April 28, 2010
U.S. U-18 Men's National Team Home Page
MADISON, Wis. -- First-year head coach John Trask has stepped away from the final week of his Wisconsin men’s soccer squad’s spring season to serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team.
Trask has joined the staff of head coach Mike Matkovich this week, as the U-18 Men’s National Team takes part in a week-long training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
“Any time you can be involved with the U.S. National Team it’s a great opportunity,” Trask said. “Spending a week with the top players in the country is a very enjoyable and rewarding situation for any coach.”
Matkovich, Trask and the rest of the national team staff will guide the 24-player roster through two daily training sessions, as well as matches against local club teams.
For Trask, the week offers not only a great personal opportunity, but also the reward of contributing to the success of the U.S. national team at the U-18 level and into the future.
“Matko and I have known each other for a long time, and it’s always a good experience to work with him in the development of our national team players,” Trask said.
Trask and Matkovich most recently worked together on the staff of the U-18 Men’s National Team in 2009, when they helped guide the U.S. squad to a fifth-place finish in the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
Like Trask, Matkovich has experience as a Major League Soccer assistant coach. He currently serves as an assistant for the Chicago Fire and has previously worked with MLS clubs Toronto FC and Chivas USA. Trask coached on the staff of three MLS clubs from 2000-2004.
“It is always nice to have John involved with the U-18’s,” Matkovich said of Trask. “His background in MLS allows him to help in the development and identification of the top players in the country and what is needed to make it at the highest levels.
“JT was involved in two international trips last year, as well as our mega-camp, and I’m looking forward to having him work with the U-18’s again this year.”
This year’s U-18 Men’s National Team camp roster includes 17 players from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, as well as six who were part of the U.S. Soccer U-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program in 2009.
The training camp opened Sunday and runs through Sunday, May 2.