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U.S. names U-17 World Cup team

Posted: Friday July 25, 2003 8:29 PM

ATLANTA ( -- U.S. head coach John Ellinger on Friday announced his squad of 20 players to represent the U.S. at the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Finland from August 13-30.

Ellinger has called on all 18 of the players who represented the U.S. during the final round of CONCACAF qualifying in Guatemala in early March.

“All of the players have demonstrated to me and the rest of the coaching staff that they are ready to compete at the world championship,” Ellinger said. “They have been working toward this for the past two years and are definitely anxious to finally get out there and play.

"If the players perform at their top level, I am confident we can advance on to the quarterfinals and make a run at the championship.”

The United States, the only nation to qualify for all 10 world championships at this age group, was drawn into Group D and will play all three of its games at Lahti Stadium in Lahti, Finland. The U-17s will face Asian champion South Korea on Aug. 14, African runner-up Sierra Leone on Aug. 17 and UEFA runner-up Spain on Aug. 20.

Before arriving in Finland, the U.S. Under-17s will travel to Manchester to play four preparation matches. The U.S. will face Blackburn Rovers FC, Manchester United, Australia and Nigeria during the first week of August. The team will then travel to Lahti for a few days of training before its first game against South Korea.

A trio of players will lead the U.S. offense and try to match or improve on the country's fourth-place finish four years ago in New Zealand.

MLS rookies Guillermo Gonzalez and Eddie Gaven, along with 14-year-old sensation Freddy Adu, have combined for 49 goals this year, including more than half of the tallies in international matches (19).

In just 12 international matches this year, Adu has notched eight goals and six assists. His talents during the final round of CONCACAF qualifying put him atop the goal-scoring table with two goals, tied with teammate John DiRaimondo and two others. He also added two assists during the tournament.

Gonzalez and Gaven were both drafted in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft in January, with Gonzalez getting picked by the L.A. Galaxy in the first round (8th overall), and the MetroStars selecting Gaven with the second pick in the second round (12th overall). Both played in their first professional matches in June.

Gaven became the second youngest player to play in a regular season MLS game and the second youngest player to score a goal in the MLS, doing both in a one-month span with the MetroStars.

U.S. Under-17 National Team
No.  Name  Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  DOB  Hometown  Club/School 
Marfuggi, Phil  GK  6’0”  185  01/15/86  West Windsor, N.J.  PDA United 
18  Westberg, Quentin  GK  6’0”  165  04/25/86  Saint Cloud, France  Troyes, France 
20  Sandbo, Stephen  GK  6’2”  190  02/23/87  Columbus, Ohio  Ohio Thunder 
16  Chevannes, Adrian  5’11”  180  06/17/86  Ft. Worth, Texas  Club Dallas 
Germani, Chris  5’7”  150  07/10/86  Yardley, Pa.  FC Delco 
Helton, Kyle  5’7”  155  05/20/86  Alpharetta, Ga.  Atlanta Fire 
Owens, Brandon  6’0”  170  01/23/86  Murrieta, Calif.  La Jolla Nomads 
Spector, Jonathan  6’0”  180  03/01/86  Arlington Heights, Ill.  Man Utd 
14  Valentin, Julian  5’10”  175  02/23/87  Lancaster, Pa.  FC Delco 
15  Ashe, Corey  M/F  5’5”  140  03/14/86  Virginia Beach, Va.  FC Impact 
12  Curfman, Steven  5’11”  150  10/08/86  Raleigh, N.C.  CASL Elite 
DiRaimondo, John  5’6”  150  04/23/86  St Louis, Mo.  Busch SC 
Gaven, Eddie  M/F  6’0”  150  10/25/86  Hamilton, N.J.  MetroStars 
10  Gonzalez, Guillermo  M/F  5’11”  160  01/04/86  Paramount, Calif.  L.A. Galaxy (MLS) 
Grazier, Brian  6’0”  165  03/17/86  Edwardsville, Ill.  Metro FC 
Harrington, Michael  M/F  6’0”  165  01/24/86  Greenville, N.C.  CASL Elite 
17  Szetela, Daniel  5’11”  170  06/17/87  Clifton, N.J.  World Class Olympic 
11  Adu, Freddy  5’8’  150  06/02/89  Potomac, Md.  Bethesda Int’l 
13  Watson, Jamie  5’9”  150  04/10/86  Coppell, Texas  Dallas Comets 
19  Peterson, Jacob  5’10”  160  01/27/86  Portage, Mi.  Michigan Wolves 

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