Fire's Chad Barrett and Will John selected to U.S. U-20 squad for FIFA World Youth Championship
CHICAGO - United States Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Sigi Schmid has named Chicago Fire forward Chad Barrett and M/F Will John to the 21-man roster that will represent the U.S. at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship from June 10-July 2 in Holland. The naming of the roster culminates almost two years of preparation for the U.S. players, which make up a talented and formidable mix of professional, college and high school standouts. Barrett and John will not be the only "Men in Red" taking part in the prestigious tournament, as Canadian U-20 Head Coach Dale Mitchell named Fire forward Will Johnson to the Maple Leafs' squad for the competition last week.
Schmid selected a squad with a large amount of professional experience, as 10 players are currently playing in leagues in the U.S., Mexico, France and England. Barrett and John are among the seven professionals on the roster that ply their trade in Major League Soccer, with the Fire being one of five clubs represented along with the Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United and MetroStars.
Barrett has made eight appearances for the Fire's first team during the 2005 season, with all of them coming in a substitute role. The rookie striker has made a difference off the bench, scoring one goal and adding an assist in only 138 minutes of work. Barrett scored his first MLS goal in the 84th minute of last Saturday's 3-0 win at Real Salt Lake. The former UCLA Bruin also leads the Fire Reserves in scoring with three goals to go along with one assist in six contests. Barrett led the U-20s in scoring during 2004, when he scored seven goals in 12 games.
John has yet to make an appearance with the Fire's first team during his rookie campaign. The product out of Saint Louis University has made a difference in the Fire Reserves' attack, as he is tied for second on the team's scoring chart with two goals and tied for the team lead in assists with a pair of helpers. John was a consistent starter for the U-20s during the last two years and started two of the USA's three contests in the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in January.
Johnson, who has tallied two goals and two assists in four games for the Chicago Fire Reserves this season, has been a starter for the Canadian squad that qualified for its third consecutive World Youth Championship in January. Johnson has scored three goals in nine caps for the Canada U-20s and has tallied in each of the squad's last two matches - a 1-1 draw against Honduras on May 13 in New Orleans and a 2-1 loss to the United States in Blaine, MN on May 18.
The U.S. team will travel to Holland tomorrow and conduct a week-and-a-half of training before the tournament. The team will spend their first four days in Mierlo, which is east of Eindhoven, before traveling to Enschede, their venue for the first round of play. During their stay in Mierlo, the team is scheduled to play a friendly game against the China Under-20 Men's National Team on June 5.
The U.S. Under-20s were drawn into the difficult Group D with Argentina, Germany and Egypt. The U.S. will open the World Youth Championship against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 10:30 a.m. CT, before facing Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 1:30 p.m. CT) and concluding group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 6:30 a.m. CT) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at the 13,500-seat Arke Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. In the United States, matches from the FIFA World Youth Championship will mostly be televised on Galavision, with selected games on Telefutura and Univision. Check ussoccer.com for the latest television schedule information.