Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nowak names his US Olympic Qualifying roster

Peter Nowak has selected the roster that he thinks will return the US men to the Olympic games. After an impressive showing in 2000, the U-23s won their qualifying group in 2004 but lost to Mexico in the semifinals and missed a trip to Athens.

The US should have a good chance of taking their group again this time around, however the question is can Mexico do the same or will they finish in second and force another semifinal showdown? Either way, this roster looks to be the best U-23 group the US has ever put forward, so they should be ready.

Here is Peter Nowak's full Olympic Qualifying roster:

GK (2): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)

D (7): Hunter Freeman (New York Red Bulls), Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)

M (7): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)

F (4): Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire),
Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

Jonathan Spector (West Ham United) is on this roster even though he was not called into the final training camp early this month. Oddly enough Benny Feilhaber (Derby County) did not make the final roster. Not sure if he suffered an injury, was called back to his club or just didn't fit in with Nowak's plans.

Overall, this is a great group, however there seems to be some weakness in the back. Look for Spector to play a big roll. I'll be watching Orozco as I haven't really followed him much in the Mexican league. He might just be the surprise of the group.

As far as which teams have the most players on the list, Real Salt Lake have the most with three while Houston, New York and Toronto each have two.

The US gets things started on Tuesday against Cuba at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN Deportes will air all the matches live. will also stream the matches on the internet.

Here is the full Concacaf Olympic qualifying schedule.

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