Jan. 9, 2007
Several UCLA soccer players have been playing with the U.S. National team at various camps. Sophomores Sal Zizzo and Tony Beltran and freshman Brian Perk have been selected to the U.S. Under-20 roster for CONCACAF Qualifying after participating in a December training camp. Freshmen David Estrada and Michael Stephens were in an Under-18 camp last week, and Bruin alumni Jonathan Bornstein, Jimmy Conrad and Matt Reis are in the full national team camp, being held Jan. 3-21.
The Under-20 team will play in Group A at the CONCACAF Under-20 Final Round Qualifying Tournament on Jan. 17-21 at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. will attempt to qualify for its sixth consecutive FIFA U-20 World Cup (formerly known as the FIFA World Youth Championship). The team will train in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on Jan. 10 before leaving for Panama on Jan. 13. The U.S. opens the round-robin qualifying tournament against Haiti on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 3:30 p.m. PT. The U.S. will then face Guatemala on Friday, Jan. 19 at 3:30 p.m. PT. The U-20s wrap up the qualifying tournament against Panama on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 3 p.m. PT. Fans can follow all three games on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
The top two finishers in Group A will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22 across six cities - Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby and Victoria.
UCLA has the most players on the U-20 roster with three. No other collegiate team has more than one player on the 20-man squad.
The Under-18 team had a week-long camp from Jan. 2-8 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The team played one game, defeating Inter-America S.L., 3-1, on Jan. 6. This was Estrada's first-ever call-up to a U.S. Youth National Team camp. Stephens has accumulated seven caps and played in 12 games in 2006 with the U-18s.
The full national team is in its first training camp since the 2006 World Cup. Bornstein (2004-05), the 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year, is making his first-ever appearance with the National Team. Conrad (1996-97) played on the 2006 World Cup team, and Reis (1994-97) has one career cap. The U.S. will host Denmark at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 20. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 1:50 p.m. PT. After the Denmark match, the U.S. will host Mexico on Feb. 7 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.