TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2009
Tony Taylor to join USA U-20 Men’s soccer national team on trip to Trinidad & Tobago
Sophomore forward Tony Taylor will get a chance to return to the soccer field starting Sunday as he joins the USA Under-20 men’s national team on its trip to Trinidad & Tobago to help prepare for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in March.

The Jacksonville, Fla. native will train and play with the US squad as they try to get acclimated to the islands for the upcoming CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Macoya, Trinidad and Bacolet, Tobago from March 6-15.

The team will scrimmage the Trinidad & Tobago Under-17 national team before moving on to the island of Tobago for training. Taylor is expected see significant action during the exhibition as he vyes for one of the few remaining spots on the US national team for the Under-20 World Cup this summer in Egypt.

Taylor is the second JU player this year to compete with a U-20 national team as freshman defender Nurdin Hrustic played with the Bosnian squad during the 2008 campaign.

“I’m excited and happy for Tony getting this opportunity,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “He did well for us this season and I have no doubt that he will continue to do the same next week.

“Overall, this positive attention has everything to do with him and our players over the last couple of seasons. Our guys have produced a lot of success and played well against some of the top teams in the nation, which is now getting us noticed by everyone around the collegiate soccer ranks. This positive recognition goes well for our program as a whole, and most importantly, our players.”

Taylor returned to his hometown Dolphins for the 2008 season after spending his freshman campaign at USF.

Despite playing in only 13 matches due to injury, Taylor managed to rank second in goals (six) and points (16) to earn second team all-conference honors and help the Dolphins win the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship. He also scored a goal and recorded an assist in JU’s 4-3 overtime win over Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.