Chivas USA's Jorge Villafaña named to United States Olympic Qualifying roster
Carson, Calif. (Wednesday, March 21, 2012) –Chivas USA’s Jorge Villafaña has been named to the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team by head coach Caleb Porter. Villafaña will join 19 other players who will compete in the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament and attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in London this summer.
“This is great news. I worked really hard to achieve the goal of being in the final list, I am super happy and excited to be one of the 20 players that will represent our country,” said Red-and-White´s defender, Villafaña. “I feel honored and will proudly take advantage of this opportunity that my club [Chivas USA], my coach Robin Fraser, and the Under 23 US National Team coaching staff are giving me to wear the national jersey.”
Villafaña, 23, winner of Sueño MLS: Chivas USA Wants You in 2007, had a stand out 2011 season with the Red-and-White appearing in twenty-five matches, all but one as a starter; scoring one goal and one assist in a total of 1,793 minutes. Villafaña, who is Mexican-American, is one of the 14 players on the U.S. roster representing Major League Soccer.
“What a great statement about how hard Jorge has worked in the last year,” said Chivas USA Head Coach, Robin Fraser. “He has gone from being completely off the radar to now being in the final squad for the Olympic Qualifying, and if all goes well hopefully he’s in London this summer. Really excited for him, really proud of him and I just hope he takes this opportunity and runs with it.”
Internationally, Villafaña first joined the United States U-20 National Team late in November 2007 for a training camp in Argentina, where he notched an assist against the River Plate reserves and a goal against the Argentina U-20s. He made the most appearances for the U-20’s of any player in 2008, playing in several international tournaments, including the Copa Chivas (Mexico), the Campos Verdes International Tournament (Portugal), and the Milk Cup (Northern Ireland). In 2009, Villafaña first helped the U-20’s qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and played in all three games (including two starts) in the U-20 World Cup in late September/October 2009.
Drawn into Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, the U.S. opens play against Cuba on March 22 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on Universal Sports Network, mun2 and streamed live on concacaf.com. The USA faces Canada on March 24 at 4 p.m. PT, and then closes out group play on March 26 against El Salvador.
The semifinal and final matches will be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on March 31 and April 2, respectively.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United; Annandale, Va.), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire; Lilburn, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (6): Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes; Durham, N.C.), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact; Lancaster, Pa.), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union; Potomac, Md.), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mix Diskerud (Gent; Oslo, Norway), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund; Berlin, Germany), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City; Prior Lake, Minn.), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim: Silver Spring, Md.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; Bryan, Texas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia, Jacksonville, Fla.)