US SoccerUS Soccer

Alexis Velela

U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team
Stories

Thirty Eight Players Called to U-17 MNT Camp

CHICAGO (July 4, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has called 38 players to a training camp that will take place from July 5-12 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

The large camp will help Williams and his staff determine the rosters for a pair of upcoming international tournaments set to run from the end of July into August in Denmark and Mexico, respectively. The 2014 Nordic Open Cup Tournament in Kolding, Denmark, runs from July 24-Aug. 3, overlapping the third annual Copa de Mexico in Mexico City, the group stage of which will take place July 30-Aug. 11.

While in camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, the U-17 MNT will train for the first four days before playing a pair of matches on July 9 – the first against Orange County Blue Stars at 10 a.m. PT and the second against Club Tijuana’s U-18 team at 5 p.m. PT. The players will also take in both FIFA World Cup semifinal matches on July 8 and 9 before finishing camp with two more friendly games on July 12; the first against Orange County Blue Stars will be at 10 a.m. PT and the second against the LA Galaxy Academy U-17/18s at 12:30 p.m. PT.

The camp roster includes 22 players currently enrolled in U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida, and a handful of internationally-based players, including Monterrey FC (Mexico) duo Joe Gallardo and Jonathan Gonzalez, Vitesse (Netherlands) forward Kai Koreniuk, and Fiorentina (Italy) midfielder Josh Perez. The camp is the first with the U-17 program for Perez since December, when he helped the U.S. win the 2013 Nike International Friendlies. Additionally, it represents the first U.S. National Team call-up at any age level for Koreniuk.

Other players receiving their first National Team call-ups include: Francisco Contreras (Bathesda-Olney), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers) and Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy), while Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic) and Mattias Tomasino (Kendall SC) are making just their second appearance at a YNT event.

The roster is primarily composed of players born in 1998 with the exception of six who were born in 1999. Five of the six ’99-born players are core pieces of the U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team, including: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf), Gonzalez and Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy); the sixth, Edwin Lara (De Anza Force), has been a consistent contributor with the U-17 program throughout the current cycle.

Thirty-one of the 38 players on the roster are registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team NTC Camp Schedule:
Date                Opponent                                            Time (PT)
July 9              vs. Orange County Blue Stars            10 a.m.
                        vs. Club Tijuana U-18s                       5 p.m.
July 12            vs. Orange County Blue Stars            10 a.m.
                        vs. LA Galaxy Academy                    12:30 p.m.

U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (12): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Edwin Lara (De Anza Force; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy; Point Reyes, Calif.), Mattias Tomasino (Kendall; Miami, Fla.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (12): George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Francisco Contreras (Bethesda-Olney; Fredrick, Md.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey FC; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers; Watsonville, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (11): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy - CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore), Kai Koreniuk (Vitesse; Ormond Beach, Fla.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (ACF Fiorentina; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas)


Richie Williams Names 20-Player U-17 MNT Squad for Three-Match Pacific Northwest Tour

CHICAGO (March 6, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player squad to take part in a three-match tour of the Pacific Northwest that will run from March 7-18. The trip includes games against the Seattle Sounders FC U-17/18s, the University of Portland Pilots and the Portland Timbers Reserves.

The U.S. U-17 MNT begins its tour in Seattle, where the players will train for two days as well as attend the opening kickoff of the 2014 MLS season when Seattle Sounders FC hosts Sporting Kansas City on March 8. Before departing the Emerald City, the U.S. U-17s will face a Sounders squad, featuring a blend of the club’s U-17/18 Academy players and first team Reserves at Starfire Sports Complex, Field 1 on March 10, at 7 p.m. PT. The match is open to the public and free to attend.

The U.S. U-17s then travel to Portland, Ore., for a game against the Portland Pilots on March 12. The match, which is set to kick off at 7 p.m. PT, will be played at Merlo Field on the university’s campus and is free to the public.

The team will train in Portland through the weekend, including one day at the Nike Campus in Beaverton, before playing its final match on March 17 against a Portland Timbers squad comprised primarily of the club’s first team Reserves and some players from its U-17/18 Development Academy team. Kickoff for the game is set for 10 a.m. PT at Providence Park and is a Timbers season-ticket holder event.

Seventeen of the 20 players on the U.S. U-17 roster are currently enrolled in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Two non-Residency players, Edwin Lara and Nicholas Taitague, who are age eligible for the U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team, continue their run of call-ups for Richie Williams’ side, and the only other player not currently in Residency is New York Red Bulls Academy product Tyler Adams, who recently captained the U-15 BNT for two friendlies against the United Arab Emirates during an international training camp in Abu Dhabi in February.

Including Adams, the New York Red Bulls lead the five MLS Academy teams represented with two players on the roster; Matthew Olosunde is New York’s other Academy product on the roster. The other four MLS Academies are Chivas USA (Hugo Arellano), Crew Soccer Academy (George Braima), FC Dallas (Alejandro Zendejas) and the LA Galaxy Academy (Haji Wright).

U.S. U-17 MNT SCHEDULE:
March 10; 7 p.m. PT
– U-17 MNT vs. Seattle Sounders Reserves/U-17/18’s; Starfire Field #1
March 12; 7 p.m. PT
– U-17 MNT vs. University of Portland Pilots; Merlo Field
March 17; 10 a.m. PT
– U-17 MNT vs. Portland Timbers Reserves/U-17/18s; Providence Park

U.S. U-17 MNT ROSTER BY POSITION
:
GOALKEEPERS (2)
: William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7)
: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), Edwin Lara (De Anza Force; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6)
: George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Nicholas Taitague (Richmond Strikers; Midlothian, Va.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (5)
: Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)

U17 MNT vs Scotland Highlights Jan 23 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team was held to a 1-1 draw by Scotland in the teams’ last Group B match at the 2014 Aegean Cup. Before playing Scotland, the USA (2-0-1; 7pts) had already secured a spot in the championship thanks to wins over reigning tournament champion France and Norway.

U17 MNT vs Norway Highlights Jan 21 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continued its sterling start at the 2014 Aegean Cup by defeating Norway 5-2 to book its place in the tournament’s championship match.

U-17 MNT Quote Sheet: The Aegean Cup Experience

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team goalkeeper Will Pulisic, midfielder Alexis Velela and forward McKinzie Gaines speak about their experiences winning the 2014 Aegean Cup in Turkey. Pulisic also elaborates on winning the tournament’s Golden Glove award and his friendship with fellow U-17 goalkeeper Kevin Silva, while Velela sheds some light on being team captain, and Gaines describes his first international experience with a U.S. Youth National Team.

U.S. U-17 MNT goalkeeper WILL PULISIC
On the overall experience of the tournament:
“The tournament went really well for our team. I thought we were able to dominate most of the games. We felt we were the better team. The better teams don’t always win, but we were able to find a way to win. In the final, the last 20 minutes was really tough. We were up one goal and we learned that as long as we keep our focus and keep playing we can come out on top even when we’re playing against Turkey in their home stadium with their fans.” 

On the team’s confidence in playing its style of football against quality opposition at home and abroad:
“We’re all a family here. Everyone is close with everyone. So, whenever someone gets down, everyone is there to pick him up. We stick together and always have each other’s back throughout tournaments and everything we do.”

On the run of winning results the team has achieved at international tournaments dating back to August:
“We just want to keep winning. We learned from the last cycle that it’s important to win. You can play as well as you want, but in the end, it’s down to winning if you want to qualify [for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup]. It all starts now, and that’s what we’re working up to. We just need to start winning now and hopefully keep winning all the way through.”

On being part of a team that has a growing string of winning results:
“It feels really good. It builds your confidence up, makes you play a lot better, makes the chemistry with the team a lot better, and makes you want to keep winning even more, which, in the end, that’s good.”

On being the team’s primary goalkeeper for the tournament:
“This was definitely my first time being the No. 1, and I saw it as a good opportunity to prove myself. I took advantage of it. I thought I played pretty well and I was happy with that. Whenever I get my name called, I’m going to step it up.”

On winning the tournament’s Golden Glove award:
“The guys were all happy for me. It’s a good honor to win that award. I couldn’t have done it without the rest of the team though. There are a lot of guys in front of me that helped me out, so that was a nice job from them.”

On his camaraderie with fellow U-17 goalkeeper Kevin Silva, who won the Golden Glove at the team’s previous tournament: 
“We’re really good friends. He’s one of my best friends on the team. We’re really close. We’re great competition for one another. When he’s in, I got his back and when I’m in, he’s got my back. It’s a good relationship between us.”

On what he is looking forward to with the team:
“Well, here in Florida, we just need to keep working hard and then the next international trip we’ll try to win it again.”

U.S. U-17 MNT midfielder ALEXIS VELELA
On the overall experience of the tournament:
“The experience was really good playing different teams that we haven’t played before. I think we dominated most of the games and deserved to win.”

On the similarities and differences between the competition in the team’s last two tournaments:
“Brazil, Portugal and England are really good teams. They were different than these teams that we played here. The big difference was we played them on our home field and in Turkey, we’re playing somewhere else, dealing with the crowd, the environment and everything, so it was different.”

On staying composed in a hostile atmosphere to beat Turkey in the final:
“We just wanted to win and go home with another victory. We motivated each other and talked with each other before the game, picked each other up, ‘Let’s have a good game, finish on a good note, and let’s take [a trophy] home’.”

On being part of a team that has a growing string of winning results:
“For me personally, I don’t like losing. Our team is not a losing team, we do anything to take the win, but since Mexico we’ve been doing really well. I’m just so proud of this team with how we’re doing, how we’re playing with each other.”

On being team captain and how it builds leadership skills:
“Being captain is really important. Taking a leadership role and helping others keep moving forward. If they made a mistake, keep putting their head up, keep going. We all make mistakes, so pushing the team forward is basically it. We have a lot of good leaders in the team like Eric Calvillo; he’s a really good leader too. We just push everyone forward, keep going and don’t let the mistakes get to you.”

On scoring his first international goal for a Youth National Team in the U-17s 5-2 win against Norway:
“At first, I didn’t even know it was my goal. It was an own goal basically, but it hit me at the end and it felt really good to score my first goal with a National Team.”

On his assist to Joe Gallardo for the opening goal in the final against Turkey:
“It was from a goal kick I think, and the ball was coming at me. From the corner of my eye, I saw Joe standing by himself with no one behind him. I didn’t think if I hit the ball it would go right to him, but I hit a good through ball and Joe finished it.”

On what he is looking forward to with the team:
“We’re a really good team, and I think we can still improve and get better together as a team to keep moving forward toward the [U-17] World Cup and Qualifiers. That’s what we’re heading to.”

U.S. U-17 MNT forward MCKINZIE GAINES
On the over experience of his first international tournament with a Youth National Team:
“It was great! Seeing all of the talent from the other countries at the tournament was great. It was nice playing at the highest level.”

On the learning opportunity the trip provided and what he took away from the experience:
“I learned that there are players all over the world who are just as good as you, and you can’t take anything for granted. You have to go out there and play your hardest every single day at training or in a game.”

On scoring his first international goal for a Youth National Team:
“It was a great feeling scoring my first international goal. I think Logan [Panchot] had a free kick and crossed it into the box. It was a great cross, and Hugo [Arellano] was there and met it with a header, but the keeper saved it. It fell to me and I headed it in.”

On an eventful last few months in his burgeoning soccer career:
“I think I have had time to process all of it. We had [the Development Academy Winter] Showcase in December and I played in one of the Select Games. From there, I came to Residency, then the trip and then, I ended up scoring. Hopefully, I can just keep getting better and better and just keep it up.”

On his outlook in the midst of such a successful time in his young career:
“It’s great to be recognized for something that you love to do. To make the [tournament] roster was a great feeling. It definitely gives me motivation to keep going. It tells me I’m on the right path, but I need to keep improving every single day because if I stopped right now nothing would come of it; I wouldn’t reach my dreams. I just have to keep going and working hard every single day.”

×