Aug. 28, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s soccer players Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass./The Roxbury Latin School) and Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) have been selected to the 21-man U.S. roster for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt. The tournament will take place Sept. 24-Oct. 16.
Maund, a sophomore central defender, and Powers, a freshman midfielder, will leave the Fighting Irish following the game versus New Mexico on Sept. 14 and are scheduled to rejoin the team for their match against Georgetown on Oct. 21. The duo may return to the Irish sooner if the U.S. squad is eliminated before reaching the finals.
The U.S. team will depart for Larnaca, Cyprus, on Sept. 14 and play a final tune-up against Australia before traveling to Suez, Egypt, on Sept. 21. The U.S. will open against Germany on Sept. 26 before facing Cameroon on Sept. 29 and rounding out Group C play against Korea Republic on Oct. 2. All three of the USA’s group matches will be played at the brand new Mubarak Stadium in Suez.
The top two teams from each of the six four-team groups along with the top four remaining squads will advance to The Round of 16, which will take place Oct. 5-7. The quarterfinals are set for Oct. 9-10, with the semifinals to follow on Oct. 13. The championship match and third-place game are scheduled for Oct. 16.
Every game of the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be shown live on the ESPN family of networks with Galavision also broadcasting all three U.S. group games. The first U.S. game will be shown live on ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com at 9:55 a.m. (ET), while Galavision will also broadcast the game at 9:55 a.m. (ET/PT). The remaining two group games for the U.S. will be shown live on ESPN2 and on tape delay on Galavision. Fans can also follow every U.S. game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
“It’s a culmination of two years of investing and looking at players through a good training environment and playing high level games and trying to figure out which 21 eventually would represent the United States well in Egypt,” says U.S. U-20 coach Thomas Rongen, who will be at the helm of his third U-20 World Cup squad. “It’s a long process and the coaches take great pride in making sure we select the right players, and we have come to the conclusion that the 21 players we have selected are the guys that will do a great job for our team.”
Maund played every possible minute (1,936) on the pitch during his freshman season in 2008. He dished out one assist in addition to helping the Irish post seven shutouts on the season. He was named to the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic all-tournament team after a solid performance in his first two collegiate games. Maund was selected as the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Sept. 22 of last year.
Powers brings an impressive resume with him to Notre Dame. The Texas native was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer National Player of the Year along with being tabbed as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year.
Notre Dame and UCLA are the only schools with multiple representatives on the team.
“To have two guys in the World Cup is a very, very special thing,” states Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It’s a fabulous opportunity for both Aaron and Dillon and everyone is delighted for them. It will be a challenge for them both soccer wise and academically since they’ll be away from campus and trying to win a World Cup. It’ll also be a challenge for us to try and replace them until they come back.”
The U.S. will be competing in its seventh consecutive, and 12th overall, FIFA U-20 World Cup, previously known as the FIFA World Youth Championship. They will be looking to build upon a successful campaign under Rongen in 2007, where the Americans took the top place in what was widely considered to be the tournament’s “Group of Death” that included Brazil, Poland and Korea Republic before falling in overtime in the quarterfinals to Austria.
The U.S. qualified for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup by posting a 2-1-2 record at the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March, collecting four straight shutouts before being downed by Costa Rica in the final. Costa Rica, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago will all join the U.S. to represent the region in Egypt. Out of the 11 appearances in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA’s best finish came during the tournament in 1989 in Saudi Arabia. With goalkeeper Kasey Keller leading the way, the U.S. advanced to the semifinals and finished in fourth place.
Notre Dame was represented at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup by midfielder Greg Dalby. Dalby, a captain of the squad, helped the U.S. capture Group D with a 2-0-1 mark before falling to Italy, 3-1, in the Round of 16.
United States U-20 World Cup Schedule (Group Stage)
Sept. 26 vs. Germany – 9:00 a.m. (ET)
Sept. 29 vs. Cameroon – 11:45 a.m. (ET)
Oct. 2 vs. Korea Republic – 11:45 a.m. (ET)
United States U-20 Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) DEFENDERS (6): Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham, N.C.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston, Mass.) MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabak; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.) FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)
United States U-20 National Team Staff
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen (Stuart, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Dave Dir (Dallas)
Assistant Coach: Juan Carlos Michia (Miami)
Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen (Lakewood Ranch,Fla.)
Strength Coach: Robbie Elliott (Newcastle, England)
Team Doctor: Mel Hayashi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
Team Coordinator: Jon Fleishman (Long Beach, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: John Dunham (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Massage Therapist: Mark Higgins (Tinley Park, Ill.)
Equipment Coordinator: Beto Cuevas (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Security Officer: Craig Conger (Raleigh, N.C.)
Videographer: Scott Riddell (Pasadena, Calif.)
Press Officer: Kate McMaster (Chicago)