Men's Soccer to Play US U-17 National Team for Haitian Relief
Monday, February 08, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – In an effort to help the victims of the Haitian earthquake, the FGCU men’s soccer team will host the United States Under-17 National Team at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Saturday, February 13th, at 6:00 pm. Donations collected at the game will go to the Florida Gulf Coast University’s earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, however, admission is free.

“We are looking forward to having the USA Under-17 Men’s National Team here to kick off the spring season,” said FGCU men’s head soccer coach Bob Butehorn. “The match will serve as a great opportunity to evaluate the progress our team has made since the fall, as well as provide a glimpse of the upcoming talent our national staff has assembled. We hope to have a strong turnout, as it will be an entertaining match supporting a noble cause.”

The FGCU men’s soccer team finished the 2009 season with an 8-7-1 overall record and a 6-3-0 record in Atlantic Sun Conference matches. The season was highlighted by a 4-0 defeat of eventual conference champion, Campbell, who came into the match with an 18 game conference unbeaten streak. The team also received five Atlantic Sun Conference post season awards. Receiving honors were Goalkeeper Matthew Smith (Second Team), Defenseman Matthew O’Shaughnessy (Second Team), Midfielder Cristian Raudales (Second Team), and Freshmen Westin Vallentine and Jeremy Vollmer (Freshman Team). The Eagles will look to build upon the successes of last season as they open the 2010 spring season.

The United States U-17 Men’s National Team has turned its attention toward player development, and has eyes on World Cup qualifying, which will take place in April in Mexico. The U.S. is the only country that has qualified and competed in all 12 FIFA World Championships at this age group. Since its inception, 170 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 40 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Twelve players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan, Eddie Gaven, Eddie Johnson, Chad Marshall, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce, Santino Quaranta and Jonathan Spector. Beasley and Donovan both started in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as 20-year-olds, and were joined by Convey, Onyewu and Johnson in 2006.

To view the United States U-17 Men’s National Team Player Pool, CLICK HERE.

The State University System of Florida is offering its resources to join America’s comprehensive efforts to help the people of Haiti. In support of these efforts, Florida Gulf Coast University has formed a committee of staff and students to coordinate and centralize what is already being done and organize in other ways and areas to show support. The University Foundation has set up an FGCU Haiti Relief Fund where donations will be divided between the American Red Cross and FGCU specific relief efforts.

To contribute to the FGCU Haiti Relief Fund, complete the Foundation’s online form HERE and select “Haiti Relief Fund” from the donation options.