U.S. U-20 men's national team coach Thomas Rongen has named 20 players to his squad for the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The tournament takes place from March 6-15 in Trinidad & Tobago and will qualify four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place from Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt.
The U.S. squad will gather in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 24 for five days of training before traveling on March 2 to Bacolet, Tobago.
"We've put a lot of preparation into the CONCACAF Championship and we feel we've chosen the best possible players who will help us qualify for Egypt," said Rongen. "We have 20 players who have shown dedication to the difficult task of qualifying and have proven themselves during the past two years through training camps and international games."
A total of eight teams will compete in the CONCACAF event. The U.S. was drawn into Group A for the tournament along with El Salvador, Jamaica and either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Group B includes Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the U-20 World Cup. The top two teams will also move on to the semifinals of the regional championship, which will be played on March 13 at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. The third-place match and final will be played on March 15 at the same location.
The U.S. will open its qualifying campaign on Friday, March 6, taking on Jamaica at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago at 6 p.m. ET. Rongen's squad will face either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines on March 8 at 5 p.m. ET and round out group play against El Salvador on Tuesday, March 10, at 6 p.m. ET. The U.S. will learn its second opponent when Honduras and St. Vincent & the Grenadines square off in a playoff game on March 2.
Notre Dame defender Aaron Maund will also be joining the U.S. team for training in Bradenton, but his addition to the final roster depends on whether he receives approval from FIFA to play after requesting for a change in national association. Maund, who has dual citizenship with the U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago, played in all three games for T&T in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
U.S. U-20 roster
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (Central Florida), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA).
Defenders: Gale Agbossoumonde (Unattached), Kyle Davies (Southampton), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Sheanon Williams (Unattached).
Midfielders: Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo), Dilly Duka (Rutgers), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge), Brian Ownby (Virginia); Brek Shea (FC Dallas).
Forwards: Sam Garza (Denver), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas), Billy Schuler (North Carolina), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville).