from June 9 to July 9 in Germany.

The U.S. opens the 2006 schedule by hosting Canada January 22 at Torero Stadium in San Diego. On January 29, the Americans will take on Norway at Home Depot Center.

The U.S. will play Japan for only the second time ever February 10 at SBC Park in San Francisco. The Americans will also travel to play Germany March 22 at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Friendlies against unspecified opponents at sites to be determined are planned for February 19 (probably at home) and March 1 (expected to be in Europe).

American European-based players would probably be summoned for any games overseas.

Adu, 16 has been billed as the next American superstar but, after playing two seasons for D.C. United in MLS, has yet to play for the U.S. men. Interestingly, Adu is still eligible to play for his native Ghana, a first-round opponent of the Americans in the World Cup, but the midfielder has declared he is only interested in representing the U.S.

Adu is one of five players making their debut for Arena, along with defenders Todd Dunivant and Ugo Ihemelu, striker Nate Jaqua and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Midfielder\forward Landon Donovan is the most prominent name on the training roster. He led the Americans with both six goals and six assists in 2005, giving him 18 points. He and defender Eddie Pope are the most capped players on the roster with 73 appearances, followed by defender Frankie Hejduk, who has 68.

Pope and Hejduk are the only invitees who has appeared in two World Cups.

The two 2005 MLS Cup finalists contributed the most players to the 30 with the league champion Los Angeles Galaxy and runnerup New England Revolution sending five men apiece. In addition to Donovan, Galaxy defender Chris Albright returns after making seven appearances in 2005, the most of his international career.

Meanwhile, the Revolution sends a regular quartet of attacking players, led by midfielder Steve Ralston. Ralston, a 31-year-old who had 17 international appearances from 1997-2004, tied Donovan for playing in the most games for the U.S. in 2005 with 15. Ralston had two goals and threee assists this year.

Striker Eddie Johnson returns after missing five months with a toe injury. Johnson, who had three goals and one assist in six games in 2005, became the first player in the U.S. men's history to score in his first four games. He has eight goals and an assist in nine career caps.

Heath Pearce is the only player to be invited to this camp from overseas. The defender for FC Nordsjślland in Denmark, made his U.S. debut in the 1-1 draw against Scotland November 12 in Glasgow. He is available because the Danish Superligaen has shut down for the winter break.

Arena called four goalkeepers into camp, including both starters from MLS Cup 2005 -- the Galaxy's Kevin Hartman and New England's Matt Reis. Brad Guzan becomes the first player ever called from Chivas USA to a U.S. camp.


U.S. training camp roster
(teams in parentheses; all teams from MLS, unless otherwise noted)

Goalkeepers (4): Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Jonny Walker (Columbus Crew).

Defenders (8): Chris Albright (Los Angeles), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City), Todd Dunivant (Los Angeles), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus), Ugo Ihemelu (Los Angeles), Chad Marshall (Columbus), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjślland, Denmark), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake).

Midfielders (12): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Ricardo Clark (Houston), Clint Dempsey (New England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Kyle Martino (Columbus), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Pat Noonan (New England), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United), Steve Ralston (New England).

Forwards (6): Brian Ching (Houston), Nate Jaqua (Chicago), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Chris Rolfe (Chicago), Taylor Twellman (New England), Josh Wolff (Kansas City).

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