Willy Lara Earns Invitation to U-20 Trials
CHICAGO DePaul freshman Willy Lara was recently selected to attend the United States Soccer Federation Under-20 Men's National Team camp that will take place in New Orleans, Feb. 19-25. The U-20 team is one of the most successful programs in U.S. Soccer and ranked among the world's best in its age group.
"I am very proud for Willy Lara to be DePaul's first men's soccer player to be invited to attend a United States National Team Training Camp," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "It has been very rewarding to see Willy's confidence and play continually develop and also that of the entire team. We know Willy will do all he can to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity."
Lara played in 17 matches for the Blue Demons as a freshman with 12 starts. He scored the game-winner at St. John's and assisted a goal against Xavier. Lara totaled 12 shots during the season as the Blue Demons made the first NCAA Championship appearance in 2007.
Head coach Thomas Rongen led the U-20's to a 3-1-1 record at the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The Americans reached the quarterfinals with impressive wins over Poland, Brazil and Uruguay before dropping their quarterfinal match to Austria.
The year 2008 kicks off another two-year cycle for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team as they will be preparing to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place in Egypt. As the team begins preparing for Egypt ’09 this year, it will conduct training camps, domestic matches and compete in international tournaments.
An impressive player pool features some the U.S. Soccer youngest starts. Included in this pool are professional players such as Freddy Adu, Josmer Altidore, Brian Perk and Anthony Wallace, who were all members of the squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada and are age-eligible to play in 2009. Adu, who played in the past three U-20 World Cups (UAE ’03, Holland ’05 and Canada '07), is once again eligible to play at the 2009 tournament.