Former Wisconsin defender Aaron Holbein has been named to the Under-23 mens national team as a midfielder, replacing Columbus Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven. As part of the U-23 team, Holbein will play under the U.S. mens national soccer team assistant coach Peter Nowak, who serves at the head coach of the Under-23 team.
This is the second U.S. national team the former UW defender has played on. In February 2004, he participated in the Under-20 mens national soccer team camp under head coach Thomas Rongen, who recently led the Under-20 team to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Most recently, Holbein has been playing as a defender for the Kansas City Wizards. After graduating from UW last year, he was drafted in the first round of the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft. During his career as a Wizard, he has logged 360 minutes and made five appearances with four starts. He also started nine of the MLS Reserve League matches, totaling 694 minutes with one goal.
Holbein recently joined the other 21 Under-23 mens national team members, including Wizards teammate Michael Harrington, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. for the first major training camp. There, the teams training emulates the mens national team schedule, with two-a-day sessions, team gym time, and group meals. They are currently preparing for two matches against the Chinese Under-23 team on Dec. 13 and 16 in Changsha and Guangzhou, respectively.
Ultimately, the team is training for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Mens Under-23 Championship, held from March 11-23, 2008 in Los Angeles, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn. The top two teams will have the chance to compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.