KROMERIZ, Czech Republic (Aug. 21, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team beat the Czech Republic 3-2 to take the top spot in Group A and advance to the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek final against Ukraine on Saturday, Aug. 23.
After a scoreless first half, the U.S. got its first goal just two minutes after halftime. Sebastian Saucedo finished a Collin Fernandez assist in the 47th minute to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
The tandem teamed up again but switched roles for a second goal just four minutes later. Fernandez doubled the U.S. lead to 2-0 in the 51st minute with Saucedo picking up the assist.
A U.S. handball in the box breathed life into the Czech Republic attack, as Denis Lanka converted the penalty kick to cut the deficit to one goal in the 72nd minute. Haji Wright restored the two-goal advantage for the U.S. in the 78th minute, a goal that would prove to be a game-winner.
The Czech Republic put pressure on the U.S. back line and scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time but failed to net an equalizer before the final whistle, leaving the result at 3-2 in favor of the U.S.
The U-18s finish group play with a 2-0-0 record and six points. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 3-1 win against Hungary on Aug. 20.
Along with Saturday’s final, the tournament’s two second-place teams from group play square off in the third-place match and the groups’ third-place teams will play in the fifth-place match. All three games will take place on Aug. 23.
-U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: United States U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Czech Republic
Date: Aug. 21, 2014
Competition: 21st International Youth Tournament of Václav Ježek
Venue: Zlin; Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CEST
Weather: 70 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
CZE 0 2 2
USA - Sebastian Saucedo (Collin Fernandez) 47th minute
USA - Collin Fernandez (Sebastian Saucedo) 51
HUN - Denis Lanka 72
USA - Haji Wright 78
HUN - Ondrej Mihalik 90+2
USA: 22-JT Marcinkowski; 4-Justen Glad, 15-Mauricio Pineda, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 16-Malcolm Jones, 17-Sean Wilson, 11-Sebastian Saucedo (18-Sebastian Elney, 75), 8-Cameron Lindley (6-Ben Swanson, 62), 14-Collin Fernandez (10-Mukwelle Akale, 73), 9-Coy Craft (capt.), 19-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann, 2-Kyle Duncan, 3-Pablo Pelaez, 7-Jorge Ruiz, 13-Victor Mansaray, 20-Jackson Yueill
Head Coach: Javier Perez
CZE: 16-Frantisek Chmiel; 2-Jan Zarsky (20-David Brezina, 8), 18-Vojtech Brak, 6-Josef Kvida, 13-Vojtech Cmelik, 12-Lukas Krivanek, 4-Daniel Bocek, 8-Michal Bilek, 14-Krystof Kadlec (11-Denis Lanka, 46), 10-Matej Pulkrab (17-Ondrej Mihalik, 63), 19-Tomas Ladra
Subs Not Used: 1-David Zalesky, 3-David Lischka, 5-David Stepanek, 7-Tomas Weisner, 9-Jan Kuctha, 15-Petr Prucha
Head Coach: Istvan Mihalecz
Stats Summary: USA / CZE
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 16
Offside: 3 / 2
CZE - Denis Lanka (caution) 53th minute
CZE - Michal Bilek (caution) 66
CZE - Daniel Bocek (caution) 88
USA - Mukwelle Akale (caution) 90
Referee: Pavel Julinek
Assistant Referee: Zdenek Kneisl
Assistant Referee: Leos Kneisl
Fourth Official: N/A
LISBON, Portugal (June 3, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team earned a 1-1 draw with Primeira Liga powerhouse Benfica’s U-19 team on the strength of a Collin Fernandez strike midway through the second half of the USA’s lone warm-up match ahead of the upcoming Lisbon International Tournament.
Benfica striker Oliveira tucked home the game’s opening goal just before the stroke of halftime, prompting Eddie Lewis, the USA’s head coach for the trip, to make five substitutions at the break, including bringing on Ben Swanson, who supplied the final ball on Fernandez’s equalizer.
A long-time member of the U.S. Youth National Team Program, Swanson measured a long through-ball beyond the Benfica backline for Fernandez, who’s shot from the top of the penalty area found the back of the net to give the U.S. a positive result ahead of its first game at the Lisbon International Tournament.
The U.S. U-18s open tournament play on Friday when they face Norway’s U-18s in the first of three matches at the competition. The U.S. will also play Portugal on Sunday and Sweden next Tuesday.
- U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-18 MNT vs. Benfica U-19
Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Benfica – Caixa Futeball Campus; Lisbon, Portugal
Kickoff: 4:30pm (11:30am ET)
Weather: 71 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
BEN 1 0 1
BEN-Kevin Oliveira 43rd minute
USA-Collin Fernandez 65
USA: 12-JT Marcinkowski (1-Jonathan Klinsmann, 66); 3-Malcolm Jones, 6-Mauricio Pineda, 15-Quentin Pearson (5-Tommy Redding, 45), 8-Chase Gasper; Maduabuchi Obinwa (7-Ben Swanson, 45), 13-Brooks Lennon (9-Coy Craft, 45), 14-Cameron Lindley (11-Collin Fernandez, 45), 2-Mukwelle Akale; 4-Dembakwi Yomba (20-Sebastian Saucedo, 45), 16-Rubio Rubin (capt.) (10-Sebastian Elney, 66)
Subs not used: N/A
Head Coach: Eddie Lewis
BEN: 12-Andre Ferreira (2-Romario, 45 (1-Thieri, 76)); 2-Rafael Ramos (17-Fonseca, 63), 13-Ronk (6-Loao Gamboa, 63), 17-Kike (2-Ever Peralta, 63), 4-Alexandrea Faiate (3-Roniualdo, 45); 5-Valdomiro (16-Joao Gamboa, 45), 7-Jusuc, 8-Filipe Naseimento (capt.) (11-Robert, 54), 9-Kevin Oliveira (10-Pedro Alves, 45 (17-Fonseca, 76)); 11-Gonealo Maria (8-Diogo David, 54), 1-Rafael Perreira (15-Bongo Nathanael, 60)
Subs not used: N/A
Head Coach: Joao Tralhao
Stats Summary: USA / BEN
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 11
Offside: 9 / 3
USA – Mauricio Pineda Caution 29th minute
BEN – Joao Gamboa Caution 91
CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will take an 18-player roster to the U-18 International Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 6-11.
While at the four-team event, the U.S. will face Norway on June 6, Portugal on June 8 and Sweden on June 10 in a round-robin style competition. The U.S. U-18s will also play a pre-tournament friendly against Primeira Liga powerhouse Benfica’s U-19 squad on June 3.
Former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Eddie Lewis will guide the squad while U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez assists with the senior Men’s National Team as it prepares for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The U.S. roster features sixteen players who are currently registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy Clubs, including Minnesota Thunder midfielder Mukwelle Akale, who was named the tournament MVP at the Copa del Atlantico this past February in Canary Islands, Spain.
Akale’s 23 previous Youth National Team call-ups across all age levels are second on the roster only to FC Utrecht striker Rubio Rubin’s 35 and Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Ben Swanson’s 25.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, relative new-comer Mauricio Pineda is attending just his second event and first international competition with the U.S. YNT program. Pineda and midfielders Collin Fernandez and Cameron Lindley represent the largest contingent of players from one team; all three are part of the Chicago Fire Academy.
U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team International Tournament Schedule:
Date Opponent Time (Local)
June 3 vs. Benfica U-19 4:30 p.m.
June 6 vs. Norway U-18 4 p.m.
June 8 vs. Portugal U-18 6 p.m.
June 10 vs. Sweden U-18 4 p.m.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chase Gasper (Bethesda Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids; Longmont, Colo.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City; Oveido, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Brooks Lennon (RSL Arizona; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (RSL Arizona; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (4): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca, Fla.), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)