Nowak names training camp roster for Olympic qualifying


                                                         Photo by ISI Photos

U.S. Under-23 national team coach Peter Nowak has named a 24-man roster for training camp ahead of next month’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Maurice Edu and Chris Seitz were among the standouts chosen.

Players not on the training camp roster include Michael Bradley and Jonathan Spector, who could still be added to the official 20-man Olympic qualifying roster up until two days prior to the tournament, which begins on March 11 in Tampa.

The United States will face Cuba (March 11), Panama (March 13) and Honduras (March 15), with the top-two teams in the four-team group advancing to the tournament semifinals in Nashville, Tennessee on March 20 (The other qualifying group includes Mexico, Canada, Guatemala and Hait). The winners of the two semifinals will automatically qualify for the Olympics in China.

If you are wondering about Bradley and Spector, they could still be added to the qualifying roster and it is believed that one or both may travel to Nashville to take part in the semifinal match, assuming the Americans reach the semis as expected.

Here is the complete roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Dominic Cervi (Chicago Fire), Tally Hall (Esbjerg fB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Hunter Freeman (New York Red Bulls), Kamani Hil (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Mike Randolph (LA Galaxy), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)
FORWARDS: Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

So what will the starting lineup look like? Here’s one crack at what it could look like for the first round matches:






What could a semifinal lineup look like? Here’s one possibility:






What lineup do you see being used? What do you think of the roster? Share your thoughts below.

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66 Responses to Nowak names training camp roster for Olympic qualifying

  1. eric says:

    Interesting that Edu is listed as defense – did he play in the back in college?

    I guess someone had to switch, what a crowded midfield, with Bradley, Fielhaber, Kljestan, Sal Zizzo in the middle.

    As far as Adu as a forward, does that let him play where he did with the U-20’s, or was that at midfield? I hope they give Adu the keys to the car, with Bradley as the engine (to steal the line about Makele)

  2. eric says:


  3. Kyle Bartow says:

    What’s with Kamani Hill being a defender all of a sudden? Is he doing that horrible as a striker for Wolfsburg?

  4. Tony in Quakeland says:

    That’s a pretty good looking team.

  5. Dominghosa says:

    Great to see the call up of M. Orozco of Mexican League’s San Luis. Let’s see what this kid has against guys we’ve already seen.
    Also interested to see K. Hill as a left back option.
    And Edu to CB only makes sense. His versatility allows Feilhaber and Bradley pair up at center midfield. Though Edu can still out play Feihaber for a spot there.
    Not very excited to see C. Barrett in there. Would rather have P. Zimmerman or J. Smith.

  6. Dominghosa says:

    Failed to mention Orzoco has seen time in some U.S. youth national squads…
    Lineup? (Purely what I’d like to see)
    First-round matches
    F: Altidore
    Withdrawn F: Adu
    LM: R. Rogers
    CM: Feilhaber, Kljestan
    RM: S. Zizzo
    LB: Freeman
    CB: Sturgis, Edu
    RB: Wynne/Orozco

    Qualifying rounds:
    F: Altidore
    Withdrawn F: Adu
    LM: R. Rogers
    CM: Feilhaber, Bradley
    RM: S. Zizzo
    LB: Spector
    CB: Sturgis, Edu
    RB: M. Wynne

  7. Dominghosa says:

    GK: Seitz

  8. Marlon says:

    Nah Alvarez definitely should be the starting left mid.

  9. Chuck says:

    Why no Subotic?? I don’t get it. Heerenven aren’t going to release Bradley. And Spector may get released at the last minute. No Szetela or Zimmerman??

  10. Dave says:

    thats a solid lineup and i like the stugis/edu pairing in the back. Do you think Spector might bump Edu up into the midfield though. Jon is a pretty imposing figure and I see him better suited for CB on this squad. I’m going to one of the matches in Tampa, can’t wait!!!

  11. Dominghosa says:

    I do like Alvarez. I’m just liking Rogers’ game more and more.
    I also like that he’s the fastest kid on the team, (Though Wynne has a good chance of beating him by a nosehair head-to-head)which just adds to his good dribbling skills and above average shot from long range.
    And not to get too ahead of ourselves here but if this team makes it to China.
    The three overage guys I’d like to see
    CB Jay DeMerit
    GK Brad Guzan
    CB O. Onyewu/or/LB Heath Pearce/or/F C. Dempsey
    Would also like to see D. Szetela called up by the time the Olympics come around.

  12. Jeffrey says:

    So the extra older players are not allowed to play in qualifying just at the Olympics?

  13. Joey says:

    What happened to Danny Szetela?

  14. jpc says:

    why stuart Holden over Robbie Rogers? I thought Robbie Rogers was one of the most impressive/underappreciated players in all MLS last year… Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing Wynne get a run at outside half at some point, I thought he looked dangerous there in Toronto, his skills are improving, and he is absolutely the best athlete on the field whenever he is out there

  15. Javier says:

    poor Benny, he probably can’t wait for this!

  16. Ted says:

    Edu is in defense because Novak wasn’t all too confident about his central defense opitons. If Spector and Subotic get called in for qualifying, then Edu would probably return to the midfield. Orozco has been a regular for a respectable San Luis squad that sits in the top half of the table.

    Kamani Hill was moved to fullback by Novak.

    “Blog: How did that transition come about?

    KH: Well, in talking to Coach Nowak before the last camp we were talking about expectations for me and how I fit into this team, and he told me that he saw me as a defender. I was taken aback a little bit, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to think at that point, but I was definitely willing to give it a try.”

    link to

    It’s never a bad thing to have players who can play multiple positions.

  17. Justin says:

    Anyone have more info on Orozco?

  18. dvm271 says:

    Where in the world is Subotic??? This is really weird!

  19. mike ruze says:

    Chad Barrett made the team? do our under 23 strikers suck that bad?

    Huge dropoff from Jozy to put it mildly. Corvettee to Yugo

  20. Barry U says:

    I like what this team could be once everyone is brought in (Spector/Bradley).

    Ives or Guys – With the lack of outside backs that play both ways for the NATS could Peter Nowak be starting a trend by moving Mid’s and Forwards back to play D? If I am not mistaken Kamani Hill is like 5’11ft or 6ft with technical skill and speed and Mo Edu is like 6ft with tech skill and speed. Those kinds of attributes could make good defensive players with offensive skill. Right? Is it to late (to far along a players development) for these type of changes? Nowak Doesn’t think so. Can you name any other guys that you think we could do that with?

  21. hoya says:

    I wouldnt say its too late in a players development at all, Spector is a great example as we was switched from forward to D during his U20 days and hes looking to be our top CB of the future. However I dont think this is something you should be expecting to see that often, more of the exception than the rule. Edu has shown solid defensive capabilites in his CM spot and since the current U23 crop is pretty thin(without Subotic/Spector who we will hopefully see in Beijing) moving Edu is simply the best way to shore up the position for qualifying. To my knowledge Hill hasnt been performing to well with his club at forward so this could be just a case where Nowak decided to try a little experiment.

    Not exactly a trend IMO just a temporary move for Edu and in Hill’s case an experiment with a guy who probably doesnt figure to make final qualification roster anyway.

  22. Ryan says:

    Hello Ives and others,

    I know that people have already asked these questions, but where is Subotic and Zimmerman. I assume that Szetela is staying in Italia to get acquainted with his new team. Any insight would be appreciated.

  23. Mayor Bloomberg says:

    We really need to get out of this playing players out of position phase.

  24. Eugene says:


    I don’t see this team playing a single forward with Adu as the attacking mid — I just don’t think it would be the best use of our talent. I see them playing either a 3-5-2, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 (although I don’t think Nowak is partial to the 4-3-3, even though it can work with Robbie Rogers on the left wing and Sal on the right wing).

    I see Jozy being paired with either Charlie or Robbie Findley up front, which would be great considering their pace.

    In terms of other significant players missing from this camp — where is Johann Smith?

  25. Eugene says:

    And for that matter, why isn’t Lee Nguyen getting called in? Is he being given time to get settled at Randers?

  26. hoya says:

    Zimmerman, Subotic, Nguyen, Szetela, Spector and Bradley are all most likely not included because their clubs did not wish to release them. Its also likely that Szetela, Nguyen and possibly Zimmerman would not have gotten a call up even if their clubs would have allowed it but they all have a decent shot at making the Beijing sqaud IMO.

    Eugene: If you think Nowak is going to put Davies or Findley up top with Altidore where do you see Adu playing? There is no way he doesnt start and I really doubt he gets stuck out on the wing, we have talent there in this group and this is not the senior side Adu’s arguably the best player on the team hel be played in his best position.

  27. Scott C. says:

    I think Ives’ lineup is exactly right. A lot of technical skill and creativity, and plenty of speed. I think Novak will give Adu a license to roam, and Alvarez and Holden will be dangerous on the wings. Both of those guys had breakout years in MLS last season. And of course Jozy will score all the goals :) I can’t wait for the games…

  28. Nutmegger says:

    Will any of this be televised??? NM

  29. Matt says:

    I don’t get it….the forward pool looks like a “try-out” squad and not a “qualifying squad”. A couple of guys who are either overseas or have at least been to the senior team’s camp like Lee Nguyen, Gabriel Ferrari, Zimmerman, etc…. who are these guys Nowak picked????

  30. Frank says:

    With this lineup the US should be the favorites to win the whole thing. Mexico will not bring Dos Santos, Vela, or Guardado so I think the US should beat them in the final.

  31. Alex says:

    No Rossi? LOL!

  32. Dominghosa says:

    Nutmegger, I believe ESPN Deportes is televising the whole tournament, with showing some also.

  33. Dannyc58 says:

    Didn’t Subotic say in early February he wanted to play for Bosnia (or whatever other country he’s eligible for, can’t recall it now)

  34. Warren says:

    I enjoy the roster that’s been put together for this qualification campaign and think we will do well.

    However, I highly doubt that Kljestan (Bradley favorite who has played on the MNT and captained the U-23s) will be displaced by Holden for a starting position or that Wynne (who has started on the MNT) will give up his position to Freeman.

    Otherwise, the lineups look strong and the subs will do a good job of filling in for whoever becomes subbed out.

  35. Amit says:

    I love Jozy with all the Nats’ teams he can play for, but I really love seeing him scoring goals in a Red Bull jersey. He’s gonna be gone for so much time. The thought is scary.

  36. Andrew S. says:

    I like this roster. I really hope Edu shows he can play center back. The US needs defenders who are able to hold possession rather than just lump opposing forwards. I am also looking forward to seeing Arturo Alvarez play. He was on fire last year and can change a game in one play. However, he is probably more effective playing on the right side of the field cutting to the middle where he can either slip a ball to a forward or let one rip.

  37. Eugene says:

    Hoya: I see Adu starting as the attacking mid behind the two forwards. I think this is his best position, as playmaker and participating in the attack. I think he’s most comfortable as the attacking mid or deep-lying forward, but in this squad with Charlie and Robbie Findley who are both really fast and good finishers, I don’t see how Nowak could rationally not start one of them alongside Jozy. No way that Adu sits on the bench for the Olympics.

  38. Andrew says:

    I myself like the forward pool Nowak picked. Yes, we could have used zimmerman and ferrari as well, but davies and findley have both seen minutes for the senior team while the other 2 have not. Not saying that matters, I’m just finding it hard to believe you have no idea who these forwards are if you watch USA soccer. Chad Barrett is the only question mark I see.

    P.S. Lee Nguyen is a midfielder.

  39. Tim Crawford says:

    Is it just me, or should Kenny Cooper DEFINITELY be on this team?

  40. Balerion says:

    It’s just you. Kenny Cooper is too old for this team as he is a 1984.

  41. Ross says:

    If we get Subotic in, I’d like to see:


    I’d like for Nguyen to get a look. Also, I don’t know much about Orozco, so if that’s not a good spot for him plug back in Wynne.

  42. Adam R. says:

    With Adu and Altidore in tow, they should have no problem getting the goals they need to qualify.

    Defense could be the problem here. I’m interested to see how Orozco fits in. He’s gotten significant minutes in the Mexican First Division, and that’s a helluva lot more pro experience than Ianni or Sturgis.

    Bringing in Spector at the last minute will bolster the ranks, but to be honest, if he’s brought in late, look for him to slot in at one of the fullback spots…it’s hard to adjust to a new CB pairing so quickly.

  43. hoya says:

    Eugene: Id love to see that as well, but it might not be the best use of our midfield talent. In that formation youd need a D mid behind Adu and if Edu is playing CB and Bradley isnt going to be with the team your best option is probably Dax. Not to mention that using a diamond midfield would push Feilhaber (who really really needs PT) and Kjlestan (team captain and I think a fav of Nowaks) onto the bench. Probably would make the best use of our attacking talent but not neccesarily of our midfield talent idk if that is a good tradeoff considering our potentialy weak D.

  44. chris says:

    wouldn’t anyone else like to see cristman called in instead of barrett. we need another target forward and cristman is a great passer too. i could see him giving a late game assist or two to jozy.

  45. White Kix says:


    This is the line up I’d like to see (at least with the squad that has been called in. I don’t know much about orzco, if he’s a center back he could slide in, but on the outsides, Wynn and Randolph are about as good as you will get on a u-23 team (I know Ives is a Red Bull fan, but Freeman over Randolph, it should never happen). I do wish J. Smith was called in. I’ve never seen him play, but he sounds like a very promising prospect.

  46. mcbabz says:

    love the lineup, yes you got players like subotic, zimmerman, spector, bradley, szetala, nguyen missing…..but it’s still a very solid lineup & should be enough to qualify. i believe subotic would have a tough time being released as he’s playing regularly & from what i’ve read online has been one of their best defenders, so they wouldn’t be keen to let him go for qualifying…we’ll see if that comes back to hurt us.

  47. Felix says:

    No Neven Subotic. I wonder when his story will play out and where he’ll finally end up playing.

  48. andrew says:

    Barret gets picked over Cristman…ech.

  49. TheT says:

    I know the question has been asked, but I’ve yet to see an answer: any shot these games on TV?

  50. rocky says:

    i like the mix of players that were brought in, i think that the kid playing in mexico should get a look along with hopefully bringing in nevin S. to get a look. I think its time to cement freddy into a position and let him stick with it. I think the formation used in the u20’s with jozy looked great. lets face it by 2010 their is no way freddy sits on the bench, he is just way too talented. i recently saw findley play in florida, he looked great, so i think he is a strong prospect, and deserves a look. All in all a good selection, to me it even looks better then the senior squad, almost.

  51. inkedAG says:

    I can’t believe that Eddie Gaven was called into camp!

  52. Tim Crawford says:

    but he’s OCTOBER 84. That means he’s 23, and will be through the summer. How is he not on this team!? KENNY COOPER! He’s played for the full team already for goodness sake.

  53. Gimmi says:

    I almost like the line up Ives has, but i’d rather have alvarez and holden switch. And Im not sure about Feilhaber, only because I dont think hes match fit, second we have a better mid fielder than him in Robbie Rogers…
    just my thoughts.

  54. Ryan says:

    Rogers can’t play center mid like Feilhaber can.

    At this point, we need Feilhaber to play as much as possible. That’s why he’s in this squad. He’s important to the success of the senior team, so we need him playing games.

    Also, Spector was a CB through his junior club career in Chicago.

  55. seven says:

    Is it only Toronto fans that are hoping the US somehow doesn’t qualify? Losing Wynne & Edu in the middle of the season will not be fun.

  56. jrnail23 says:

    To add to Tim Crawford’s statement about Kenny Cooper,
    here are a list of players from the 2007 senior pool that will still be 23 in the olympics:
    Bornstein (11/7/84)
    Cooper (10/21/84)
    Mapp (10/18/84)
    Simek (10/13/84)
    Guzan (9/9/84)
    Pearce (8/13/84)

    I’d love to know what the exact cut-off date is for this thing, since this is a nice chunk of the senior team which seemingly could play for the olympic team.

  57. Gimmi says:

    “Rogers can’t play center mid like Feilhaber can.”
    how so?
    I have seen rogers play, hes good with the ball plus he can finish,,I mean beasides that one goal aganist mexico I have not seen much from Feilhaber. Plus I dont think he is as crucial to the MNT as some think he is..

  58. Roger says:

    We want Szetela!

  59. Dominghosa says:

    TheT, I posted this earlier — the matches I believe will be shown on ESPN Deportes. I think it’s showing the whole tournament, actually.

  60. timpramas says:

    Please remember what the “U” in U-23 means. If you are 23 years old, you are not under 23.

  61. JB says:

    It doesn’t matter what age they will be by the time the tournament starts, but the rules of the tournament is 1985s and above only. Although I believe in the above list of 84s you named at least 2 of the 3 overage players that will be named if we qualify.

  62. Austin says:

    I think Dax McCarty is underrated. I would like to see him in the starting lineup either as a central mid or a right wing.

    Also, I agree with everyone saying “WTF is Chad Barrett doing on this list?” Blanco highlighted Barrett’s inability in huge flashing lights last summer.

  63. TheT says:

    Thanks a lot, Dominghosa.

  64. Aceterp says:

    I’m geting the impression that Nowak prefers Arturo over Robbie. But nonetheless RObbie can play both wings. I think the starter at LW/LM should depends on the opponent. My preference woudl be to start Robbie every game.. his is on par with arturo’s vision and skill.. but i think robbie trumps it with his ridiculous speed.. and yet I think that Nowak values Arturo’s experience more.

  65. Tim Crawford says:

    Here’s a link to the rules for eligibility. You do have to be born after 1/1/85.

    link to

    Go to page 15.

  66. Fire says:

    @ Austin: “Blanco highlighted Barrett’s inability in huge flashing lights last summer.”

    Maybe… but he came through towards the end of the year… notching 7-8 goals and 1 assist (maybe)… he fits right into the average MLS striker…

    there are others id like to see in there (bernardo, Ferrari, smith, etc..) but everyone who’s been training with barrett has said that he’s matured alot as a player… most of last season was young dumb mistakes… blast the ball as hard as you can, rather then placing the shot… he keeps getting the call-ups, perhaps he’s solidified it….

    anyhow, do we truely expect to see much of him with the lineup of forwards we have?? Jozy, Adu, Findley, Davies…. all of which have seen Nats time i believe… Barretts at the bottome of the pecking order, so hope he enjoys his time training, and hope he learns some things from the group and develops his game