Perk, Okugo Named To U.S. Roster For CONCACAF U-20 Championships
Feb. 24, 2009
UCLA junior goalkeeper Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) and recent 2009 signee Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, CA) have been selected to the U.S. Under-20 National Team roster for the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, which takes place from March 6-15 in Trinidad & Tobago.
The tournament will qualify four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which takes place Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt.
The U.S. will gather in Bradenton, FL on Feb. 24 for five days of training before traveling on Mar. 2 to Bacolet, Tobago, site of the USA's three group games. The U-20s will have four days of final preparation leading into the opening game of the tournament.
Perk is one of three players remaining from the last U-20 World Cup in 2007. That squad advanced all the way to the quarterfinals after Perk recorded seven sevens in the Round of 16 to defeat Uruguay. As the U-20's starting keeper in 2008, he was between the pipes for the 3-0 win against Mexico on July 11 and earned another shutout against Belgium at the Ballymena Tournament. During UCLA's 2008 season, Perk earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and recorded seven shutouts with a 0.97 goals against average (GAA). In conference games, his GAA was just 0.45, and he recorded five shutouts in 10 games.
Okugo, who signed a letter-of-intent with UCLA earlier this month, is one of the youngest players on the qualifying roster and the only youth player. Despite his young age, he has already appeared in six international matches during the past two years. He was an alternate on the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup roster and was part of the Residency Program in the Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 semesters. Okugo picked up his first two U-20 caps during a two-game tour of Argentina and was also part of the 2008 Milk Cup team. He is a three-time NSCAA/adidas Youth All-American and 2008 Parade All-American.
The U.S. will be looking to qualify for their record seventh-straight FIFA Under-20 World Cup. In 2005 and 2007, when CONCACAF qualifying was held as two groups at two separate venues, the U.S. has won their group. In the previous three editions in 1999, 2001 and 2003, the U.S. qualified for the World Cup as the second-place finisher in their respective group.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (University of Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
*Pending FIFA approval
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