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Haji Wright

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

U.S. U-18s Win Group with 3-2 Victory Over Czech Republic

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

Misconduct Summary:
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

U-17 MNT Wins Third Straight International Tournament

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 6, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a resounding 4-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina to win the Josip Katalinski International Tournament on Sunday.

Spurred by the attacking triumvirate of Christian Pulisic (two goals), Haji Wright (two goals) and Joe Gallardo (two assists), the young Americans win in the final captured their third consecutive international tournament title, a run that also includes winning the 2013 Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., last December and capturing the Aegean Cup in Manisa, Turkey in January.

U-17 MNT center back Hugo Arellano won the competition’s Josip Katalinski Award, which recognizes the tournament’s best defender.  The individual award is the latest in an impressive and diverse string of honors players from the U-17 MNT have collected at international tournaments this cycle. Previously, goalkeeper Will Pulisic earned Golden Glove recognition at the Aegean Cup, while cousin Christian was voted MVP of the Nike Friendlies. Also at the Nike Friendlies, Wright won the Golden Boot award with five goals in three matches, and goalkeeper Kevin Silva earned the tournament’s Golden Glove award.  

The U-17 MNT will next travel to Croatia for a pair of friendlies against the Croatia U-17 national team in Zagreb on April 8 and 10.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina
: April 6, 2014
: Josip Katalinski International Tournament; Final
: Stadium Grbavica; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
: 3 p.m. UTC1 (9 a.m. ET)
: 250
: 53 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary:           1              2              F
USA                                   1              3              4
BIH                                    0              1              1

USA - Haji Wright (Joe Gallardo)            37th minute
USA - Christian Pulisic (Joe Gallardo)    56
USA - Christian Pulisic (Edwin Lara)      60
BIH - Amar Suljić                                     65
USA - Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)      73 

: 1-Kevin Silva; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 6-Eric Calvillo, 5-Hugo Arellano, 3-Edwin Lara; 10-Christian Pulisic, 4-Alexis Velela, 8-Luca De La Torre (16-Thomas McCabe, 61), 11-Pierre Da Silva (20-Alejandro Zendejas, 51); 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo (14-Tyler Adams, 61)
Subs not used: 12-Will Pulisic, 13-John Nelson, 15-Tanner Dietrich, 17-Daniel Barbir, 18-George Braima, 19-Elijah Rice, 21-McKinze Gaines, 23-Weston McKennie

Head coach: Richie Williams

BIH: 12-Jasko Keranović (1-Valentino Jović, 61); 2-Ognjen Davidović (15- Besim Šerbečić, 61), 3-Sandi Husić, 4-Mato Stanić, 5-Mijo Miletić; 6-Toni Nikić, 7-Amar Suljić (20-Alan Delić, 78), 8-Denis Žerić (18-Mak Varešanović, 78), 10-Zinedin Mustedanagić; 11- Ermedin Demirović (19-Ajdin Mujagić, 53), 21-Said Behram (9-Emir Bijelić, 53)
Subs not used: 13-Sandro Hadžiabdić, 14-Savo Đokić, 16-Aras Sadiković, 17-Amir Mašić
Head coach:
Sakib Malkočević

Stats Summary: USA /  BHI

Misconduct Summary:
BIH – Ajdin Mujagić (caution)                     77th minute
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution)                   77 

Referee: Vladimir Bjelica
Assistant Referee 1: Dalibor Drašković
Assistant Referee 2: Haris Baković
Fourth Official: Irfan Peljto

U.S. U-17 MNT Reaches Championship Match with Fast Start at Katalinski Tournament

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has opportunity to play for a third consecutive international tournament title after defeating Montenegro 5-0 and tying Sarajevo Select 1-1 in its first two matches at the Josip Katalinski International Tournament.

The USA will play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the tournament championship on Sunday after Montenegro ended Sarajevo Select’s chances of reaching the title game by defeating the home-town team 3-0.

In the opening match against Montenegro, the U-17’s were spearheaded by LA Galaxy forward Haji Wright and PA Classics playmaker Christian Pulisic. Wright, who won the Golden Boot award at December’s Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., scored a hat trick inside the opening half hour with Pulisic assisting in both the 15th and 29th minutes.

Between those strikes, midfielder Pierre Da Silva set up Wright for his second in the 17th minute before feeding his strike partner Joe Gallardo in the 21st. Wright finished off the scoring with his fourth and the USA’s fifth goal in the 53rd minute of the second half.

The second match against Sarajevo was a much tighter affair. The USA fell behind to an early strike by Nikola Popovac in the 39th minute and needed a late equalizer from FC Dallas product Alejandro Zendejas to secure what proved a crucial point.

After the tournament concludes, the U-17 MNT will fly to Zagreb, Croatia, for a pair of friendly matches against the Croatia U-17 national team on April 8 and 10.

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

Match: United States U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Montenegro
April 3, 2014
Josip Katalinski International Tournament
Stadion Otoka
4 p.m. (local)
60 degree, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         4 1 5
MNE                        0 0 0

USA                         Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic) 15th minute
USA                         Haji Wright (Pierre Da Silva) 17
USA                         Joe Gallardo (Pierre Da Silva) 21
USA                         Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic) 29
USA                         Haji Wright (Elijah Rice) 53

1- Kevin Silva; 3- Edwin Lara, 5- Hugo Arellano (17- Daniel Barbir, 60), 4- Alexis Velela (15- Tanner Dieterich, 60), Matt Olosunde; 6- Eric Calvillo, 8- Luca De La Torre (16- Thomas McCabe, 60), 10- Christian Pulisic (20- Alejandro Zendejas, 60); 11- Pierre Da Silva (23- Weston McKennie, 67) , 9- Joe Gallardo (19- Elijah Rice), 7- Haji Wright (21- McKinze Gaines, 60)
Subs Not Used
: 12- William Pulisic, 13- John Nelson, 14- Tyler Adams, 18- George Braima
Head Coach: Richie Williams

MNE: 1-Matija Gligorovi (12-Lazar Carevic, 86); 6-Jovan Jablan (3-Kostadin Mikic, 41), 5-Yannick Filipovic (16-Gian Luca Kasumovic, 86), 4-Balsa Banovic, 11-Emrah Krnic; 9-Balsa Goranovic (17-Llija Vukotic, 86), 10-Marko Burzanovic (15-Cristian Hadziosmanovic, 67), 2-Vojin Manojlovic (20-Luka Malesevic, 21),7-Danilo Markovic (18-Nikola Dukic, 57), 13-Alija Krnic (8-Aleksandar Brezanin, 57); 14-Andrija Cosovic (19-Filip Vorotovic, 41)
Subs Not Used
Head Coach: Boris Ljutica

Stats Summary: USA / Montenegro

Misconduct Summary:


**PLEASE NOTE –Game was 80 minutes**

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

Match: United States U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Sarajevo Select
April 4, 2014
Josip Katalinski International Tournament
Stadion Otoka
11 a.m. (local)
60 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         0 1 1
Sarajevo Select        1 0 1

Sarajevo Select        Nikola Popovac 39th minute
USA                         Alex Zendejas (Christian Pulisic) 71


USA: 12- Will Pulisic; 13-John Nelson, 17-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 14-Tyler Adams; 16-Tommy McCabe, 18-George Braima (10-Christian Pulisic, 51), 23-Weston McKennie (11-Pierre Da Silva, 51); 21-McKinze Gaines (7-Haji Wright, 41), 19-Elijah Rice (2-Matt Olosunde, 51), 20-Alex Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 1-Kevin Silva, 3-Edwin Lara, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano, 6-Eric Calvillo, 8-Luca De La Torre, 9-Joe Gallardo
Head Coach: Richie Williams

Sarajevo Select: 1-Enis Isovic; 3-Selmir Pidro, 6-Amer Hadzic, 5-Tarik Mostarlic, 2-Mufid Salcinovic; 17-Benjamin Sehic (15-Milos Planic, 72), 4-Haris Hajdarevic, 7-Armin Bijedic (10-Semir Smajlagic, 54), 11-Milan Kanostrevac (14-Nikola Bjelos, 61), 18-Dzevad Pracic; 9-Nikola Popovac
Subs Not Used: 8-Lazar Babic, 12-Marko Terzic, 13-Dejan Kljaic, 16-Bojan Tausan

Head Coach: Zoran Erbez

Stats Summary: USA / Sarajevo Select

Misconduct Summary:


**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 80 minutes**

U.S. U-17 MNT Begins Pacific Northwest Tour Unbeaten in First Two Matches

PORTLAND (March 12, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team began its three-match tour of the Pacific Northwest by going unbeaten in its first two matches. After drawing Seattle Sounders FC U-17/18s/Reserves 0-0 on March 10, the USA defeated the University of Portland 3-2 two days later thanks to a hat trick from forward McKinze Gaines.

The U.S. U-17s will continue training in Portland over the weekend, when they will visit Nike’s campus headquarters in Beaverton. The team wraps up its trip on Monday with its final match against the Portland Timbers Reserves at 10 a.m. PT at Providence Park.

The match against Sounders FC, played in cool, rainy conditions at Starfire Soccer Complex, was a highly competitive affair, and in the spirit of both teams getting the most from the game, both side played on with 11 players after Seattle defender Fisher Gallinger was sent off in the first half for a second cautionable offense.

In the USA’s second game against Portland at Merlo Field, both teams traded goals throughout the final hour of the match with the Pilots running the U.S. U-17s close to another tie.

Just past the half-hour mark Gaines fired in a goal from the top of the Portland box to hand the U.S. a lead that was canceled out six minutes by an own goal. In the second half, Gaines buried a feed from Nicholas Taitague from six yards out to restore the USA’s advantage in the 55th minute, but Eddie Sanchez leveled from the penalty spot for the Pilots with just over twenty minutes remaining.

With time running out, Gaines popped up to bag the winning goal, which doubled as the clincher for his hat trick, by converting a Haji Wright assist from a tight angle with four minutes remaining in regulation.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Seattle Sounders FC U-17/18/Reserves
Date: March 10, 2014
Competition: Domestic Friendly
Venue: Starfire Soccer Complex
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT
45 degrees, rainy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         0 0 0
SEA                          0 0 0

USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-Edwin Lara, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano, 2-Matt Olosunde, 6-Eric Calvillo (18-George Braima, 79), 8-Alejandro Zendejas (19-Eric Matzelevich, 79), 10-Christian Pulisic, 11-Pierre Da Silva (17-McKenzie Gaines, 61), 9-Elijah Rice (16-Thomas McCabe, 61), 7-Haji Wright
Subs not used: 12-Will Pulisic, 13-John Nelson, 14-Tyler Adams, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 20-Nicholas Taitague
Head Coach: Richie Williams

SEA: 1-Paul Christensen (0-Ben Willis, 46); 15-Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, 16-Cody Crook (43-Lucas Guets, 46), 13-Fisher Gallinger, 20-Ryan DeGroot (51-John Arroyo, 46), 10-Henry Wingo (42-unknown, 46), 4-Duncan McCormick (23-Marc Kaizi-Lutu, 65), 6-David Olsen (29-unknown , 65), 9-Satoshi Chaffin (19-Adeseyi Adekoya, 46), 18-Victor Rojas (40-unknown, 46)
Subs not used:
Head Coach: Dick McCormick

Statistical Summary: USA / SEA
Shots: n/a
Shots on Goal: n/a
Saves: n/a
Corner Kicks: n/a
Fouls: n/a
Offside: n/a

Misconduct Summary:
SEA Fischer Gallinger (caution) 24th minute
SEA Fischer Gallinger (sent off) 44

Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. University of Portland
Date: March 12, 2014
Competition: Domestic Friendly
Venue: Merlo Field
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT
50 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 2 3
SEA                         1 1 2

USA – McKinze Gaines 34th minute
POR – Own Goal 41
USA – McKinze Gaines (Nicholas Taitague) 55
POR – Eddie Sanchez (penalty kick) 68
USA – McKinze Gaines (Haji Wright) 86

USA: 12-Will Pulisic; 14-Tyler Adams, 13-John Nelson, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 5-Hugo Arellano; 16-Thomas McCabe, 17-McKenzie Gaines, 18-George Braima, 19-Eric Matzelevich (10-Christian Pulisic, 60); 20-Nicholas Taitague (9-Elijah Rice, 60), 11-Pierre Da Silva (7-Haji Wright, 60)
Subs not used: 1-Kevin Silva, 2-Matt Olosunde, 3-Edwin Lara, 4-Alexis Velela, 6-Eric Calvillo, 8-Alejandro Zendejas
Head Coach: Richie Williams

POR: 1-Adam Prevost; 5-Conor Johnston, 8-Derek Boggs, 23-Jordan Baeza; 10-Eddie Sanchez, 11-Riley Clark, 12-Dustin Munger, 20-Colby Trah, 7-Matthew Coffey, 22-Rory Johnston; 24-Steven Corbett (14-Dirk van der Velde, 60)
Subs not used: 4-Geoffery Dunn, 6-Thomas Peterson, 18-Kalen Chong
Head Coach: Bill Irwin

Statistical Summary: USA / POR
Shots: 12 / 8
Shots on Goal: 7 / 8
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 6
Fouls: n/a
Offside: 0 / 7

Misconduct Summary:
POR – Dirk van der Velde (caution) 67th minute
USA – Tanner Dieterich (caution) 78

Referee: Lucas Brooks
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Tercero
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremiah Hickman
Fourth Official: n/a

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).

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

: William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
: 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.)
: 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)
: 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.)