March 28, 2012
When the United States u-23 men's soccer team tied El Salvador last week 3-3, knocking the Americans out of the London Olympics, most fans of the sport were devastated. Fans of New Mexico soccer however, they can take solace, because one of the their own might be able to eventually change the U.S.'s fortunes.
James Rogers, a freshman last season on UNM's undefeated 18-0-4 Lobo soccer team, has been invited to the USA u-20 National Team Camp. That camp takes place April 9-16, and will be a gathering of the brightest young stars in the United States. The team is coached by U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame member Tab Ramos, who played in three World Cups and picked up 81 caps for the national team.
The camp will last a week and will be held on the Nike campus in Portland, Oregon. The training camp will play an important role in the evaluation of players with an eye on preparations for the 2013 U-20 FIFA World Cup, hosted by Turkey.
"I'm very honored and grateful to be given this opportunity to be included in the USA U-20 National Team player pool," said Rogers. "I've worked for many years to be given the opportunity to represent the United States in International competition. I feel blessed to finally get the call up."
Rogers played in all 22 games for the Lobos, starting 19 of them. He netted three goals and five assists as a freshman, and his 11 points, tying for fourth on the team in scoring, and leading all UNM freshmen. He scored a pair of game-winners, netting the winning goal against both Santa Clara and Columbia, and he assisted in the final minute on the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Air Force.
Region Coach of the Year Jeremy Fishbein, who has taken the Lobos to unprecedented heights in his time at UNM, feels Rogers is the perfect candidate for the u-20 national team. ""I am really excited for James and am confident that he will impress the National Team Staff".
Fishbein added, "James has worked very hard to earn this honor and will not take this opportunity lightly. James is a tremendous representative of our University and soccer program. He has excelled in the classroom and on the playing field".