Jan. 21, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass./The Roxbury Latin School), a freshman central defender on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team, recently has been selected to the United States Under-20 national team that will compete at the CONCACAF Championships that will be held this spring.
The U-20s will face Jamaica, El Salvador and either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines in Bacolet, Tobago. The U-20 Championship, which will be held from March 6-15, will qualify four regional teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
The tournaments will mark the first time since 1996 that the events will be held as a regional championship in a single venue. The U.S. Under-20s topped Group A in Panama to book their place in Canada 2007.
Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen and his squad will be based in Dwight York Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago for their first three group games, with the final schedule still to be determined.
The U.S. will face the winner of a two-leg playoff series between Honduras and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, who will be battling for the eighth and final place in the regional tournament. El Salvador won the Central American tournament to earn their place in Trinidad & Tobago while Jamaica won its group in Caribbean qualifying. The U.S., Canada and Mexico qualified for the final round automatically, along with hosts Trinidad & Tobago.
Should the U.S. advance out of Group A, they will qualify for the U-20 World Cup as one of the region’s top-four teams. They also will travel to Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad for the semifinals and either the third-place game or final, which will decide the CONCACAF crown.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Egypt from Sept. 25 – Oct. 17, 2009. The U.S., which will be looking to qualify for their record seventh-straight FIFA Under-20 World Cup, finished seventh at their last U-20 World Cup run in 2007 after advancing to the quarterfinals.
Maund, who is listed as a midfielder on the U.S. roster, started all 21 games in the central defense and played every possible minute on the field during his rookie campaign with the Fighting Irish in 2008. He notched one assist and helped Notre Dame post a 12-7-2 record and capture the BIG EAST Blue Division crown along with garnering the No. 12 seed for the NCAA Championship. Maund was named the BIG EAST rookie of the week on Sept. 22.
Playing internationally will be nothing new for Maund. He started all three games with the Trinidad & Tobago national team at the 2007 Under-17 World Cup in South Korea. He was able to play with Trinidad & Tobago because his father is a native of the country. Maund also has been in the United States U-14, U-15 and U-17 national player pools.