Chivas USA defender Zarek Valentin called up to United States U-20 National Team
CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, March 17, 2011) – Chivas USA defender Zarek Valentin, the team’s first selection from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, has been selected to participate with the United States Under-20 National Team for the 2011 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Guatemala. Valentin will be available for Chivas USA’s match this Saturday against Sporting Kansas City and will then join the U.S. on Sunday in Dallas.
For tickets to see Valentin and Chivas USA take on Omar Bravo and Sporting Kansas City this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.
“It’s an honor,” said Valentin after practice on Thursday of his selection to the U.S. “You always strive to do well with your club and then if you get opportunities with the National Team you want to take them. I want to go there and first off qualify, that’s the most important thing we want to accomplish. I think we have a good chance, we have a good squad, so I’m just excited to get down there and get going.”
Valentin will join the rest of the Under-20 National Team in Dallas on Sunday for a week of training before departing for Guatemala City, Guatemala, on March 25 to begin its quest to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia. The team will face Suriname on March 29 at 8 p.m. ET and Panama on April 2 at 6 p.m. ET at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores. Both games will be televised on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.
At the 12-team regional event, the top two teams in each group will advance to the tournament quarterfinals, and the four quarterfinal winners will seal a berth to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, set for July 29-Aug. 20 across eight cities in Colombia. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for an eighth-consecutive time, having qualified for 13 U-20 World Cups since the tournament began in 1977.
Valentin, a native of Lancaster, Pa., was selected by Chivas USA with the fourth overall pick at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and is contending for a starting spot in the team’s lineup under new Head Coach Robin Fraser. The defender became a regular on the United States Under-20 National Team during his distinguished two year career at the University of Akron, where he helped the squad to consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division I national championship match, including a victory in 2010. He started all 50 matches that Akron played in his two seasons at the school, and earned numerous conference and national awards as he manned the center back position for the Zips.
Chivas USA kicks off the 2011 regular season this Saturday night, hosting Omar Bravo and Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.