FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Coming to Poughkeepsie as a heralded high school prospect and ESPN Rise Third Team All-American, Matt Wendelken's freshman season as a Red Fox did nothing to disprove the hype as he earned MAAC All-Rookie team honors. On Monday, he took an even bigger step to putting himself and the Marist Men's Soccer program on the national map as he started an eight-day stint with the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team at their training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wendelken is the first-ever Red Fox to earn this opportunity.
Beginning January 2 and running through January 9, Wendelken (Massapequa, N.Y.) will be one of 36 players in Head Coach Tab Ramos' first Under-20 training camp. Ramos, the 1990 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and international star with over 80 career caps, is holding the camp to begin preparing a squad for the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament in Turkey.
"This is a great opportunity for Matt. We are all very proud of this accomplishment for him" said Marist head coach Matt Viggiano. "It is an honor to be selected to this camp and have an opportunity to represent the United States in international competition"
Wendelken was one of only two Red Foxes to play and start all 20 games from Marist this year. A starting defender, the 6'2 freshman proved to be an asset for the team's offense off of set pieces and finished with the fourth-most goals and total points. Overall, he scored three goals and three assists for nine points.
Of the 36 players at the training camp, 14 of the men play professionally and another 15 are in the collegiate ranks. Wendelken is one of six college players from non-BCS schools in camp.
COMPLETE 36-MAN ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (4): Jesus Guzman (Santos Laguna; Dallas, Texas), Daniel Medina Meza (UANL Tigres; El Paso, Texas), Tyler Miller (Northwestern; Woodbury, N.J.), Andrew Wolverton (Pennsylvania State; Snellville, Ga.).
DEFENDERS (12): Bolu Akinyonde (Seton Hall; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Mikey Ambrose (FC Dallas Academy; Frisco, Texas), AJ Cochran (Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), Sean Cunningham (Molde FK; Troy, Mich.), Phanuel Kavita (Clemson; Salt Lake City, Utah), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Jalen Robinson (DC United Academy; Cantonsville, Md.), Matt Wendelken (Marist; Massapequa, N.Y.), DeAndre Yedlin (Akron; Seattle, Wash.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.).
MIDFIELDERS (12): Seth Casiple (California; Rocklin, Calif.), Daniel Cuevas Granados (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Hector Delgado Cha (Club América; Indio, Calif.), Christian Duarte (Texans SC Houston; League City, Texas), Daniel Garcia (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Flavio Guzman (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Collin Martin (DC United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), Tyrone McCargo (FC Nürnberg; Nürnberg, Germany), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.).
FORWARDS (8): Villyan Bijev (Fortuna Düsseldorf; Fresno, Calif.), Amadou Dia (Clemson; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Tex.), Duke Lacroix (Pennsylvania; New Egypt, N.J.), Uvaldo Luna Martinez (UANL Tigres; Houston, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Sean Okoli (Wake Forest; Federal Way, Wash.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas).