June 14th, 2010

Catholic Roots Run Deep At World Cup

Chris Jung

CSN Director

Catholic Roots Run Deep At World Cup
photo from Univ. of Portland athletics

Several members of U.S. team embrace their Catholic roots

Playing the world's most tradition-rich sport are several men who have an equal appreciation for their own heritage. Hailing from various parts of the country, five members of the United States national team possess some sort of historical association with Catholic schooling and/or upbringing, and each is unique in his own way.

Throughout the World Cup Tournament, CSN will follow the action of the U.S. squad, including the specific happenings of the following USA fivesome:

Brad Guzan, D

Hometown: Homer Glen, IL 

Amateur Achievements: Named a top-five recruit by Soccer America; attended Providence Catholic High School, where he was a four-year letterwinner; member of the U.S. Men's National U18 Team; earned All-Midwest, All-State and All-Area honors from the Star Tribune; named Southtown Player of the Year as a senior; helped lead Providence Catholic to the state tournament; Elite Soccer Program Gold Glove winner in 2002.

Ricardo Clark, M

Hometown: Jonesbor, GA

Amateur Achievements: As a senior at St. Pius X Catholic High School in 2001, Clark was selected as Georgia State Player of the Year; 2001 Parade Magazine All-American; led St. Pius X to 22-1 record and state title in 2001; 2000 Georgia State Player of the Year; MVP of Adidas ESP Camp in 2000; won state title at St. Pius in 1999; helped lead AFC Lightning to two state titles and a third place finish in 1999.

Jonathan Spector, D

Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL

Amateur Achievements: Spector played for two years at St. Viator High School before enrolling at U.S. Soccer's residency program (IMG Academy) in Bradenton, Fla., where he trained with elite under-17 players in the morning and attended school in the afternoon; started his club football career with Schwaben AC in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, before joining national power Chicago Sockers.

Oguchi Onyewu, D

Hometown: Olney, MD

Onyewu, the tallest player in U.S. team history, has two brothers, Uche and Nonye, and two sisters, Chi-Chi and Ogechi. Growing up in Silver Spring and later Olney, MD, Onyewu attended St. Andrew Apostle School, before transferring to Sherwood High School where he played soccer for two years. He enrolled in the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, before a return to Sherwood to graduate.

Steve Cherundolo, D

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Amateur Achievements: Left the University of Portland after his sophomore season to begin his professional career in 1999; was the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year following his first year at the University of Portland in 1997 and joined Hannover 96 in January 1999 after leaving Portland.


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