After providing the USA with a critical, late equalizer to earn a 3-3 draw against Ecuador in the opening game of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, midfielder Luca de la Torre continues to prove his ability to prove to be a dependable playmaker for the United States.
Here are five things you should know about the U-20 MNT and Fulham midfielder:
SAN DIEGO ROOTS
Before arriving at Craven Cottage, de la Torre was born and raised in San Diego. Growing up, he enjoyed going to the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Westfield UTC mall, and getting his dose of Mexican food at Roberto’s in La Jolla. His favorite San Diego restaurant, however, is Urban Plates, also in La Jolla, a place he most enjoys going with his mother.
An only child to Juan de la Torre and Anne Bang, de la Torre’s parents are smart, to say the least.
Anne, who received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California-San Diego, is currently the Director of Stem Cell Biology at the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. In her role, Dr. Bang leads efforts to develop patient cell-specific and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based disease models for drug screening and target identification.
Juan, who received his Ph.D. from Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, is currently a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. The institute is a nonprofit medical research facility that focuses on research and education in the biomedical sciences.
WATCH: De la Torre Strike Rescues U.S. Point in World Cup Opener vs. Ecuador
ICE IN HIS VEINS
Before setting a new record for the latest goal scored by a U.S. player at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, de la Torre also found the back of the net in a few other critical Youth National Team moments while donning the red, white and blue.
After the U-20 MNT suffered 1-0 loss to Panama to open the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, the U.S. found itself tied 1-1 with Haiti in their following group game, desperately needing a go-ahead goal to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Just after halftime, de la Torre put the U.S. ahead for good by smashing a deflected corner kick into the back of the net.
Faced with another high-pressure situation in the penalty shootout of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final 12 days later, de la Torre nestled his fourth-round attempt home on the way to a 5-3 shootout victory against Honduras and the first U-20 CONCACAF crown in U.S. Soccer history.
Including his two seasons spent playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Nomads Youth Soccer Club (2011-12) and San Diego Surf (2012-2013), de la Torre also grew up playing for Carmel Valley Sharks and the Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club.
When he wasn’t at soccer practice, he spent any extra time he had training with his dad, who hails from the Spanish Canary Islands. Growing up in a border city like San Diego, de la Torre also acknowledged the influence his Mexican friends and teammates had on developing his style of play.
CLIMBING THE FULHAM RANKS
Shortly after his freshmen year at Torrey Pines High School, de la Torre made the move to become a professional soccer player, taking his talents to London. By signing with Fulham, de la Torre joined a long lineage of U.S. Men’s National Team players that made their way at Craven Cottage, including Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride.
In his three seasons in London, de la Torre has passed through the club’s youth ranks, moving from U-18’s to U-23’s. The 2016-17 season provided him with a professional breakthrough, when he made his first-team debut in an early round EFL Cup match on Aug. 9, 2016.
His journey has been closely watched by his Fulham and U-20 U.S. MNT teammate, defender Marlon Fossey, who had to pull out of the U-20 World Cup due to injury.Read more
CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) – Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017 elections and voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. The results of the voting and induction ceremony details for the Class of 2017 will be announced at a later date.
Players in their first year of eligibility include the following: 2006 FIFA World Cup participant and 15-year MLS veteran Chris Albright; two-time MLS Cup champion and three-time MLS All-Star David Beckham; 2002 Gold Cup, MLS Cup and MLS Supporters Shield champion Danny Califf; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Cup champion Joe Cannon; three-time FIFA World Cup squad member and 14-year U.S. MNT veteran Steve Cherundolo; three-time MLS Cup Champion, all-time Houston Dynamo leading goal scorer and 2007 Gold Cup champion Brian Ching; 2007 Women’s World Cup participant Tina Frimpong Ellertson; 2008 MLS Cup champion Eddie Gaven; seven-year MLS veteran and 2004 MLS Most Valuable Player Amado Guevara; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and all-time leader in MLS appearances Kevin Hartman; 2002 and 2006 World Cup participant and 2007 and 2007 Gold Cup champion Pablo Mastroeni; 2007 Women’s World Cup participant Leslie Osborne.
In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S.; if played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason league All-Star team at least once.
The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners/Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can select up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.
Of the 33-player ballot, Chris Armas, a member of the U.S. teams that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2002 and 2005, and Jason Kreis, the 1999 MLS leading goal scorer and most valuable player, are in their final year of eligibility.
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Tina Frimpong Ellerston*
Kate Sobrero Markgraf
*First year of eligibility
**Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2018
In addition to the Player ballot, voting will also begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Fifteen players are up for selection on the Veteran ballot, which is voted on only by current Hall of Famers after the list has been narrowed down by a screening committee.
Voters can name up to five Veteran candidates, and the top vote-getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. If no individual appears on 50 percent of the ballots, then no Veteran will be elected to the 2017 Class. More than one candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.
In order to be eligible for election as a Veteran, an individual must be retired for more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and selected as league All-Star at least once, or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between 1984 and the end of the league in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason All-Star in at least one of those seasons.
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
The 2017 Builder ballot includes ten individuals selected by a screening committee and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot, although the voting pool is expanded to also include select soccer administrators.
Builders must be at least 50-years-old and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on American Soccer at the national, federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible (although a referee who has less than seven years as a FIFA international referee still can qualify for the list via 10 or more years as a United States first-division referee).
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot
Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at ussoccer.com.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame closed its Oneonta, N.Y. facility in 2010. The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.Read more
CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) – The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas have released details of an updated construction timeline for the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. This new timeline includes updated image renderings that showcases features such as the Main Street elevation, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Club and FC Dallas’ gameday locker room.
National Soccer Hall of Fame Estimated Construction Timeline*
- Winter 2017 – South end zone seating in place
- Summer 2018 – Locker rooms, Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup Hall of Fame club and terrace, roof structure, team store, box office and press conference areas completed
- Winter 2018 – Concourse level Hall of Fame Club and Museum completed
*all estimated completion dates are subject to change
Additional images available for download here.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame will feature a variety of soccer-inspired design elements, including a sculptural art installation that drapes above the main entrance located on Main Street in Frisco, TX. This scarf motif offers artistic connections to exhibit spaces that will be featured throughout the Hall of Fame.
“The Main Street design harkens back to the history and tradition of soccer around the world,” said FC Dallas president Dan Hunt. “We are thrilled to bring the most important soccer museum in North America to Frisco, TX.”
Other project highlights include:
- A 24,750 square-foot roof structure that will cover almost 3,000 premium seats
- Expanded, multiuse game day locker rooms featuring 200 lockers
- Two field-level player tunnels that allow teams to exit separately through fan areas
- The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Bar – a club space with casual food and beverage options that overlooks the glass-enclosed press conference area and locker room exit tunnels
- Banquet space in the Hall of Fame club area which provides an elevated food and beverage experience that can accommodate seated events up to 700 guests
- 3,000 square-foot specialty store that will also offer soccer-specific merchandise
- 1,389 square feet of additional video boards, including two in-stadium boards, which will increase the Toyota Stadium video board footprint to approximately 7,512 square feet or slightly larger than two NBA-regulation basketball courts
“We’d like to thank FC Dallas and the Hunt family for all their hard work and dedication during this process,” said U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn. “We’re excited about the progress that’s been made in these early stages, and we’re looking forward to seeing the continued development of the National Soccer Hall of Fame over the next year.”
About the National Soccer Hall of Fame
Part of a $40 million renovation at Toyota Stadium, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is a public-private partnership among FC Dallas, the City of Frisco, Frisco Independent School District and U.S. Soccer Federation.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame was first located in Oneonta, NY and known as the National Soccer Museum from 1979-2010. It became known as the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1983. The facility closed in February of 2010.
In 2013, FC Dallas owners, Clark and Dan Hunt launched a campaign to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco. Their father, Lamar Hunt, was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, he received the Hall’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He remains one of only three individuals to have won the award.Read more
CARSON, Calif. (May 22, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team fell 2-1 to the Japan Under-20 Women’s National Team in a match played at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.
The teams will meet again on Wednesday, May 24 (5 p.m. PT) on the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field (Field #1).
The USA fell behind in the 12th minute when Fuka Kono hit a driven shot from the top of the penalty box into the lower right corner past diving U.S. goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn.
The USA tied the match in the 88th minute on a brilliant long ball over the Japan defense from midfielder Jaelin Howell that settled perfectly for the streaking Civana Kuhlmann. She controlled the ball and finished smartly from 12 yards out to equalize. It was Kuhlmann’s second U-20 international goal after scoring 15 at the U-17 level.
The USA seemed headed for a well-earned draw when in the third and final minute of second half stoppage time, Riko Ushijima launched a seemingly innocuous ball into the penalty area and it kept sailing toward the net before Heinsohn mishandled the shot into the goal for Japan’s game-winner.
- U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Under-20 WNT vs. Japan U-20 WNT
Date: May 22, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field; StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Weather: 70 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JPN 1 1 2
JPN – Fuka Kono 12th minute
USA – Civana Kuhlmann (Jaelin Howell) 88
JPN – Riko Ushijima 90+3
USA: 1-Brooke Heinsohn, 2-Emily Fox (Isabel Rodriguez, 86), 4-Tierna Davidson (capt.), 5-Sydney Dawson (21-Naomi Girma, 35), 3-Julie Doyle (Tara McKeown, 46), 13- Kelsey Turnbow (11-Abigail Kim, 29), 6-Jaelin Howell, 17-Brianna Pinto (Taylor Kornieck, 76), 7-Sophia Smith, 10- Viviana Villacorta (Adrienne Richardson, 46), 9-Belle Briede (Civana Kuhlmann, 46)
Subs not used: 8-Savannah DeMelo, 12-Laurel Ivory, 18-Karina Rodriguez, 20-Amirah Ali, 22-Amanda McGlynn, 22-Amanda Dennis, 23-Mireya Grey
Head Coach: Jitka Klimkova
JPN: 2-Riko Ushijima, 3-Miyu Takahira (19-Nagisa Sato, 46), 4-Moeka Minami (8-Rina Mehara, 57), 5-Asato Miyagawa, 6-Mami Muraoka (14-Honoka Yonei, 71), 10-Fuka Nagano (17-Sari Suzuki, 46), 11-Fuka Kono (13-Hana Takahashi, 57), 15-Nana Ono, 16-Yurina Imai (9-Hinata Miyazawa, 46), 18-Hannah Stambough, 22- Mayu Karahashi (12-Reina Nagashima, 71)
Subs not used: 1-Aguri Suzuki, 7-Mizuka Sato, 20-Niina Yamada, 21-Mai Fukkuta, 23-Miyu Tomita
Head Coach: Futoshi Ikeda
Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 8 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 0 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 5
Offside: 6 / 3
Referee: Salma Perez (USA)
Asst. Referee 1: Kristina Patterson (USA)
Asst. Referee 2: Jaclyn Reilman (USA)
CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) — U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team midfielder Gedion Zelalem has been ruled out of the FIFA U-20 World Cup after sustaining an injury to his left knee and was subbed out in the 34th minute of the USA’s opening Group F game against Ecuador.
Zelalem will consult with the medical teams of U.S. Soccer and Arsenal to formulate a treatment plan.
“For Gedion, this was his second U-20 World Cup so his experience was invaluable for us,” U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos said. “His passing ability is second to none in this tournament and we’ll miss that. He was running the team from his position. Having said that, I believe in the players we have here and we've already seen what Derrick Jones can do. We are confident that the team is ready for the next challenge”
Zelalem had recently returned to the U-20 Men’s National Team, making his first appearance since the U.S. faced England on October 10, 2016, in the Four Nations Tournament in Rochdale, England.Read more