Dec. 16, 1999
U.S. Soccer announced this week that the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team will battle the full Armenian National Team as part of a U.S. Soccer doubleheader on Jan. 16 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The match kicks off at 4:30 p.m. PT, immediately following the day's main event, the historic World Cup '98 rematch between the U.S. Men's National Team and Iran, which will be aired live on ESPN at 2 p.m. PT.
More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the doubleheader, which has sold out its top two classes ($50 and $35) of tickets offered. Remaining tickets, which are priced as low as $20, are available by calling the Los Angeles Galaxy at 877-3GALAXY or TicketMaster at 213-480-3232.
The Jan. 16 doubleheader acts as the first domestic international match of the 2000 season for both teams. It also marks only the second time a team from the United States has faced Armenia in international competition, with the previous contest being a 1-0 win by the U.S. Men's National Team in a pre-World Cup '94 match on May 15 in Fullerton, Calif.
The U.S. Under-23 National Team, coming off a 4-4-2 record in 1999 highlighted by a 2-0 win over the German U-23 squad on Feb. 8, kick off their year-long "Road to Sydney" with a training camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif. from Jan. 5-20. Three Bruins are among 31 players in the U-23 training camp - defender Steve Shak (Cerritos, CA) and midfielders Pete Vagenas (Pasadena, CA) and Sasha Victorine (Corona, CA).
For the first time in the program's 23-year history, the team representing the U.S. in international competition, in this case the Confederation Olympic Qualifying and the 2000 Olympics, is made up predominantly of experienced professionals, rather than college players and recent graduates.
The U.S. U-23 squad is full of bright young stars, including D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen, who was recently named MVP of MLS Cup '99, fellow United teammate and forward Chris Albright, who is currently rehabilitating a knee injury but should compete for a starting spot, midfielder John O'Brien, who is currently playing for the prestigious Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Chicago Fire forward Josh Wolff, who scored 18 goals and 5 assists in two season with the club before being injured late in the 1999 season, and defenders Chad McCarty (Tampa Bay Mutiny), Joey DiGiamarino (Colorado Rapids), and Brian Dunseth (New England Revolution), who have all contributed significantly to their MLS clubs. After the Jan. 16 match, the Americans will travel to Portugal for a foreign tour of three games from Jan. 21-30 and then spend Feb. 6-11 training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in which they will play three matches in six days, including a rare match against the full U.S. Men's National Team and two games against MLS clubs who will be in the area for MLS 2000 Spring Training.
Looming on the horizon is the Football Confederation's Under-23 Men's Final Olympic Qualifying tournament, which will be played April 21-30 at a site to be announced later this week. The qualifying competition is currently entering its second stage of qualifying, with 12 teams making up three groups. The United States, as part of Group A, receives a bye into the final round of qualification as the host federation. The U.S. needs to finish as one of the top two teams in what will be a six-team final qualifying tournament in order to advance to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
U.S. Under-23 National Team * ARCO Olympic Training Center * January 5-20, 2000
Pos. Name D.O.B. Ht. Wt. Hometown Last Club/School GK Brown, Adin 05/27/78 6'4" 200 Pleasant Hill, CA William & Mary GK Howard, Tim 03/06/79 6'1" 195 N. Brunswick, NJ NY/NJ Metrostars GK Kirk, Andy 10/03/77 6'0" 177 Milwaukee, WI Tampa Bay Mutiny GK Napolean, Matt 08/18/77 6'0" 175 Feasterville, PA Columbus Crew D Califf, Dan 03/17/80 6'1" 185 Orange, CA Univ. of Maryland D Cherundolo, Steve 02/19/79 5'6" 145 San Diego, CA Hannover '96 - Germany D Chulis, Matt 08/29/77 5'10" 155 Central Islip, NY Columbus Crew D Corrales, Ramiro 03/29/77 6'1" 170 Salinas, CA NY/NJ Metrostars D DiGiamarino, Joey 04/06/77 5'10" 160 Corona, CA Colorado Rapids D Dunseth, Brian 03/02/77 6'0" 170 Upland, CA New England Revolution D McCarty, Chad 10/05/77 5'11" 175 Clovis, CA Tampa Bay Mutiny D Shak, Steve 02/08/78 6'1" 175 Cerritos, CA UCLA D Whitfield, Evan 06/23/77 5'11" 160 Glendale, AZ Chicago Fire M Beasley, DaMarcus 05/24/82 5'7" 130 Fort Wayne, IN Los Angeles Galaxy M Hart, Wes -- -- -- -- U. of Washington M Moore, Jason 04/04/78 5'10" 155 Lawrenceville, GA DC United M O'Brien, John 08/29/77 5'8" 145 Playa del Rey, CA Ajax Amsterdam M Olsen, Ben 05/03/77 5'8" 140 Harrisburg, PA DC United M Otero, Antonio 05/20/77 5'11" 165 Tampa, FL DC United M Parra, Carlos 02/03/77 6'1" 175 West Haven, CT New England Revolution M Vagenas, Pete 02/06/78 5'8" 160 Pasadena, CA UCLA M Victorine, Sasha 02/02/78 6'2" 180 Corona, CA UCLA M Winters, Brian 12/31/77 5'10" 172 Tacoma, WA Univ. of Portland F Albright, Chris 01/14/79 6'1" 185 Philadelphia, PA DC United F Bower, Scott 06/27/78 5'10" 165 Tampa, FL San Jose Earthquakes F Brown, Chris 03/10/77 5'11" 165 Portland, OR Kansas City Wizards F Casey, Conor 07/25/81 6'1" 170 Gilpin, CO Univ. of Portland F Donovan, Landon 03/04/82 5'8" 140 Redlands, CA Bayer Leverkusen F Thorrington, John 10/17/79 5'8" 150 Palos Verdes, CA Bayer Leverkusen F West, Brian 06/10/78 5'11" 160 Laurel, MD Columbus Crew F Wolff, Josh 02/25/77 5'10" 160 Stone Mt., GA Chicago Fire