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Haji Wright

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

U-18 MNT Comes Up Short Against Uruguay in NTC Invitational Opener

CHICAGO (July 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team began the 2015 NTC Men’s U-18 Invitational Tournament against Uruguay, dropping a tight opening match 2-1 to the South American nation at StubHub Center.

The Uruguayans took the lead in the first half with a goal from Martin Amuz in the 36th minute that just sneaked in the far post. Uruguay had a chance to double its lead before the half, but a huge one-on-one save from Jonathan Klinsmann kept the USA with a one-goal deficit.

Shortly after the start of the second half however, Martin Pereira made it 2-0 in the 60th minute with a nice shot from just inside the box on the right side after leaving his defenders behind and shooting to the left of Klinsmann.

Later in the half, la Celeste got called for a foul inside the area, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot in favor of the USA. Jackson Yueill stepped up to take the PK and confidently shot the left of the goalkeeper, who guessed incorrectly, thus putting the U.S. on the board.

Despite a strong performance in the final minutes to find the equalizer, the U-18s came up short and dropped their first match of the tournament.

U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team Match Report

Match: U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Uruguay U-18 National Team
Saturday, July 11, 2015
2015 NTC Invitational
Venue: StubHub Center
Kickoff: 4:00 PM Local Time
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F                                             

URU                               1        1          2
USA                             0          1          1

URU – Martin Amuz                              36th minute
URU – Martin Pereira                               60
USA – Jackson Yueill (penalty)              83

USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann (GK) (Capt); 4-Kyle Duncan, 11-Mauricio Pineda, 17-Hugo Arellano, 15-Pablo Pelaez; 14-Ben Swanson, 10-Cameron Lindley (24-Christian Lucatero, 68), 2-Mukwelle Akale (20-Jackson Yueill, 46); 8-Victor Mansaray (6-Sebastian Elney, 46), 3-Coy Craft (16-Haji Wright, 68), 9-Sebastian Saucedo (13-Emmanuel Sabbi, 68);
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinokwski, 7-Malcolm Jones, 21-Alexis Velela, 23-James Murphy
Head Coach: Javier Perez

URU: 12-Agustin Lopez (GK); 4-Ariel Sant’anna, 13-Nicolas Rodriguez, 3-Martin Amuz, 15-Gonzalo Canti; 17-Wiston Fernandez, 8-Diego De la Cruz, 10-Damian Waller (15-Gonzalo Canti, 68), 14-Federico Valverde (Capt); 9-Martin Pereira (18-Franco Gentile, 81), 7-Diego Rossi (16-Juan Ramirez, 68);
Subs not used: 1-Santiago Mele, 2-Emanuel Gularte, 5-Roberto Fernandez, 6-Santiago Perez, 11-Mathias Rodriguez, 12-Agustin Lopez,
Head Coach: Alejandro Garay

Stats Summary: USA / URU
Shots: 9 / 17
Shots on Goal: 3 / 11
Saves: 9 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 11
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offsides: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Pablo Pelaez (caution)                10th minute
URU – Ariel Sant’anna (caution) 30
USA – Kyle Duncan (caution)                 88

Referee: Karen Abt

U-18 MNT in Carson for Camp and NTC Invitational Tournament

CHICAGO (July 7, 2015) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s first domestic training camp of the year is underway in Carson, California. The camp, which runs from July 6-14, will also see the team participate in the 2015 U-18 Men’s NTC Invitational Tournament.

U.S. U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez has selected a 20-player roster currently in camp that will represent the USA at the 2015 U-18 Men’s NTC Tournament.

U.S. Soccer will stage the three-team international tournament from July 11-15, with the USA, Uruguay and the Czech Republic competing for the title. Additionally, there will be a pair of friendly matches for Uruguay and the Czech Republic against Xolos of Tijuana’s U-18 side.

The U.S. will play a preparation game during camp on July 7 against PSA Elite before kicking off the NTC Invitational against Uruguay on July 11 at 4 p.m. PT, followed by the match against Czech Republic on July 13 at 5 p.m.

All the NTC Invitational matches will be played on the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson. The winner of the competition will be based on total points with the first tiebreakers being overall goal difference and then total goals scored.

Admission to the matches is free to the public. All tournament matches will be streamed live on

The U-18 MNT most recently returned from its first training camp of the year in Bosnia this past April, where they split a pair of friendly matches against Bosnia’s U-19 National Team.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcincowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Marcello Borges (New York Red Bulls; Kearny, N.J.), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Andrew Lombard (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), James Murphy (PDA; Scotch Plains, N.J.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic; Libertyville, Ill.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew SC; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.),
FORWARDS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal CF; Minneapolis, Minn), Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Philadelphia Union; Boca Raton, Fla.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders; Des Moines, Wash.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.)

2015 U-18 NTC Invitational Tournament Schedule:

Saturday, July 11:


Czech Republic vs. Xolos (friendly)

1 p.m. PT

USA  vs. Uruguay (Game 1)

4 p.m. PT


Monday, July 13:


Uruguay vs. Xolos (friendly)

2 p.m. PT

USA vs. Czech Republic (Game 2)

5 p.m. PT


Wednesday, July 15:


Czech Republic vs. Uruguay (Game 3)

5 p.m. PT

Richie Williams Names 20-Player Roster For U-17 MNT Camp

CHICAGO (May 2, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the team’s first domestic training camp of 2015 in East Hanover, New Jersey.

The camp will run from May 2-11, and the team will hold practice at New York Red Bulls’ practice facility. This will mark the first time the team gathers in a full time capacity since it competed at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras earlier this year.

The team finished CONCACAF qualifying with a 3-1-2 record to secure a spot in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, following a thrilling 5-4 shootout victory over Jamaica on March 15. The 2015 U-17 World Cup will be held from Oct. 17-Nov. 8 in Chile.

The U.S. has qualified for 15 FIFA U-16 or U-17 World Championships. The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup was the only occurrence wherein the USA did not qualify for the tournament. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matt Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Tex.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Academy; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis Mo.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union Academy; Media, Pa.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), George Braima (Columbus Crew Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Terrell Lowe (Portland Timbers Academy; Hillsboro, Ore.), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; El Paso, Tex.)
FORWARDS (5): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC Academy; Port Chester, N.Y.), Mckinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Tex.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.)

Roster Notes:

  • In addition to the matches during CONCACAF qualifying, the U-17s have played four international matches in 2015. The U.S. split a two-game set against Panama on Feb. 2 and 4, then showcased a strong offensive display with a 5-2 victory against Bermuda on Friday, Feb. 20, followed by a 4-0 win in a rematch two days later.
  • Fifteen players from this roster were a part of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship roster
  • Josh Perez scored four goals and tallied an assist for the U.S. in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
  • Goalkeeper William Pulisic started in all six games of that tournament.
  • Perez has scored six goals in 2015, the most of any U-17 MNT player. He also boasts a roster-leading three assists on the year
  • Haji Wright is the most experienced player of the group having earned 34-career caps with the U-17 Men’s National Team
  • Wright was the leading goal scorer for the U-17s last year with 18 goals in 22 matches and was a nominee for the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year award.
  • Much of this U-17 MNT roster played a big role in the USA’s 17-7-3 international campaign in 2014. Matt Constant, Terrell Lowe, Auston Trusty and Brandon Vazquez joined the team in 2015
  • Fourteen players from this roster were a part of the team that earned a runner-up finish in the 2014 Nike Friendlies.
  • Nineteen of the 20 players have ties to the Development Academy

Photo Gallery: U-17 MNT Celebrates Claiming World Cup Berth

Photos from the U.S. U-17 MNT's dramatic playoff win against Jamaica, 5-4 on penalty kicks, to claim a berth at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile this October. 

U-17 MNT Qualify for 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup with Penalty Kick Defeat of Jamaica

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 15, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is headed to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup after beating Jamaica 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout in the final 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship playoff match at Estadio Francisco Morazán. The game was decided by penalty kicks after the end of a goalless regulation period against the Caribbean nation.

Throughout the match, the U.S. dominated possession and largely dictated the run of play. Despite being the more aggressive team, the USA was unable to find the back of the net through 90 minutes, as Jamaica escaped a handful of dangerous U.S. chances.

Per the tournament regulations, no extra time period was held and the match moved immediately to penalty kicks, where the U.S. had to overcome seeing its first shot taker, Christian Pulisic, denied by Jamaica goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. The next five penalty takers: Joe Gallardo, Danny Barbir, Alejandro Zendejas, John Nelson and Alexis Velela scored for the USA, which took a lead into the sixth round of the shootout thanks to Jamaica’s second shooter Jahwani Hinds sailing his shot over the bar. With all the pressure on Jamaica after Velela gave the USA a 5-4 lead in the first sudden death round of the shootout, Alex Marshall sent his shot wide left of the goal and the USA claimed the all-important victory.

In the day’s other semifinal – a rematch of Group B contestants Canada and Costa Rica – the Ticos seized CONCACAF’s third berth to the U-17 World Cup with a 3-0 win, flipping the group stage result between the two teams when Canada won 3-2 in dramatic fashion late in the match. Later on Sunday, Mexico and tournament host Honduras, both of whom secured the confederation’s two automatic World Cup berths by virtue of winning their respective groups, meet to crown the champion of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Jahmali Waite, 37th minute: The U.S. regained the upper hand at the 30-minute mark after Jamaica had gained a slight foothold in the match. A free kick by Christian Pulisic created a scramble in front of the Jamaica goal as three separate USA chances were blocked. U.S. forward Haji Wright sent the ball across the goalmouth from the by-line with Waite making a diving punch to knock it away. However, the loose ball fell to U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams whose goal-bound shot was blocked by a Jamaica defender. The USA’s Josh Perez seized on the rebound, but also saw his shot blocked as Jamaica had 10 players packed in its own penalty area. 

JAM – Jahmali Waite, 74th minute: The U.S. continued to dominate the run of play and possession in the second half and was able to carve out a pair of chances on goal through Josh Perez. A long-range drive from Perez was corralled by Waite midway through the half. Moments later, the Jamaica goalkeeper found himself in no-man’s land faced with a one-v-one against the U.S. winger. Despite the goal left wide open, Perez was unable to chip Waite, who backpedaled quickly after cutting off his charge, and was able to pluck Perez’s shot from the air.

JAM – Jahmali Waite, (Penalty Shootout): Christian Pulisic stepped as the first kick-taker for the USA in the shootout. The attacking midfielder sent a shot toward the left hand side of the goal, but Waite got down quickly to push the shot away and give Jamaica an early edge in the shootout.

Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT begins preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. Much of the team will return to Residency at the IMG Sports complex in Bradenton, Florida, while the remaining players will return to their club teams.
Broadcast information: None.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp)

Additional Notes:

  • The U-17 MNT is 6-2-2 in international play this year.
  • The USA moved to 3-2-2 all-time against Jamaica in this tournament’s history.
  • With the win, the USA qualifies the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time since 2011, and its 15th World Cup overall at this age level.
  • Head coach Richie Williams sent out his starting lineup in a 4-3-3 formation, anchored by goalkeeper Will Pulisic and a defensive line of Matthew Olosunde at right back, John Nelson at left back and center backs Alexis Velela and Danny Barbir. W. Pulisic and Olosunde have started in every qualifying match, while Barbir started his second game after Hugo Arellano was suspended for the match due to caution accumulation.
  • The midfield trio featured Tyler Adams pushed up into a defensive midfield roll after playing at left back for the majority of the USA’s last game against Jamaica. Alejandro Zendejas was slotted alongside Adams, while Christian Pulisic continued in his normal attacking role.
  • Zendejas donned the captain’s armband, becoming the third player for the U.S. to do so in the tournament. Hugo Arellano served as captain in four matches, while Eric Calvillo was named captain for the USA’s game against Guatemala.
  • Up front, Joe Gallardo returned to the starting XI as the team’s center forward while Haji Wright continued on the left wing and Josh Perez on the right. All three players earned their fifth starts in six qualifying games.
  • With just under 10 minutes remaining, midfielder Luca de la Torre entered the match for Josh Perez. It was de la Torre’s sixth appearance at the tournament and the first time he came off the bench for the U.S. since its opening match against Cuba.

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: March 15, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship; Playoff
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazan
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. Local)
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 84 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F          PKs
USA                            0          0          0          5
JAM                           0          0          0          4

Penalty Summary:
USA – Christian Pulisic (saved), Joe Gallardo (goal), Danny Barbir (goal), Alejandro Zendejas (goal), John Nelson (goal), Alexis Velela (goal)
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (goal), Jahwani Hinds (missed), Jahlanie Hammond (goal), Shandel Senior (goal), Ajeanie Talbott (goal), Alex Marshall (missed)

USA: 1-Will Pulisic, 2-Matthew Olosunde, 4-Alexis Velela, 15-Danny Barbir, 3-John Nelson; 18-Tyler Adams, Alejandro Zendejas (Capt.), 10-Christian Pulisic, 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo, 11-Josh Perez (8-Luca de la Torre, 81)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 6-Eric Calvillo, 13-McKinze Gaines, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Tommy McCabe, 17-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Brandon Vazquez
Head coach: Richie Williams

JAM: 13-Jahmali Waite, 2-Javian Brown, 4-Shandel Senior (Capt.), 5-Jahwani Hinds, 6-Fabian Grant, 7-Peter Vassell (3-Donovan Dawkins, 59), 8-Tajea Brown (16-Jahlanie Hammond, 88), 9-Nicholas Nelson, 11-Zaire Bartley (10-Alex Marshall, 46), 17-Ajeanie Talbott, 19-Nathaniel Adamolekun
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Akeem Chambers, 12-Antoniel Mullings, 14-Hakim Williams, 15-Deshane Beckford, 18-Chris-Andrew Dixon, 20-Demar James
Head coach: Andrew Edwards

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 17 / 4
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 9 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Haji Wright (caution)   70th minute
USA – Alexis Velela (caution)            83
JAM – Tajea Brown (caution) 88

Referee: Oscar Moncada (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Omar Leiva (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Diaz (GUA)
Fourth Official: Mario Escobar (GUA) Man of the Match: Alejandro Zendejas

Under-18s: Wright broke into the U-18 MNT in 2014, where he was part of the USA’s championship run at the 2014 International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic. He scored the U-18 MNT’s game-winning goal to defeat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Aug. 21 to advance to the tournament’s title match. Between his efforts with the U-18s and U-17s, Wright was recognized as a nominee for 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year. … Under-17s: Wright stormed onto the U-17 MNT scene with six goals in four games in 2013. He scored five goals in the three matches at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies, earning the tournament Golden Boot and leading his side to the title. In 2014, Wright led the U-17s with 18 goals and tied for the team lead with 22 appearances. His 1,449 minutes also were a team high, and his seven assists tied for second. Wright scored four goals during the USA’s 5-0 victory against Montenegro on April 3 and he added a three-goal performance to lead the U.S. to a 6-0 win against China PR on Aug. 2. Wright’s 2015 has started with two goals in three games leading into the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. … Under-15s: Wright was a member of the U-15 Boys’ National Team in 2012 and 2013.
Wright is a former member of the LA Galaxy Academy. He scored seven goals in 20 games during the U-15/16 team’s 2012-13 Development Academy season.