Six players selected by U.S. and Canada for Marbella Cup
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Six current and former PDL standouts will head to Spain with the U.S. and Canada U20 National Teams for the 2012 Marbella Cup, set to begin Wednesday, October 10. The Carolina Dynamo’s Boyd Okwuonu, Portland Timbers U-23s’ Eric Miller and Orange County Blue Star’s Mikey Lopez will represent the U.S., while the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 trio of Bryce Alderson, Ben Fisk and Caleb Clarke will represent Canada.
Okwuonu split his time between the Dynamo and the U.S. U20s this summer, making seven appearances in the regular season for the PDL side in which he played the full 90 minutes each time. The University of North Carolina standout returned from representing the U.S. at the 2012 Milk Cup in time to play for the Dynamo in the PDL Championship Game, where he was strong defensively but also a threat going forward from right back. Lopez, a teammate of Okwuonu at North Carolina, played and trained with the Blue Star in 2011.
Miller joined Okwuono and Lopez in Northern Ireland for the 2012 Milk Cup this summer, causing him to miss the Timbers U-23s run in the PDL Playoffs, but the Creighton standout did appear six times for the Timbers U-23s during the summer, scoring once as his side finished second in the Northwest Division.
On the Canadian side, Alderson first played in the PDL as a 17-year-old, making 11 appearances for the Whitecaps FC U-23 in 2011 before signing with the club’s senior team later that year. Alderson made another five appearances this past summer as he continued his development while training with the club’s First Team.
Clarke has been a standout along with Alderson for a number of seasons for the Whitecaps FC U-23, making his debut in 2010 when he scored five goals and 11 points in 14 games for the side. Clarke appeared in every game of the PDL regular season in 2011, scoring three goals and adding three assists, before scoring another five goals this summer to help his side reach the Northwest Division Playoffs.
Fisk made his debut for the Whitecaps FC U-23 in 2011, appearing in all 16 games while scoring four goals and adding two assists. The 19-year-old continued to star for the side this summer, scoring four goals in 11 appearances.
The U.S and Canada will meet in the opening game of the tournament on October 10 at 11:30 a.m. ET, with the U.S. going on to face Scotland on October 12 and Azerbaijan on October 16. Canada will face Azerbaijan on October 12 and Scotland on October 15 as both countries prepare for CONCACAF U20 World Cup Qualifying, scheduled to be held in Mexico beginning next February.