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Thursday, July 21, 2011
Cosmos' Old Trafford roster includes Iraheta

By Scott French

Marvin Iraheta is ready to play at Old Trafford against Manchester United. At least, he'd better be.


The Pasadena teen is among 18 players selected Thursday for the new New York Cosmos' first first-team roster, to go up against the English Premier League champion in Paul Scholes' testimonial match Aug. 5.

Former U.S. national team stars Brad Friedel and Brian McBride also are on the roster, which was put together by Cosmos director of soccer Eric Cantona and honorary president Pelé. Iraheta stars for Cosmos Academy West in Pasadena, part of the club's youth development structure.

The Cosmos, who claim lineage to the great North American Soccer League team of the 1970s and '80s, were formed last year and aim to be Major League Soccer's 20th club. Former Galaxy star Cobi Jones is the club's assistant director of soccer.

Iraheta, 19, an El Salvador native who graduated last month from Blair High School, last year was the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's U-17/18 Player of the Year last year and this season was a first-team All-Development Academy selection.

The roster features Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro, French midfielder Patrick Vieira, Irish forward Robbie Keane, English stars Sol Campbell, Wayne Bridge and former Manchester United standouts Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.

Friedel, 40, a former UCLA standout, this season joins Tottenham from English Premier League rival Aston Villa. The goalkeeper has played in England since 1997. McBride, 39, retired last year following a storied career that included four glorious seasons with Fulham.

Iraheta is among eight Academy or U-23 players on the Cosmos roster.