Freshman defender Aaron Hohlbein was invited to the U.S. Under-20 Mens National Teams second training camp of the year announced Tuesday. The camp, held Feb. 20-26 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is led by head coach Thomas Rongen, who will eventually choose the roster for the Under-20 team that will play to qualify for the 2005 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
This is a great opportunity for Aaron, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. He had a great fall for us and he did very well in the [Olympic Development Program] in Los Angeles. I am confident he will do very well in the camp next week.
Hohlbein (Middleton, Wis.) and the other 21 team members will play three games against two professional teams over the course of the week. The Under-20s first meet with the Columbus Crew on Feb. 22, followed by a match with the Colorado Rapids on Feb. 24, and conclude the camp with a game against Columbus on Feb. 26.
I was really excited when I got the call, Hohlbein said. The camp will be pretty intense, but Im excited for the chance to be able to play against professional teams and to play with some of the best players in the country.
The experience of playing with and against some of the countrys top talent will not only give Hohlbein national exposure, but will provide him with valuable experience and the chance to grow as a leader.
This camp should help him garner more confidence in what he can bring from leadership standpoint in the backline, Rohrman said. Aaron had a tremendous fall and this opportunity will help reaffirm what he is capable of and what he is able to bring to our team.
Hohlbein echoes his coachs sentiments.
Im hoping to get a lot of experience, Hohlbein said. And Im hoping to do well at the camp so I can hopefully be invited back to play with the U-20s again.
In his first season as a Badger, Hohlbein earned a regular starting spot on Wisconsins defense and also contributed offensively, notching an assist and two goals one of which gave the Badgers a 1-0 victory over NSCAA regionally-ranked Penn State. Hohlbein also compiled an impressive collection of honors in a few short months, as he was named to the 2003 All-Big Ten Second Team, the inaugural Big Ten All-Freshman Team, the 2003 Big Ten Conference All-Tournament Team, and was recognized as the teams Outstanding Freshman.