December 15, 2008
Maund leaves T&T for U.S. U20 camp
Aaron Maund and Sheanon Williams will be teaming up again this week.
Maund and Williams, who grew up together in Dorchester and helped the Greater Boston Bolts to a U.S. Youth Soccer Association Under-15 national championship, have been called into the U.S. U20 national team training camp in Sunrise, Fla.
Maund, a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, was involved in U.S. youth camps but was left off the roster last year and went with Trinidad & Tobago to play in the FIFA U17 tournament in South Korea last year. But U,S. coach Thomas Rongen attempted to recall Maund to the U.S. and Maund agreed.
‘‘It’s going to be a good experience going back and playing for the US, and I’m excited about it,’‘ said Maund, who turned 18 in September. ‘‘I’ve wanted to play for the U20s for a while. Different coaches look for different things – the U17 coach (John Hackworth) was looking for something different.’‘
Maund, who also was a sprinter on the track team at Roxbury Latin, played on the left side of midfield for Trinidad & Tobago but is performing as a central defender for Notre Dame. Rongen said ‘‘he reminds me of Eddie Pope. He’s lanky, he has good feet for a big player, he reads the game well, he’s a good athlete.’‘
Rongen said he was monitoring Maund’s progress and responded when he heard from Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark that Maund desired to join the team.
‘‘We didn’t stumble upon him,’‘ Rongen said of Maund. ‘‘He was born and raised here. He’s American by birth, he wants to do this for all the right reasons, and we consider him to be the kind of player we need.’‘
Maund’s father, Arnott, and Williams’ father, Stephano, were both born in Trinidad & Tobago, moving to the Boston area as youngsters.
Rongen said 26 players have been invited for a three-game series as the U.S. prepares for CONCACAF qualifiers in March in Trinidad & Tobago. If Maund is selected for the 18-player roster, the US will have to make a formal eligibility application to FIFA and the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation.
‘‘What we are trying to do is cast the net as wide as we can,’‘ Rongen said. ‘‘It is common practice to reach out to players, especially players who have been in our system from the day they were born. (Maund) played youth, high school and collegiate soccer here. By birth and in his heart he’s an American player. We want to make sure they want to represent our country; we don’t want them playing one against other. But this kid is very genuine in wanting to play for the US.’‘
Maund could team with Ike Opara in central defense, or play in front of Williams on the right side.
Williams, a starting right back for the U20s, helped the University of North Carolina reach the NCAA title game, a 1-0 loss to Maryland Sunday in Frisco, Texas. This could be Williams’ final collegiate match, since he is expected to be recruited by European clubs and could sign before the end of the transfer period Jan. 1.