photo by ISIphotos.com
The 2011 Milk Cup kicks off on Monday, and so does the the U.S. U-18 men's national team's title defense.
Led by Omar Salgado, Luis Gil and Cody Cropper, the United States will attempt to win a second consecutive Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. The Americans' tournament begins with a group stage match against Israel on Monday (1 p.m. ET) before taking on arch-rival Mexico on Wednesday.
Head coach Mike Matkovich will try to repeat the success of Thomas Rongen, who guided the U.S. U-20s to a championship victory in last year's edition of the tournament.
Here's the United States 18-man roster as well as a rundown of the group stage matches:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kans.)
DEFENDERS (8): Michael Ambrose (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Bryan Gallego (New York Red Bulls; Kinnelon, N.J.), Jordan McCrary (North Carolina; Marietta, Ga.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas; Edmund,Okla.), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United; Cantonsville, Md.), Javan Torre (Pateadores; Santa Monica, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman University; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.), Marcus Salandy-Defour (D.C. United; Kensington, Md.), Jose Villareal (Pateadores; Inglewood, Calif.)
FORWARDS (3): Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Luis Rendon (FC Richmond Magic; Chesterfield, Va.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Tex.)
GROUP STAGE MATCHES
7/25 Israel vs. United States
7/25 Northern Ireland vs. Denmark
7/25 Mexico vs. Georgia
7/27 Denmark vs. Israel
7/27 United States vs. Mexico
7/27 Northern Ireland vs. Georgia
What do you think are the chances that the U.S. U-18s win the Milk Cup? Who are you excited to see play?
Share your thoughts below.