U-18 MNT Midfielder, Mukwelle Akale - Bio
In a rare feat for any player, Akale earned a pair of MVP honors at two international tournaments with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in 2014. The former U.S. U-17 Residency player and Minnesota Thunder Academy product was named MVP during the 2014 Copa del Atlantico in February, becoming just the second player from outside Spain or the Canary Islands to receive the award since its inception in 2009. Akale followed up with top player honors at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic. In the latter tournament, the 17-year-old Akale scored the lone goal during the USA’s 1-0 victory against Ukraine in the championship match on Aug. 23.
U-20, U-23 & MNT Midfielder, Emerson Hyndman - Bio
The 18-year-old Dallas native had a groundbreaking year. He was called in by Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for multiple camps and made his MNT debut during the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. Hyndman has represented both the U-23 and U-20 Men’s National Teams this are, helping both squads in their preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and 2016 Summer Olympics, respectively. He started for the U-23 MNT in its Oct. 14 match against Brazil in Brasilia and earned his first two U-20 MNT caps during the USA’s November trip to Spain for the 2014 U-21 Marbella Tournament, starting against Russia’s U-21s and the Republic of Ireland’s U-20 national team. Hyndman made his English Championship debut with Fulham in mid-August and has earned regular starts as a central midfielder for the club. Hyndman is a former member of the FC Dallas Academy and the grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.
U-17 MNT Midfielder, Christian Pulisic - Bio
Since earning MVP honors during a championship run at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies last December, the 16-year-old playmaker maintained his well-rounded game throughout 2014 with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. Prior to the U-17 MNT’s trip to Chile for the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, Pulisic tallied 12 goals and six assists in 16 international matches this year. The PA Classics product had a particularly strong performance at the third Copa Mexico de Naciones in August, leading the USA with six goals, opening with a hat trick against China PR. Pulisic is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.
U-17 MNT Forward, Haji Wright - Bio
Wright has been the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s top scoring presence over the past year. Heading into the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Chile, Wright led the U-17s with 15 goals in 16 international matches, as well as five assists. For his U-17 MNT tenure, the former LA Galaxy Academy striker has accumulated 21 goals in 20 matches. Wright has three hat tricks this year, including a four-goal game against Montenegro. Additionally, Wright has featured for the U.S. U-18 MNT this year, winning a championship title at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic in mid-August. Wright is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.
MNT Defender, DeAndre Yedlin - Bio
Yedlin’s star has risen for the past two years, but it was his performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup that took his game and career to another level. Yedlin earned three caps and provided 115 effective minutes off the bench in both an outside back and midfield role as the U.S. Men’s National Team advanced out of the “Group of Death” in Brazil. Yedlin was one of seven players to make at least 10 appearances for the MNT this year, earning his first start during the USA’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Oct. 10. Additionally, the Seattle Sounders FC Academy product earned a transfer to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur through his play for club and country this year.
Photos from the U-20 MNT's first week of training and games against Russia and Ireland at the 2014 U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain.
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke with ussoccer.com about the upcoming match between the USA and No. 3-ranked Colombia in Craven Cottage this Friday, Nov. 14. Klinsmann discussed the importance of this particular match, what he expects from the team and the strides the USA continues to make in the sport of soccer.
ussoccer.com: You bring your USA team to England to play Colombia, giving exposure to your side outside of the US. Is it important that other parts of the world get to see the progress you're making?
JK: "We think it’s an important experience for our players, particularly the youngsters in the group. To play against a team like Colombia who is ranked No. 3 in the world and has such amazing players is a real benchmark for us. We have heard from so many people around the world how impressed they were with our team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. We are proud of what we have accomplished, but for us it is only an incentive to continue to improve."
ussoccer.com: Craven Cottage is a famous old ground, somewhat different to where your side has been playing recently. Are you looking forward to bring your team here?
JK: "We are thrilled to be playing in such a historic stadium with the great tradition of Craven Cottage. Fulham has had more U.S. internationals on the squad than any other club in Europe, so there is a very special connection. We hope that it becomes our home away from home tonight."
ussoccer.com: A few members of the squad are based in England and others in Europe. Is it positive for the USA to have players playing in the biggest competitions in Europe?
JK: "Our message to the players is always to push themselves to reach their highest potential possible. There is certainly value in being in the type of football environment where there is pressure every day from teammates, fans and the media for you to perform. Obviously there is a lot of quality in the biggest competitions in Europe, and that can only help you get better. The key – no matter where you are – is that you have earned playing time."
ussoccer.com: Using DeAndre Yedlin as an example, is it a bit of a double-edged sword losing someone from the MLS to move to Europe? As you want them to progress and play at the highest level, but also help the MLS grow as a competition.
JK: "There’s no question that the growth of MLS is critical to the future success of the National Team. The league has made huge strides and continues to improve on the field every year. For the individual player, they must follow their own path. DeAndre showed a lot of promise at the World Cup and was rewarded with an offer to play at one of the top teams in the Premier League. It’s a wonderful opportunity and we think he has a bright future."
JK: "We’ve had a lot of success in CONCACAF. Winning the Gold Cup was huge because it puts us in position to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. We also finished first in qualifying, which was really important because we wanted to show all the teams in our region that we deserve to be at the top. Just as important, we have been able to get some results against some big teams around the world – beating Italy in Italy and Mexico in Mexico for the first time, and winning against a very strong team in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those results certainly help in building the confidence to believe that we can compete with best teams eye to eye"
ussoccer.com: Did winning that tournament help boost your profile throughout the country? Did it bring confidence to the players that they could succeed on the international stage?
JK: "What made the Gold Cup particularly special was that we won it without many of the players who had been regular starters up to that point. We always said that when one guy is out, the next player in line has a chance to step up. Winning the tournament really built a belief in the other players in line that they could compete at this level and that they could challenge for starting spots in the World Cup, which they did."
ussoccer.com: The World Cup was obviously huge for you as a team. Could you believe the support you received – Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard even received a call from President Obama.
JK: "The support that we received from all of our fans – in particular the American Outlaws – was probably the most gratifying part of the tournament. The U.S. had more supporters at the World Cup than every other nation except Brazil, which shows how much we have grown. Our broadcast rights holder - ESPN - had the single largest production in its history, which helped capture the imagination of millions of fans in the United States, including the President! It really just highlighted again that soccer in the U.S. is on the rise, and there’s no stopping it."
ussoccer.com: Since the World Cup you've given a few new faces their chance in the team. Are you now building towards the next tournament with a new generation of players, or do those from Brazil still feature heavily in your plans?
JK: "It’s normal at the start of every World Cup cycle that you re-set the picture and look at the options moving forward. With young players, the only way to find out if they are going to have what it takes is to give them chances to play. That was our approach in the games in September and October. For this camp, we have included more of the experienced players with the idea that we want them to be mentors both on and off the field, and of course to keep earning their spots. You have to remember in the last World Cup we had a lot of youngsters who have a big future – even our “veteran” Jozy Altidore is only 25 years old. There were others like a Mix Diskerud or an Alejandro Bedoya who have a real chance to step up and become leaders on this team."
ussoccer.com: Are you pleased with the amount of young talent you've now got to choose from?
JK: "There are some really exciting guys coming up, and a big part of that is that we have improved the way we develop players and have all of the National Teams connected from the senior team down to the U-14s. Here at Fulham, there is 18-year-old Emerson Hyndman who looks great for his age and is getting a lot of minutes. You have a Rubio Rubin starting at FC Utrecht. We already talked about Yedlin. It’s a major goal of ours to get these players as much meaningful experience as possible, which is why there is such a focus on the youth World Cups and the Olympics in 2016."
ussoccer.com: How much has changed in both the national team and football as a whole in the USA since you took over as manager?
JK: "Overall, everything is just growing. There is so much excitement around the sport. MLS will have 20 teams next year, and most of them will be in stadiums built specifically for them. Television ratings and attendance at games are at all-time highs. The media has taken a much larger interest, as have sponsors. So, all these things add up to a sport on the rise. Our next big project is to try connecting all the dots on the technical side. It’s a huge country with so many different parts in the soccer world. We have to find ways to bring everyone together - everything from coaching to referees to educating our parents. It’s a huge challenge, but an exciting one."
ussoccer.com: Colombia, like the USA, enjoyed a successful World Cup. What do you expect from them?
JK: "Colombia was one of the wonderful surprises of the World Cup. Obviously they had a lot of talent, and the way they performed was exciting to watch. James Rodriguez was a revelation, not only with the number of goals but how he scored. If you go through the roster, you see players who are at some of the top clubs in the world. They play in the Champions League and other big competitions, and they are a very dangerous attacking team."
ussoccer.com: Will you be using the game to blood some youngsters?
JK: "There will be a lot of opportunities for players in this game, as well as against Ireland. The message to all of them, whether it’s the young guys or the veterans, is to go out there and make your case. Be confident. Take risks. Show your quality. If we can get our guys to have that belief, we have shown that we can beat the best teams in the world."
ussoccer.com: The Copa America celebrates its centenary in 2016 with the competition being held in the States. How important is it that the USA will compete in such a prestigious tournament?
JK: "It’s absolutely huge. We have so much respect for the history this tournament, and to host the 100-year anniversary is an honor. To play against the Brazils, the Argentinas, the Uruguays and the others from South America will be a big test for our team and a great showcase for the sport in our country. The fans from these countries are some of the most passionate in the world, so it should make for a very exciting event."
ussoccer.com: Lastly, how important is a victory against Colombia? We’ve seen the US compete with some of the biggest nations, but will a victory confirm to the world the direction you’re heading?
JK: "We want to finish off a great 2014 on a high note. It’s going to be a big benchmark for us to compete against a team with the quality of Colombia, but that’s what we came here to do. We’re not here just to put on a good performance – we came to win."
MARBELLA, Spain (Nov. 12, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team midfielder Romain Gall scored two goals, including a shorthanded, game-winning penalty kick in second-half stoppage time, and the USA defeated Russia’s U-21 national team 4-3 in the opener of the 2014 Marbella U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament at the Marbella Football Center.
For the final 10 minutes, the USA played down a man because of a second yellow card issued to Emerson Hyndman. Nevertheless, the U.S. stepped up in the moment with the score tied at 3-3. Second-half sub Tommy Thompson took a shot in the box that deflected off of a Russia defender’s hand, and the U.S. was awarded the PK.
Gall, making his fourth international appearance with the U-20s, converted the winner in the dying moments of the match. The game featured four lead changes, with both teams having the upper hand on two occasions.
After Russia’s Vyacheslav Karavayev put his side on the score sheet in the 13th minute, the USA responded with an equalizer in the 19th minute. Joel Soñora had the initial attack and shot, which was saved, but Gall was there for the rebound to tie the score at 1-1.
Andrija Novakovich gave the U.S. U-20 MNT a 2-1 lead just before halftime, a floating 45th-minute shot that was placed toward the upper left of the frame. Junior Flores had the assist on that play. It was Novakovich’s third international goal with the U-20s this year, tying him for the team lead with Zach Pfeffer.
Russia responded with back-to-back goals from Aleksandr Morgunov and Arshak Koryan in the 55th and 71st minutes, respectively. The latter, USA goalkeeper Ethan Horvath saved Koryan’s penalty kick, but Koryan was able to follow up to give his side a 3-2 lead.
In the 77th minute, U.S. second-half sub Dembakwi Yomba made his U-20 international debut and converted a penalty kick to tie the score at 3-3.
Gall would later follow with the winner, and the U.S. U-20 MNT improved to 3-0-2 in international play this year (9-1-2 overall).
Next up, the USA resumes Marbella Tournament play on Saturday against the Republic of Ireland (9 a.m. ET kickoff) at San Pedro Stadium.
-U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Russia U-21 MNT
Date: Nov. 12, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Marbella Football Center; Marbella, Spain
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, 64 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
RUS 1 2 3
RUS – Vyacheslav Karavayev 13th minute
USA – Romain Gall 19
USA – Andrija Novakovich (Junior Flores) 45
RUS – Aleksandr Morgunov 55
RUS – Arshak Koryan 71
USA – Dembakwi Yomba (penalty) 77
USA – Romain Gall (penalty) 90+2
USA: 12-Ethan Horvath; 3-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga, 2-Luis Martir; 6-Russell Canouse (capt.), 8-Joel Sonora (20-Tommy Thompson, 67), 11-Junior Flores; 7-Emerson Hyndman, 9-Andrija Novakovich (17-Dembakwi Yomba, 67), 10-Romain Gall
Subs Not Used: 1-Santiago Castano, 14-John Requejo, 15-Tyler Turner, 16-Lynden Gooch, 18-Tommy Redding, 21-Amando Moreno
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
1-Anton Mitryushkin; 4-Vladislav Ovsiannikov, 5-Maksim Karpov, 3-Llya Zuev, 2-Vyacheslav Karavayev; 8-Vladimir Sokolov, 6-Alexey Mirantchuk (20-Nikita
Salamatov, 60), 9-Aleksandr Morgunov; 14-Dmitry Efremov, 11-Denis Davydov, 13-Arshak Koryan
Subs Not Used: 7-Sergey Makarov, 10-Ramil Sheidaev, 12-Miroslav Lobantsev, 15-Nikita Chernov, 16-Vadim Manzon, 17-Evgenny Kirisov, 21-Vitalii Lystcov, 22-Konstantin Savichev
Head Coach: Nikolay Pisarev
Stats Summary: USA / RUS
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 5 / 7
Fouls: 15 / 12
Offside: 0 / 1
USA – Matt Miazga (caution) 36th minute
RUS – Denis Davydov (caution) 43
USA – Emerson Hyndman (caution) 63
RUS – Maksim Karpov (caution) 76
USA – Emerson Hyndman (caution/ejection) 83
RUS – Nikita Salamativ (caution) 83
RUS – Viacheslav Karavaev (caution) 90+2
CHICAGO (Nov. 7, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster that will compete in three matches at the U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain. (Note: roster changes have been made since the initial release)
The USA opens with a match against Russia’s U-21 national team on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Marbella Football Center. The U.S. then takes on the Republic of Ireland’s U-20s on Nov. 15 at San Pedro Stadium and Canada’s U-20 national team on Nov. 18 at the Marbella Football Center.
- 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship home page
- U-20 MNT Draws Group A for 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
- Tab Ramos on U-20 MNT’s Pool Depth for January’s Qualifying (video)
The majority of this roster has featured for the U-20 MNT over the past two years, with 17 players being brought into previous camps.
Fulham midfielder Emerson Hyndman joins a U-20 camp for the first time this year. He made his U.S. Men’s National Team debut on Sept. 3, with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann calling him in for the final 24 minutes of the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic in Prague. Hyndman also played for the U.S. U-23 MNT during its Oct. 14 match against Brazil’s U-23s.
Three players have earned their first U-20 call-ups in Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers, Orlando City’s Tommy Redding and Atlético Madrid’s Dembakwi Yomba. Redding joins his Orlando City teammate Tyler Turner, who was called into camp earlier this year but is still in search of his first international cap at this level. Carter-Vickers recently got the start for the U.S. U-23 MNT against Brazil.
FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta was a member of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team in Turkey.
The roster also features 18 players who have previous ties to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy.
The U-20s have a 2-0-2 international record this year, highlighted by their championship run at the 2014 National Training Center Invitational in July. Overall, the U-20 MNT is 8-1-2, with a runner-up showing at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder Russell Canouse and Tijuana defender John Requejo are the only two players on this U-20 roster who have featured in all four international games this year.
This is the USA’s second-to-last international trip of the year. The U-20s will hold a foreign training camp in mid-December in Jamaica, the location of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The U.S. will then take part in a domestic camp in late December and early January before the Jan. 9-24 World Cup qualifying tournament in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The U.S. U-20 MNT was drawn with Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Panama and Guatemala in Group A for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA opens the tournament against Guatemala on Jan. 9 and looks to qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Santiago Castaño (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK; Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
DEFENDERS (7): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Luis Martir (Chivas Guadalajara; Los Angeles, Calif.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City; Oviedo, Fla.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Tyler Turner (Orlando City; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund; Manassas Park, Va.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
FORWARDS (4): Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading FC; Muskego, Wis.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.), Dembakwi Yomba (Atlético Madrid; Lithonia, Ga.)
2014 Marbella U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Russia vs. USA, 6 p.m. local (12 p.m. ET), Marbella Football Center
Saturday, Nov. 15
USA vs. Ireland, 3 p.m. local (9 a.m. ET), San Pedro Stadium
Russia vs. Canada, 6 p.m. local (12 p.m. ET), Marbella Stadium
Monday, Nov. 17
Russia vs. Ireland, 6 p.m. local (12 p.m. ET), Marbella Football Center
Tuesday, Nov. 18
Canada vs. USA, 4:30 p.m. local (10:30 a.m. ET), Marbella Football Center
2014 1/0 23 0 0 0 0 0 1-0-0
1-Year Total 1/0 23 0 0 0 0 0 1-0-0
Date of Birth
Apr 9, 1996