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Group A Leader U-17 MNT Blanks Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 at 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 2, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a goal in each half to defeat Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship at Estadio Francisco Morazán. 

Joe Gallardo scored his tournament-leading fourth goal from of a free kick in the 31st minute and Haji Wright tallied his first goal in qualifying in the 71st minute. 

The U.S. is atop Group A with a 2-0-0 record and plus-7 goal differential, while Trinidad & Tobago falls to 0-2-0 and a minus-5 goal differential. 

The USA next faces Guatemala at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, at Estadio Francisco Morazán (FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes). 

Earlier Monday in Group A action, Jamaica defeated Guatemala 2-1. Guatemala falls to 1-1-0 with a plus-2 goal differential and Jamaica improves to 1-1-0 with a minus-1 goal differential. Cuba (0-1-0, minus-5) and Honduras (1-0-0, plus-2) face each other in Monday night’s last Group A game. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Joe Gallardo, 31st minute: Gallardo drew a foul just above the box, and the USA forward took the subsequent free kick with confidence. Gallardo shot low to the right of Trinidad & Tobago’s seven-man wall and past diving goalkeeper Levi Fernandez, into the right of the frame for the lead. USA 1, TRI 0 

USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic), 71st minute: Pulisic played a long ball from midfield to Wright down the left side. Wright had a couple steps on Trinidad & Tobago defender Tekay Hoyce and shot left-footed to the inside of the far right post, past Levi Fernandez, for the two-goal lead. Wright now has 27 goals in 31 games during his U-17 MNT tenure. USA 2, TRI 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
TRI – Noah Powder and Tekay Hoyce, 9th minute: The USA had back-to-back scoring chances shortly after a set piece. After Christian Pulisic’s corner kick from the left side bounced through traffic, Alejandro Zendejas crossed the ball back in from the right. Haji Wright headed it toward the left side of the frame and Powder made a key goal line clearance. Joe Gallardo kept things alive with a shot at the near left post and Hoyce deflected it out for a USA corner kick. 

USA – Hugo Arellano, 35th minute: Trinidad & Tobago did not create too many clear-cut chances, but a lofted cross by Kareem Riley caused some concern for the USA. Goalkeeper Will Pulisic was unable to cleanly deflect the ball away, but his center back and team captain was up to the task with the clearance near the six-yard box.

TRI – Levi Fernandez, 49th minute: USA right back Matthew Olosunde was effective when he pushed up, and provided a dangerous cross in the middle of the box. Fernandez read it well and made a diving punch for the clearance with U.S. attackers lurking. 

USA – Will Pulisic, 87th minute: Pulisic had yet to face a shot on goal, but he was tested twice in succession down the stretch and came up big on both occasions. Kerron Mason ripped a right-footed shot from well outside the box and Pulisic dove to his left for the save. The rebound popped out to Noah Powder from seven yards out at the near right post, and Pulisic again thwarted the Trinidad & Tobago offense with a well-positioned save. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT resumes Group A play against Guatemala at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • The U-17 MNT is now 5-1-0 in international play this year.
  • The USA moved to 5-1-3 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago in this tournament’s history.
  • Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup featured three changes from the USA’s 5-0 victory against Cuba on Friday.
  • Goalkeeper Will Pulisic returned in net, and three of the four defenders also started in their second straight match: left back John Nelson, right back Matthew Olosunde and center back and team captain Hugo Arellano. Tanner Dieterich earned his first start of qualifying as the other center back.
  • The midfield of the 4-3-3 formation included another start for Christian Pulisic in an attacking role, while Luca de la Torre and Tommy McCabe garnered their first starts in the tournament. It marked McCabe’s first appearance in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
  • The front line featured returning starters Haji Wright on the right and Joe Gallardo in the middle. Alejandro Zendejas, who started in the midfield against Cuba, was pushed up to forward on the left side.
  • Christian Pulisic and Wright lead the team with 31 international caps in this cycle dating back to 2013.
  • The USA made its first sub in the 64th minute when McKinze Gaines replaced de la Torre. Gaines leads the USA with appearances in all six international games in 2015.
  • Tyler Adams made his second straight appearance off the bench, replacing Christian Pulisic in the 83rd minute.
  • In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Richie Williams utilized his final substitution with Brandon Vazquez entering for Gallardo. It was Vazquez’s first appearance of the tournament.
  • Trinidad & Tobago played without Shirwin Noel, who served a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in the 39th minute of the team’s opening 4-1 loss to Guatemala on Feb. 27. 

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: March 2, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazán; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 81 degrees; Mostly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1 2 F
USA                              1 1 2
TRI                                0 0 0

USA – Joe Gallardo                                        31st minute
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)             71

Lineups:
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 16-Thomas McCabe, 8-Luca de la Torre (13-McKinze Gaines, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic (18-Tyler Adams, 83); 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo (19-Brandon Vazquez, 90+1), 20-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 4-Alexis Velela, 6-Eric Calvillo, 11-Josh Perez, 12-Kevin Silva, 15-Daniel Barbir, 17-Pierre da Silva
Head coach: Richie Williams

TRI: 1-Levi Fernandez; 3-Keston Julien, 4-Tekay Hoyce, 6-Kareem Riley, 7-Shakeem Patrick; 8-Joshua Burnett (17-Jeankeon Alexander, 84), 10-Morgan Bruce, 11-Jarren Nixon (9-Chaz Burnett, 60), 12-Kierron Mason; 14-Isaiah Hudson (13-Kishon Hacksaw, 82), 19-Noah Powder (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 2-Isaiah Garcia, 15-Darnell Hospedales, 16-Shobai Celestin, 18-Jean-Paul Rochford, 20-Tyrek James
Head coach: Shawn Cooper

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 12 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 11
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Thomas McCabe (caution)                 74th minute
TRI – Joshua Burnett (caution)                      78
USA – Matthew Olosunde (caution)               85

Officials:
Referee: Adrian Skeete (BRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Ake (BLZ)
Fourth Official: Kimbell Ward (SKT)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Hugo Arellano

U-17 MNT Continues World Cup Qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team resumes Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship when it faces Trinidad & Tobago at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 2, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The game is live on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes, and fans can follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

The USA took hold of first place in the group with a resounding 5-0 victory against Cuba on Feb. 27. Joe Gallardo led the way with three goals, while Hugo Arellano and Alejandro Zendejas each contributed a goal. The U-17 MNT’s plus-5 goal differential puts the team ahead of Guatemala (1-0-0, plus-3 goal differential) and host Honduras (1-0-0, plus-2 goal differential).

Trinidad & Tobago dropped its group opener 4-1 go Guatemala on Feb. 27. Keston Julien’s 45th-minute goal cut Guatemala’s lead to 2-1, but Guatemala responded in first-half stoppage time and padded its lead early in the second half.

Here is breakdown of the USA’s history against Trinidad & Tobago in this tournament:

  • The USA has faced Trinidad & Tobago eight previous times in this tournament, which ties for the most games (along with Honduras) against the Group A opponents. The U.S. is 4-1-3 all-time.
  • The first two meetings came at the 1983 CONCACAF U-16 Championship. The USA and Trinidad drew 1-1 in the opening round on Aug. 30, and then played to a scoreless draw through regulation in the title match on Sept. 3. The U.S. won the tournament title 5-3 in penalties.
  • The U.S. earned a 4-0 win to open the preliminary round of the 1987 CONCACAF U-16 Championship on Feb. 15.
  • At the 1988 CONCACAF U-16 Championship, the USA lost 1-0 to Trinidad on Nov. 20 to cap off the group stage, but made up for that result with a 1-0 U.S. win on Nov. 27 in the tournament’s final round in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
  • At the 1991 CONCACAF U-16 Championship, the USA and Trinidad & Tobago drew 1-1 in the final round on March 31.
  • The USA’s top offensive performance against Trinidad was at the 1994 CONCACAF U-16 Championship with a 5-3 victory on Nov. 5 in the group stage.
  • The last time the U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago faced each other was at the 2007 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, where the USA garnered a 3-0 victory on April 30. Alex Nimo scored twice, with Brek Shea assisting his second goal. Ellis McLoughlin contributed the other U.S. tally off of a Sheanon Williams assist.

Photo Gallery: Training Intensifies for WNT Ahead of Algarve Cup Opener

A glimpse at the U.S. WNT's fifth day of training in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup. The USA takes on Norway on March 4 in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt,@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.

U-23 WNT Defeats Norway 2-0 at La Manga Tournament

CHICAGO (Feb, 28, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team made it two wins in a row at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, defeating its counterpart from Norway, 2-0, on goals from forward Shea Groom and midfielder Danielle Colaprico. 

The USA out-shot Norway 16-2, but didn’t get on the board until a few minutes before halftime. Midfielder Samantha Mewis, the only player on the U.S. roster with senior WNT caps, played a pass into Groom near the left side of the penalty box. Groom took a long touch inside to beat the defender and finished hard inside the near post. 

Groom, a second round pick by FC Kansas City in the 2015 NWSL Draft, turned provider on the insurance goal. In the 70th minute she got to the end line and played a pass back across the face of the goal. Boston Breakers fourth-round draft pick Stephanie Verdoia made a perfect dummy run and the ball rolled to Colaprico, a Chicago Red Stars first-round pick, who finished from the top of the six-yard box. Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell picked up the shutout for the USA. 

The USA was coming off a 1-0 victory against Japan on Feb. 26 and will try to make it a three-game sweep at this friendly tournament against England on March 2. After Mewis captained the side against Japan, defender Emily Sonnet wore the armband against Norway. 

The 22-player U.S. squad features 14 professional players, including 13 who were taken in the recent 2015 NWSL Draft. The only one-year pro is Chicago Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. 

- U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team vs. Norway U-23 Women’s National Team
Date: February 28, 2015
Competition: Six Nations Tournament
Venue: La Manga Football Centre; La Manga, Spain 

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F                                             
USA                              1          1          2
NOR                             0          0          0 

USA - Shea Groom (Samantha Mewis)               42nd minute
USA - Danielle Colaprico (Shea Groom)             70 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 17-Andi Sullivan, 13-Emily Sonnett (capt.), 23-Kristin Grubka, 4-Caprice Dydasco (7-Jaelene Hinkle, 46); 9-Rose Lavelle (16-Daphne Corboz, 78), 21-Lo’eau LoBonta, 14-Samantha Mewis (2-Danielle Colaprico, 46); 6-Shea Groom, 10-Stephanie Verdoia, 5-Makenzy Doniak (19-Cheyna Williams, 65)
Subs not used: 3-Vanessa DiBernardo, 8-Sarah Killion, 11-Stephanie McCaffrey, 15-Cari Roccaro, 18-Abby Smith, 20-Lynn Williams, 25-Abby Dahlkemper
Head Coach: Janet Rayfield 

NOR: 1-Nora Neset Gjoen, 2-Cecilie Redisch Kvamme, 4-Stine Pettersen Reinas, 15-Maria Thorisdottir, 5-Nora Byon-Nilssen, 17-Maria Dybwad Brochmann (6-Tonje Pedersen, 61), 16-Anja Sonstevold, 10-Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg, 7-Victoria Ludvigsen, 9-Melissa Bjanesoy, 8-Guro Reiten (19-Lisa Fjellstad Naalsund, 46)
Subs not used: 3-Ane Sund Walsoe, 11-Synne Skinnes Hansen, 12-Hilde Gunn Olsen, 13-Mali Lilleas Naess, 14-Ingrid Ostervold Stenevik, 18-Therese Asland, 12-Anniken Jerre 

Stats Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 16 / 2
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside:  1 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: J. Lavrenovaite
Assistant Referee 1: I. Siliuniene
Assistant Referee 2: V. Skiptitene

U-17 MNT Posts 5-0 Victory against Cuba to Open 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Feb. 27, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got off to a strong start at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, earning a 5-0 victory against Cuba in the Group A opener at Estadio Francisco Morazán. 

Joe Gallardo scored three goals, Hugo Arellano and Alejandro Zendejas tallied in the first half, while Christian Pulisic and Luca de la Torre each provided two assists to lead the way for the USA. 

With the victory, the U-17 MNT has now won seven straight group openers at this qualifying event, starting with the 2001 edition of the tournament. 

It was a dominant performance by the USA, which had ample chances to pad the lead in both halves. Gallardo struck the right post in the 20th minute and Haji Wright had a wide-open scoring opportunity but hit the left of the frame in the 50th minute. 

In Friday’s earlier Group A match, Guatemala defeated Trinidad & Tobago 4-1. Jamaica and Honduras kicked off their group opener following USA-Cuba. 

The USA next faces Trinidad & Tobago at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 2, at Estadio Francisco Morazán (FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Hugo Arellano (Christian Pulisic), 5th minute: Pulisic, who had threatened the net just one minute earlier to earn the corner kick, took the set piece opportunity from the left side, whipping the ball into the box to Arellano. The team captain rose over three Cuba defenders and headed it into the right side of the frame for the early lead. It was Arellano’s first goal of the year and second during his U-17 MNT tenure. USA 1, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Christian Pulisic), 40th minute: Pulisic and Alejandro Zendejas played a swift give-and-go down the right side and Pulisic crossed from the edge of the six-yard box. Gallardo tapped it home with ease for his second goal of the year and 11th of his U-17 MNT career. USA 2, CUB 0 

USA – Alejandro Zendejas, 43rd minute: Just before halftime, the USA worked the ball in from the left and Cuba’s Felipe Hurtado attempted a header clearance. Zendejas was there to settle the ball and ripped a long distance shot into the left of the frame to push the lead to three goals. Zendejas tallied his first international goal of 2015 and fourth during his U-17 career. USA 3, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre), 65th minute: Just seconds after entering the match, de la Torre took two quick touches in the box and set up Gallardo from 20 yards out. Gallardo fired toward the left of the frame, his shot bouncing once in the six-yard box, slightly deflected by Cuba goalkeeper Jesus Enrique Hernandez and finding its way into the back of the net. USA 4, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre), 88th minute: The USA wrapped up its scoring when de la Torre played a through ball to Gallardo at close range. Gallardo’s shot was stopped briefly by Jesus Enrique Hernandez, but bounced right back to Gallardo who capitalized on the second chance and found the left side of the frame for the hat trick. He now leads the U-17s this year with four goals this year and has 14 career goals. USA 5, CUB 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CUB – Jesus Enrique Hernandez, 10th and 13th minutes: The Honduras goalkeeper was challenged early and often, required to limit the damage on a couple occasions. In the 10th minute, Hernandez lunched to his right for a diving save on Josh Perez’s strike. Hernandez allowed a rebound, but Christian Pulisic was offside. Then in the 13th minute, Hernandez again dove to his right to smother another Perez shot. 

USA – Will Pulisic, 23rd minute: Cuba’s Eduard Puga drove a free kick into the box that Alejandro Zendejas headed away. But Cuba continued to threaten in the area and had a chance to attack the net again from the left side of the box with much of the back line pushed up. Pulisic alertly darted off of his line and snared the ball at the edge of the box. 

CUB – Jesus Enrique Hernandez, 62nd minute: U.S. forward Joe Gallardo found a window to shoot from 21 yards out. Hernandez once again made a diving save to his right, making up for a Cuba back line that allowed plenty of space for the USA to work the ball in. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT resumes Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 2, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • The U-17 MNT is now 4-1-0 in international play this year.
  • The USA moved to 6-0-2 all-time against Cuba in this tournament’s history.
  • Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup featured a 4-3-3 formation, with Will Pulisic in net and a defensive line that included John Nelson at left back, Matthew Olosunde at right back and a center back duo of team captain Hugo Arellano and Alexis Velela.
  • The midfield trio comprised of Alejandro Zendejas, Eric Calvillo and Christian Pulisic in an attacking role.
  • The front line featured Josh Perez on the left, Haji Wright on the right and Joe Gallardo in the middle.
  • Christian Pulisic and Wright earned their 30th international caps in this age group, tying for the most by any player in this cycle.
  • Every starter – other than Gallardo who was injured for much of 2014 with a leg injury – has earned 19 or more caps in this age group.
  • The USA was forced to burn an early substitution in the 28th minute when Tyler Adams entered for Calvillo, who suffered a lower leg injury.
  • Midfielder Luca de la Torre made his first appearance of the year when he entered for Zendejas in the 64th minute.
  • In the 84th minute, McKinze Gaines entered the game for Wright. Gaines is the only USA player to appear in all five international matches this year.

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Cuba U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Feb. 27, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazán; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 720
Weather: 86 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary:    1 2 F

USA                            3 2 5 
CUB                            0 0 0

USA – Hugo Arellano (Christian Pulisic)                   5th minute
USA – Joe Gallardo (Christian Pulisic)                      40
USA – Alejandro Zendejas                                         43
USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de le Torre)                      65
USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre)                      88

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 6-Eric Calvillo (18-Tyler Adams, 28), 20-Alejandro Zendejas (8-Luca de la Torre, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic; 7-Haji Wright (13-McKinze Gaines, 86), 9-Joe Gallardo, 11-Josh Perez
Subs Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Thomas McCabe, 17-Pierre da Silva, 19-Brandon Vazquez
Head coach: Richie Williams

CUB: 12-Enrique Hernandez; 2-Felipe Hurtado (18-Neisser Sando, 54), 3-Dariel Morejon, 4-Carlos Borromeo (capt.), 15-Jeffrey Delgado; 5-Jansiel Blanco, 6-Jonathan Ramirez (17-Yordan Alonso, 66), 7-Raycharles Herrera (16-Brian Savigne, 87), 10-Eduard Puga, 13-Serguey Campillo; 8-Yosniel Gonzalez 
Subs Not Used: 1-Lazaro Garcia; 9-Carlos Sebrango, 11-Nelson Betancourt, 14-Yon Hernandez, 19-Omar Romero, 20-Yordanis Barreto  
Head coach: Fidel Salazar

Stats Summary: USA / CUB
Shots: 21 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 14
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
CUB – Felipe Hurtado (caution)                                39th minute
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (caution)                        51
USA – Haji Wright (caution)                                     69

Officials: 
Referee: Mathieu Boudeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Kenroy Willis (CAY)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelar
Fourth Official: Drew Fisher (CAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Joe Gallardo

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