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U.S. under-17 men

Roster for Florida residency is trimmed to 40 players.

BRADENTON, Fla. (Wednesday, January 31, 2007) -- United States under-17 men's coach John Hackworth announced today the roster of the 40 players who constitute the ninth class of the U.S. Soccer Federation's full-time residency program for that age group at IMG Academy.

Players arrived at the beginning of the month, but there were several on trial, so the final 40 was not determined until today.

"Once again, we scoured the country to find the best players available at this age group and feel we've invited the cream of the crop into residency," Hackworth said in a USSF press release. "We've brought in a number of players born in 1990 that we feel can help us as we attempt to qualify for the World Cup in April, while we've also invited in a couple of impressive younger players that we believe will benefit from the daily training and continue to develop."

There are eight news players in the program which consists mostly of those born in 1990 and 1991. Striker Charles Renken, born in 1993, is the youngest player in residence with defender Gale Agbossoumonde, midfielder Eder Arreolo, defender Brice Carr, midfielder Chris Cummings, defender Chris Klute, and strikers Alex Nimo and Billy Schuler the new arrivals. Other than Renken, all were born in 1990, except Agbossoumonde and Arreolo, who were born in 1991.

The majority of the players (25) were born in 1990 and the players in Bradenton will be vying for a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Under-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament.

The Americans are in Group B, which will be held April 21-29 in Kingston, Jamaica, with Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago the opponents in the round-robin format. The FIFA Under-17 World Cup, formerly the FIFA Under-17 World Championship will be competed August 18-September 9 in South Korea with the U.S. the only nation that qualified for all 11 previous world championship tournaments at this age group.

Created in 1999, the residency program started with 20 players, and then grew to 30 in 2002 and 40 in 2003. The players live on campus at the IMG Academy and train in the morning under the guidance of Hackworth and assistant coaches Raul Diaz Arce, Keith Fulk, Brian Maisonneuve and Tim Mulqueen.

In the afternoon, the players attend classes at Edison Academy. With 40 players in residency, the program is able to field two full teams that train together during the week, and get the chance to compete against club, college and international teams on the weekends.

"The residency program has given our players an excellent opportunity to grow and move up the ladder in the world of soccer and become professionals in Major League Soccer, some of the biggest clubs in Europe and even make an impact on the full U.S. Men's National Team," Hackworth said in the release. "We will look to continue this progress here in Bradenton by providing the players with an environment where they can prosper as individual players and gel as a team, crucial elements that have allowed for a positive move forward for all of our men's national team programs."

A total of 170 players have passed through the program with more than 50 moving on to Major League Soccer or the professional leagues in Europe. Fourteen players have made at least one appearance for the full men's national team -- Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Oguchi Onyewu, Santino Quaranta, Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Jonathan Spector and Heath Pearce.

Some consider the initial 1999 class the most impressive (for now), having produced four players who have made significant contributions to the U.S. in World Cup action -- Donovan, Beasley, Convey and Onyewu. The team finished fourth in the under-17 world championship in New Zealand, winning its group before being eliminated in the semifinals in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker.

That result tied for the best-ever finish by an American youth team in a major international competition. Donovan and Beasley were awarded the Gold and Silver Balls, respectively, as the top two players in the tournament.

The U.S. did not escape group play in the 2001 under-17 tournament, but finished fifth in 2003 and 2005. In 2005, the Americans went undefeated in the first round, winning its group for just the third time in their 11 appearances, and the first time since 1999.


The roster for the U.S. under-17 men's residency program in Bradenton, Fla.

Goalkeepers (4): Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.), Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wisc.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), David Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill.).

Defenders (9): Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Brice Carr (Mequon, Wisc.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Christian Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.).

Midfielders (16): Eder Arreolo (Chino Hills, Calif.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Chris Cummings (Chatsworth, Calif.), Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Ryan Gracia (Rockville, Md.), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas), Axel Levry (Fort Washington, Md.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Matthew Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

Forwards (11): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Abdus Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.), Israel Sesay (Gaithersburg, Md.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.).

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