Dec. 13, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin head men's soccer coach John Trask has been named the assistant coach for the U.S. U-23 Men's National Team. Trask joins U-23 head coach Caleb Porter on the sidelines as the team prepares for the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament.
"To work alongside Caleb Porter is not only exciting, but I believe he is the best young coach in the U.S.," said Trask. "I've known him since his playing days at Indiana and feel that the qualities I bring to the table as a former professional coach will help in the preparation of the team.
"Caleb has proved with his success at Akron that he has the ability to teach the style of soccer that all these young Olympic hopefuls will enjoy and embrace."
The U.S. U-23 Men's National Team was drawn into Group A of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament and opens group play against Cuba on March 22. The USA faces Canada on March 24 and then closes out group action against El Salvador on March 26. All of the Group A matches will be played as doubleheaders at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Group B, consisting of Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, follows a similar format at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The semifinal matches that determine the two entrants from CONCACAF to the 2012 Olympic Games in London will be played Saturday, March 31, at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Should the U.S. advance and finish in first place in Group A, they will play in the day's second match. The championship game will be played Monday, April 2, with the winner advancing to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The U.S. is seeking to reach its 14th Olympic Football Final Tournament. The USA's best finish came at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, collecting fourth place.
"Qualifying will be difficult," said Trask. "But working with a staff that includes former National Team star Claudio Reyna and Eric Yamamoto, along with the best and brightest soccer players, we will be prepared for the upcoming matches."
As part of preparations for qualifying, Porter announced a 28-player roster that will train from Dec. 15-23 at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
"I would like to thank US Soccer for this unique opportunity," said Trask. "I know through some of the successes other Badger coaches have had that being part of the Olympic dream will only help me stay grounded and focused."