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Eastern Conference Championship

Seven from MLS head to U-20 tourney

which includes seven young MLS players -- will get a sneak peek at its FIFA World Youth Championship foes next week at the Suwon International Youth Tournament in South Korea.

The opponents for the U-20s in the four-team tournament are Argentina, Egypt and South Korea. Both Argentina and Egypt will join the U.S. in Group D of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship to be played in Holland in June.

Former Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid has called in 20 players for the Suwon Tournament, including the seven who currently play for MLS clubs. The most experienced in that group is MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven. The 18-year-old veteran of two MLS seasons was named to the MLS Best XI and earned a starting spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2004. Last year, Gaven also became the fourth-youngest player to earn a cap with the U.S. national team when he came on as a sub against Poland on July 11.

Two other players on the U-20 roster have playing experience in the U.S. top flight. FC Dallas midfielder Arturo Alvarez is entering his third season in the league. He was traded to the Texas club from the San Jose Earthquakes in January. Columbus Crew midfielder Danny Szetela is also in the mix. He signed with MLS and joined the Crew late in the 2004 season and earned playing time off the substitutes bench.

The remaining four MLS players in Schmid's squad were drafted into the league in January. Two of them -- forwards Will John and Chad Barrett -- are now members of the Chicago Fire, while defender Tim Ward is on the MetroStars roster and defender Hunter Freeman plays for the Colorado Rapids.

Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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