July 17, 2008
Parkhurst, Davies on Olympic team
New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst and former Boston College standout Charlie Davies, now playing for Hammarby IF in Sweden were among the 18 players named to the U.S. men's Olympic team Thursday.
Brad Guzan, the former Chivas USA goalkeeper who is awaiting a work permit before a transfer to Aston Villa is finalized, Parkhurst and 36-year-old forward Brian McBride (out of contract), who wants to return to MLS with the Chicago Fire were the three over-age players selected to the team.
Parkhurst, a native of Cranston, R.I., will join the team for pre-Olympic training in Stanford, Calif., on Sunday evening following the Revolutionís SuperLiga 2008 match against Chivas USA in Fullerton, Calif., for which he will be available for selection.
ďIím very honored to be selected for the 2008 Olympic team,Ē Parkhurst said. ďItís any athleteís dream to compete in the Olympics and represent your country at the highest level.
ďIím excited about joining the team next week to start preparing for the Games before we head to Asia ,Ē Parkhurst continued.
Parkhurst becomes the fourth active Revolution player to represent the U.S. in the Olympics, joining Imad Baba and Alexi Lalas (1996, Atlanta) and Brian Dunseth (2000, Sydney).
Midfielder Freddy Adu, the star of the U.S. Under-23 team during CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, also was selected to the team by coach Peter Nowak.
LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, who was the subject of much speculation regarding a possible Olympic selection was not on the squad. Donovan had been considered Nowak's first choice as an overage forward although McBride's name popped up this past winter.
FIFA's official roster deadline is July 23.
Jozy Altidore, who transferred from the New York Red Bulls to Villarreal in Spain's La Liga last month, is looking forward performing at the Summer Games.
"It feels great," he said. "Itís such an honor to be part of the team. Itís a big competition, the world will be watching and itís just a chance to represent my country. Itís going to be a lot of fun.Ē
Altidore is among several players who played for the U.S. team that reached the quarterfinals at the Under-20 World Cup in Canada last summer.
"Like last yearís Under-20 team, I think Iím fortunate to be on another team thatís very talented," he said. "This team has talent from top to bottom and I expect a hard effort from each player in each game, no matter who is playing. Thatís just what this group of players is about. Iím excited to play with these guys, there are a lot of good players here and a lot of up and coming players who can use this tournament to further showcase their talent. More importantly, itís just a good group of guys and Iím excited to be a part of it."
McBride, who announced his retirement from international soccer after the 2006 World Cup, brings a wealth of experience to the young squad having earned 95 caps and scoring 30 goals during 10 years with the National Team. He is the only U.S. player to score a goal in multiple World Cups.
McBride is the oldest player on the team and could be the oldest Olympian to represent American's soccer at the Summer Games.
"Thatís pretty funny," he said. "I donít look at myself as being 36 and I certainly donít feel 36. For me itís more about the mentality so I think I have a little more upstairs as far as experience that will help me. When it comes down to it, it really is all about how you play on the field, and being a part of this team, regardless of what age you are, is a great honor."
The next-highest cap-winner is Bradley, who has earned 20 caps with the full side and will turn 21 on July 31. Bradley, the son of U.S. national coach Bob Bradley, scored 20 goals for SC Heerenveen in the Netherlands, the most for a U.S. player in a major European league in a season.
The Americans will begin their final preparation Sunday, July 20, with six days of domestic training in San Jose, Calif. The team will depart for Hong Kong, where they will participate in the ING Cup, facing fellow Olympic participants Ivory Coast July 30 and Cameroon Aug. 2.
The U.S. roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake). Defenders (5): Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC). Midfielders (7): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio). Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Brian McBride (out of contract), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew).
Goalkeeper: Dominic Cervi (out of contract), defender: Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), midfielder: Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), forward: Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake).