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  • DateFriday, October 11, 2013
  • VenueSporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.
  • Attendance18,467
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Across the Academy – Nov. 26, 2014: Winter Showcase, Nike Friendlies Arrive in Florida

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
Nike Friendlies and Academy Winter Showcase Kick off Starting Nov. 28: The 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase, which runs in conjunction with the Nike International Friendlies, begins the day after Thanksgiving, starting with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s Nike Friendlies match against England on Friday, Nov. 28 (6 p.m. ET, live on ussoccer.com). The next day, the Academy’s U-18 age group opens up the Academy Winter Showcase event. The Nike Friendlies and Winter Showcase take place at Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

All six games for the Nike International Friendlies will be shown live on ussoccer.com, with the U.S. U-17 MNT’s match serving as the night cap at 6 p.m. ET.

On ussoccer.com:

U-17 MNT Closes Out Trip to Chile: The U.S. U-17 MNT drew Qatar 1-1 on Saturday to wrap up the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Talca, Chile. Haji Wright scored the USA’s 61st-minute equalizer. The LA Galaxy Academy product leads the U-17s with 18 goals in 19 games this year. On Nov. 22, the USA dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to Brazil after rallying from a two-goal deficit. Wright scored twice and PA Classics product Christian Pulisic scored a game-tying goal in the 85th minute.

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook. At the 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies, use the #AcademyShowcase, #OneNationOneTeam and #1N1T hashtags.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Nov. 22-23):

  • West Conference: The Portland Timbers U-16 team earned its fourth win over its past five games with a 3-2 win against Crossfire Premier on Saturday in Northwest Division action. Carlos Anguiano scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute and Jose Perez tallied two goals for the Timbers (5-3-2, 1.70 points per game).
  • Central Conference: The Dallas Texans U-16s earned their sixth shutout of the season, posting a 1-0 victory against the Texas Rush on Saturday. Nicky Hernandez scored a goal in the 55th minute to improve to 7-1-3 (2.18 points per game). The Dallas Texans have extended their unbeaten streak to seven games.
  • East Conference: In the Southeast Division, Charlotte Soccer Academy’s U-18s moved ahead of North Carolina Fusion into sixth place with a 1-0 victory on Sunday. Aidan Peterson scored the game’s lone goal in the 76th minute as Charlotte Soccer Academy posted its third straight shutout victory to move to 4-4-4 (1.33 points per game).

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Five Nominees up for Young Male Athlete of the Year: The nominees were announced for the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year. All five have former ties to the Development Academy. They include U-17 MNT midfielder Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy); U-20, U-23 and MNT midfielder Emerson Hyndman (FC Dallas Academy); U-17 MNT midfielder Christian Pulisic (PA Classics); U-17 and U-18 forward Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy) and MNT defender DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC Academy) who is age-eligible for the U-23s for Olympic qualifying.

Academy Product Morris Makes National Team Leap: Forward Jordan Morris, the 2012-13 Development Academy U-18 Player of the Year while playing for Seattle Sounders FC’s Academy side, made his Men’s National Team debut against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18. Morris relished the opportunity when he was brought into the 76th minute. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid, so it was an unbelievable honor and a great experience.”

UPCOMING ACADEMY SCHEDULE:

OTHER LINKS:

Top-Level Academy Winter Showcase Brings All Clubs to Florida

The 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase opens with the U-18 age group kicking things off Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

The Winter Showcase has become a staple in the Academy calendar over the years as the U-16 and U-18 age groups look forward to three competitive matches against out-of-conference opponents. Players will also compete with the watchful eyes of the U.S. Scouting Network, which will be in attendance and evaluate all games.

The U-18 Academy teams will play Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 2. The Academy’s U-16 group competes on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 3.

The event also features a Development Academy Select match on Monday, Dec. 1, featuring players born in 1998 and 1999 (kickoff at 5 p.m. ET). Two 18-player rosters, handpicked by U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and Youth National Team staff, will compete against each other with the goal of catching a few eyes to further their play.

McKinze Gaines and Matthew Real

Some recent examples of Academy players who have catapulted themselves from the Select Game into regular Youth National Team consideration are Minnesota Thunder Academy alum Jackson Yueill, who has featured regularly with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, and Lonestar product McKinze Gaines. Gaines is tied with Haji Wright for the most international appearances with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team this year with 19 caps.

The Academy Winter Showcase runs in conjunction with the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, which features the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. The USA will face England (Nov. 28), Australia (Nov. 30) and Brazil (Dec. 2) at 6 p.m. ET. All six games at the Nike International Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.com. The USA matchups are preceded by a 3 p.m. ET game that includes Australia vs. Brazil (Nov. 28), Brazil vs. England (Nov. 30) and England vs. Australia (Dec. 2).

Among the many intriguing Academy Showcase matchups, on Sunday, Nov. 30, the U-18 age group features two currently unbeaten sides in the Atlantic Division-leading New York Red Bulls (8-0-2) and Northwest Division frontrunner Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11-0-0). When the U-16s open play earlier that day, one highly anticipated game includes the Northeast Division’s first-place BW Gottschee Academy (7-1-3) against Arsenal FC (8-3-2), which is currently second in the Southwest Division behind defending U-16 national champion LA Galaxy.

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com andussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter@ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook, using the #AcademyShowcase, #OneNationOneTeam and #1N1T hashtags.

Defending Champion U-17 MNT Kicks off Nike International Friendlies against England

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opens the 2014 Nike International Friendlies against England’s U-17s on Friday, Nov. 28, at Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. ET and will be live on ussoccer.com. That match is preceded by a 3 p.m. game featuring Australia and Brazil.

All six games at the Nike Friendlies will be live on ussoccer.com, with the USA game serving as the night cap on all three days. The U.S. U-17 MNT faces Australia on Sunday, Nov. 30, and Brazil on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Fans can also follow all matches live on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

The tournament takes place at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch and runs in conjunction with the 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase, which starts Saturday, Nov. 29, with the U-18 age group.

This marks the USA’s last major tournament of the year as the focus will then turn toward preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship from Feb. 27-March 14 in Honduras.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. England U-17
2014 Nike International Friendlies
Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Nov. 28, 2014

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team By Position:
The USA roster will be announced shortly.

USA ROSTER NOTES:

  • The USA is the defending champion of this event, earning last year’s crown with a 4-1 victory against Brazil in the finale on Dec. 13, 2013.
  • The U-17 MNT is coming off a three-game tournament in Chile from Nov. 18-22, with draws against host Chile and Qatar and a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Brazil after rallying from a two-goal deficit.
  • U-17 head coach Richie Williams’ side has enjoyed a successful 2014. The team has compiled a 15-6-3 international record and a 16-6-7 mark overall. Haji Wright is the USA’s leading goal scorer with 18 tallies in 19 international matches. Midfielder Christian Pulisic has 14 goals and seven assists in 18 matches. Forward Pierre Da Silva is the leading assists man with eight through 848 minutes of play and 15 appearances.

USA VS. ENGLAND:

  • The U.S. U-17 MNT and England last met at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies, with the USA earning a commanding 5-1 victory on Dec. 11, 2013.
  • Joe Gallardo led the way with a hat trick and Haji Wright tallied twice for the USA. Marcus Edwards had England’s lone goal.

ON USSOCCER.COM:

England U-17's Reece Oxford

IN FOCUS: ENGLAND
The Football Association
Founded: 1863
FIFA affiliation: 1905
Head Coach: John Peacock
Best U-17 World Cup Finish:

ENGLAND U-17 ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Paul Woolston (Newcastle), 13-Alfie Whiteman (Tottenham Hotspur)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-James Yates (Everton), 3-Adetayo Edun (Fulham), 5-Reece Oxford (West Ham), 6-Cameron Humphreys-Grant (Manchester City), 12-Kyron Stabana (Derby County), 14-Trent Arnold (Liverpool), 15-Danny Collinge (VFB Stuttgart), 16-Easah Suliman (Aston Villa)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Tom Davies (Everton), 7-Nathan Holland (Everton), 8-Adam Phillips (Liverpool), 9-Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City), 10-Marcus Edwards (Tottenham), 18-William Patching (Manchester City), 20-Daniel Wright (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (3): 11-Layton N’dukwu (Leicester City), 17-Ike Ugbo (Chelsea), 19-Jahmal Hector-Ingram (West Ham)

ENGLAND U-17 ROSTER NOTES:

  • The England roster features nine players who were part of the squad at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies: goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman, defenders Trent Arnold, Danny Collinge, Cameron Humphreys-Grant and Reece Oxford, midfielders Marcus Edwards, William Patching and Adam Phillips and forward Layton N’dukwu.
  • Phillips wore the captain’s armband and Edwards scored a goal during England’s 5-1 loss to the USA at last year’s tournament match.
  • In other matches at last year’s tournament, England defeated Portugal 4-3 on Dec. 13, and dropped a 2-1 decision against Brazil on Dec. 9 despite scoring the game’s opening goal in the 18th minute.
  • England won the 2014 UEFA European U-17 Championship in Malta, marking England’s second UEFA U-17 crown. In the final, England defeated the Netherlands 4-1 in penalties on May 21. The two teams were even 1-1 through regulation. Head coach John Peacock’s roster did not include players from the group taking part in the 2014 Nike International Friendlies.
  • Ten players on England’s 2014 Nike Friendlies roster took part in the Montaigu Tournament in France with England’s U-16s. England took third place.
  • The 2015 UEFA European U-17 Championship from May 6-22 will serve as England’s qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

JK Q&A: Klinsmann Closes the Book on 2014 and Previews 2015

After finishing off the 2014 slate with a pair of friendlies against Colombia and Ireland in the United Kingdom, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the state of the team as it sets sail on the new 2018 World Cup cycle.

ussoccer.com: Having thoroughly reviewed both games, what are the key points you take away? To what extent are the results important? 

Jurgen Klinsmann: “Results are always important because results over time bring you confidence and give you more respect towards opponents and other countries watching you. But, on the other hand, playing these games in another environment, especially far away from the United States is always a learning curve. It's an experiment where you can bring in players who never really experienced this type of atmosphere or circumstances. Therefore it was two very important games where I hope the players took a lot with them at the end of the day.” 

“Obviously for us coaches we saw a lot of things we want to see and also a lot of things we don’t want to see, especially in the 4-1 loss to Ireland. There were too many individual mistakes, especially on the second and third goal, that you can’t afford on the international level.”

“I still think it was definitely worth it. We were excited about a couple of players coming in being fresh. Bill Hamid made his start there against Ireland and experienced really the international level. Jordan Morris played his first cap, Rubio Rubin came in and we see some talent coming through. Will it take time for them? Absolutely, but you got to start that process and it’s better earlier than too late. So we start the process already and we're excited for them.”

ussoccer.com: One of the key goals of this last camp was establish a mentoring environment between the veterans and the youngsters. Were you pleased with how that went, and what are the next steps there?

JK: “It was the overall theme that we wanted to use the last couple of games: to build relationships between the older players and some of the younger players to be their mentors, to be their guides in a certain way, to help from their experience. We wanted guys like Brad Guzan, Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Jermaine Jones and others to make the younger players understand what it takes to drive towards hopefully one day a World Cup because they already have a couple World Cups under their belts. This mentorship that we've started now will continue in the future because we want the younger players to grow and we want them to very fast understand that it takes a lot of inner drive and self-motivation and professionalism to get to that level where the established older guys have played already. So this theme will go with us into the future and it will be interesting to see how it develops.”

ussoccer.com: You said the goalkeeper position is an open competition. You've had a variety of them in camp and were able to spread around minutes. How would you assess that situation?

JK: “I think the goalkeeper situation is going well. Obviously Tim Howard is taking a year off, so Brad Guzan jumps in as the natural fit right away. He proves that he is ready to be the No. 1. Nick Rimando is knocking at the door and he would like to have that spot too. For us it's also important that we bring along Billy Hamid and Sean Johnson who were our Olympic team goalkeepers of the last cycle. So we have to bring them into those environments, train them on the highest level, but also here and there give them a game. That's why Bill Hamid started that game against Ireland and did well; I had no issues at all [with his performance]. Right now, it's not about defining No. 1, 2, and 3 and setting it in stone because we're in a transition year going into next summer's Gold Cup. Prior to the Gold Cup we will make it clear, so this year gives us the opportunity to have a closer look at all of them.”

ussoccer.com: Part of the goal of these friendlies is to get players experience. In what ways does making extensive substitutions impact a match?

JK: “Playing friendly games and having the substitution rule where you can bring in six players obviously changes the dynamic of games, especially towards the end of games. When you bring in subs in order to give them a chance, in order to give them experience, you sort of risk the result. Either way - it could go the good way or it could go the bad way. When you come in as a sub and you're down a goal, it's far more difficult to give an impact than if you're up a goal when everything is positive and you might hit another goal from your end. So it's not always easy for the subs to make an impression, but if we don't do it, we miss out on too big an opportunity for these players to gain experience. So, we compromised the substitutions in a friendly game for some results. Do we want the results at the same time? Absolutely, but here and there you’ve got do it for the big picture.”

ussoccer.com: Two of the surprise call-ups during the post-World Cup friendlies were Miguel Ibarra and Jordan Morris. How did they fare, and are you open to bringing in other players in similar circumstances as them?

JK:We believe Miguel Ibarra coming from the NASL and Jordan Morris coming from college that there are players in those areas that have tremendous talent. So we are looking at their talent and where it could be in two to four years from now if you give them time to grow and nurture them. Basically it's gone extremely well so far, so we are looking for players all over the place - if they come through the European channels, maybe through the youth system there, through Mexico or the NASL or the college route or the MLS ranks.

“The players themselves need to prove that they have this inner drive and they have an understanding of what it takes to grow into an established player on the international level. Our job is to identify their talent and then build it. Hopefully they make the right choices then down the road in terms of their own career and their own club environment, but it’s encouraging to see these two young players leading the way for hopefully many other players in the future to break through.”

ussoccer.com: Morris made his debut when he came on against Ireland. How did you rate his performance?

JK: “For us coaches it’s really important for us to see the talent growing one step at a time. With Jordan Morris you have a player that comes from the college system; he comes from Stanford. He has a specific rhythm there in the college environment, so we kind of had a closer look at him with the Olympic team first, then I brought him to the Czech Republic. We saw him grow now over the last half year to a year and he did better and better because he gets more and more confident and believes in himself. So when the moment came actually to add him in to the Ireland game, it was a tricky moment because we were down. But he settled in and he had good moments. He was good in one-on-one situations. If he's a bit lucky he gives an assist to Greg Garza to score a goal. So we were very happy and we continue to build him and bring him in like with the other younger players.”

ussoccer.com: How would you assess the Jermaine Jones transition to centerback? Is something you plan on continuing?

JK: “Jermaine Jones growing into this role as a right center back is encouraging for us to see that we have another option, another card if we need him to play. Is he more of a midfielder? Yes, that's where he played his whole life. Does he see himself as a midfielder? Probably, but we see that at his age he has tremendous experience and leadership to guide a back line, especially with young players coming through like John Anthony Brooks. They are the ones who need that leadership from him on the back line. It's good to have this drive from Jermaine. Going forward this will be important for us. It could be that he has to settle with this role; we'll see. We'll see with the development of all the other players in that role as well, but we're looking good in terms of center backs.”

ussoccer.com: Tim Howard was voted the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. What can you say about his performance in 2014?

JK:When you talk about Timmy, you talk about the Belgium game where I don’t know how many shots he saved, but he really was our backbone to stay in the game and to go all the way into extra time and almost actually beat Belgium. That was a remarkable performance from him that I think everybody would talk about right away. He's a tremendous personality, a very calm, quiet leader. Obviously he has all the experience that you need in his position but also in his career. He's played pretty much his entire career in Europe on a very high level, so he's a role model for many, many young players coming through the ranks and not only goal keepers, also field players. It's just great to have him.” 

ussoccer.com: You will be attending the Nike Friendlies and the Development Academy Showcase at the end of the month. What is on the agenda there? 

JK: “For us coaches it's important to see what the talent is doing on a younger level so going to the Nike Friendlies, seeing our U-17s competing with teams like Brazil, Australia and England is quite exciting. I was there last year and it was neat to see. It's also important for us to connect with the Academy program, with the coaches from the Academy clubs, with a lot of people who are down there and seeing things first hand. That's why I called in my coaching staff, assistant coaches and other people to have a closer look at the young players. It's important to always be up to speed with the development on the youth side.”

ussoccer.com: Many of the players are now heading into their offseason. What will your message be to them on how to bridge the gap between now and the start of their next season? 

JK: “For us it's a tricky situation. MLS players are pretty much done, NASL players are done, the college season gets to an end, Mexico plays its own agenda and the Europeans now are going full steam basically until the end of May. We're monitoring all of them, their club teams, we're keeping in touch with their coaches and with themselves as well. It's a lot of scouting. It's a lot of communication, a lot of tracking down the right people to get the right information. What we hope from them is absolutely to establish their starter position stronger and stronger. This is the biggest challenge for them. This is what quite a lot of them lost after the World Cup. For us this is a bad situation to develop a National Team program with players not starting in their club situations. Hopefully they get that done over the next couple weeks and we can look at it a little bit calmer.”  

ussoccer.com: You have considered different approaches to the January camp, including not having one at all. Why is this camp important and what will be the focus in terms of roster and schedule? 

JK: “With the tricky situation that we have in the United States that now we have the season for the MLS players going towards the end and a lot of them having a break of almost two or three months, we are forced to hold a January camp to try and get the players in early in order to build their foundation for the season. It probably will go with the theme we had the last couple of months, bringing experienced players, bringing a lot of younger players in and kind of meld them together and have that mentorship for the developmental aspect of it.

“We want to explain a lot more what it takes to get to the international level - that you have to be on top of your game on the field, but you also have to be on top of your life off the field. With that schedule that we carry in the United States that we only get a nine, nine-and-a-half month season, we can't compete with the nations that go 11 months through. We're missing two months basically, so we try to bridge that with camps. We keep working, we keep explaining, we keep educating, which is very important on the field and off the field. It's going to be an exciting January camp like all the other ones in the past.” 

ussoccer.com: Next year has been described as one of the most challenging schedules the National Team has ever put together in terms of the opponents as well as the competitions which would suggest a significant growth opportunity. How important is it to have the full team available?

JK: “Looking forward to 2015, obviously there's an exciting Gold Cup on the agenda in July, which we want to badly win because it takes us to the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia. Certainly there are challenges with the FIFA fixture dates. The calendar is not in sync with MLS, so hopefully we're getting closer with MLS to solve that situation so that we can always call the strongest team possible for senior National Team games, which is very important to us because we want to do well and we want to get the results. We can't always compromise our players on this side or the other side, so having that calendar together would help us tremendously.

“2015 will be a year of developing talent on and off the field. The theme will be education. Education wherever we can. We want to educate more on the coaching side, we want to educate on the players side, we want to educate on the parents side about what it really takes to become a professional. What's exciting for us is we're building our own counseling office with Nelson Rodriguez leading it. This is a huge step. It's something we copied a bit from the universities where we try to establish contact with the players and their parents early in order to help them understand what you need to know to become a pro. So there will be a lot of educational topics out there. We want to improve coaching education wherever we can because it's crucial, and we want to challenge our players and not let them settle, not even for a second, for whatever they have achieved up to that point. We want to grow our program and one day compete with the best in the world, so it means a lot of hard work in 2015.”

U-17 MNT Draws Qatar 1-1 in Chile

TALCA, Chile (Nov. 22, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Qatar 1-1 at Estadio Fiscal de Talca to wrap up the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins.

U.S. U-17 MNT goal scoring leader Haji Wright notched a 61st-minute equalizer for his 18th goal of the year in international competition.

The USA went 0-1-2 at the event, with a 2-2 draw against host Chile on Nov. 18 and a 4-3 loss to Brazil on Nov. 20. The U-17s are 15-7-2 in international play and 16-7-6 overall in 2014.

The U.S. U-17 MNT had the brunt of scoring chances throughout the match against Qatar. Both teams came up empty in the first half, but Qatar broke the stalemate early in the second half. Khalid Mazeed had a strong individual effort to work the ball into the middle and blast a right-footed shot just inside the left post for a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.

Wright and the USA responded four minutes later with a right-footed shot from about 10 yards out that sneaked past Qatar’s goalkeeper at the near right post.

The U.S. U-17s will now put their focus toward the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, at Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The defending champion USA will face England (Nov. 28), Australia (Nov. 30) and Brazil (Dec. 2), with all games kicking off at 6 p.m. ET and available live on ussoccer.com. The preceding 3 p.m. ET matches also will be live on ussoccer.com, featuring Australia vs. Brazil (Nov. 28), Brazil vs. England (Nov. 30) and England vs. Australia (Dec. 2).

More information from the USA-Chile match will be available on ussoccer.com.

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