Royals coach to manage U.S. World Cup team

Royals coach Eddie Rodriguez will serve as manager of the United States team in the upcoming 2009 World Cup. Former Royals player and coach Jamie Quirk will serve as bench coach and third-base coach.

USA Baseball made the staff announcements Thursday for its World Cup team.

The World Cup team will consist of players not currently on any Major League club’s 25-man roster and be announced Aug. 30. It will gather Sept. 2 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., and play three pre-tournament games against Canada.

The U.S. team opens pool play Sept. 10 against Venezuela in Regensburg, Germany. The second round includes games in the Netherlands and Italy before remaining rounds are played exclusively in Italy.

Rodriguez is in his first season with the Royals as special-assignment coach. He previously served as a major-league coach for the Mariners, Nationals, Expos, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.

The World Cup is a biennial event operated by the International Baseball Federation. The United States won the 2007 title with a team that included Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria and several other players who have since reached the majors.