Jan. 8, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Kyle Dagan (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake), a junior defender on the Notre Dame men's soccer team, recently won a gold medal for the United States at the 2007 Pan American Maccabi Games in Buenes Aires, Argentina. Team USA defeated Argentina, 2-0, in the gold-medal match on Jan. 2.
The USA Open Men's squad, which Dagan was a part of, went 4-0-1 during its five-game stretch at the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games. Team USA defeated Colombia (4-0), Argentina (3-0) and Chile (5-0) during group play. In the semifinals, the United States played Mexico to a 2-2 draw before advancing in penalty kicks, 4-2.
Dagan competed in the first contest before falling ill and he missed the next two matches. He returned for the semifinals and finals to help the squad capture the gold medal. During the 2007 campaign, Dagan played in 16 games, including 10 starts, for the Fighting Irish.
The Pan American Maccabi Games are held every four years in a country in the Americas. Participants include athletes representing North, Central and South America, Israel and other countries throughout the Diaspora. The games provide a unique opportunity to qualified Jewish American athletes of all ages to compete against the best Jewish athletes in the world.
In other international soccer news, former Fighting Irish standout Greg Dalby ('07) has been called into camp with the U.S. Under-23 National Team in preparation for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. Peter Nowak, the U.S. U-23 head coach, has selected 24 players to compete in a two-week training camp from January 6-20 at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.
The camp is part of the team's preparation for the final round of the 2008 CONCACAF Men's Under-23 Championship to be held from March 11-23, 2008, in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville. The U.S. will play its three games of the group stage in Tampa against Cuba on March 11, Panama on March 13 and Honduras on March 15. The eight-team tournament will send its two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"With Olympic qualifying only two months away, this camp gives us a great opportunity to continue the work we began last month in China (during a December tour of the 2008 Olympic host country)," said Nowak. "There is a tremendous amount of competition for spots on the roster, and we will continue to evaluate players as we focus on developing a team that can qualify for the Olympic Games."
Dalby, a two-time first-team All-American at Notre Dame, currently plays for SC Charleroi in Belgium. During his collegiate days, Dalby set a then program record by playing in 88 consecutive matches in addition to notching 10 points on four goals and two assists.
Following the two weeks of training, the Under-23s will reconvene for a weeklong camp before gathering in March for the Olympic Qualifying tournament.
The U.S. plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. On March 11, the team faces Cuba at 8 p.m. ET before playing Panama on March 13 at 8 p.m. ET. They will finish the round-robin tournament against Guatemala on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET.
Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
After group play, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place game and championship match on Sunday, March 23. The two finalists will advance to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.