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Haji Wright

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

Current U-17 MNT Crop Reflects on Donovan’s Impact

While most people tend to focus on U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan’s accolades on the senior team, it was his U-17 Men’s National Team impact that immediately put him on the map.

As Donovan prepares for his MNT swan song on Friday against Ecuador to cap off his illustrious 15-year career, caught up with three players on the current U-17 MNT to get their perspective on Donovan: midfielder Christian Pulisic, forwards Haji Wright and defender Hugo Arellano.

The trio sat down with U.S. Soccer during its impressive three-game sweep to win the Panama U-17 International Tournament. Wright and Arellano both have ties to the Development Academy’s LA Galaxy, and Pulisic is a PA Classics product:

U-17 MNT Wins Panama Tournament, Tops Host Side 1-0

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team wrapped up the Panama U-17 International Tournament in thrilling fashion at Estadio Maracana. Christian Pulisic scored an 86th-minute goal and the USA defeated hosted Panama 1-0 to win the event.

Pulisic scored his 12th goal this year in international play with the U-17s, tallying off of a Haji Wright assist.

The USA went a perfect 3-0-0 during the tournament, previously posting a 5-2 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 1 and a 2-0 victory against Canada on Friday, Oct. 3.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is now 15-5-1 in international competition in 2014.

This marks the team’s fourth tournament crown over the past 10 months. The USA also won the 2013 Nike International Friendlies in December, the Aegean Cup in January and the Josip Katalinski International Tournament in April.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Panama
Date: Oct. 5, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracana
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

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

USA – Christian Pulisic (Haji Wright)      86th minute

USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano (14-Daniel Barbir, 38), 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre (18-Pierre Da Silva, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic; 11-Josh Perez (17-McKinze Gaines, 72), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (13-Tyler Adams, 90+2), 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic,15-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Tommy McCabe , 19-Elijah Rice, 20-Keegan Kelly
Head Coach: Richie Williams

PAN: 1-Javier Cruz; 14-Andres Andrade (3-Jorge Gutierrez, 84), 13-Cesar Blackman, 23-Emanuel Chanis, 2-John Del Busto; 17-Chamel Asprilla (19-Joel Thompson, 72), 6-Giandermir Jaen (8-Carlos Kirton, 43), 20-Adalberto Carrasquilla (capt.), 10-Damaso Santos; 9-Ronaldo Cordoba (15-Rafael Rodriguez, 83), 7-Jose Rodriguez
Subs Not Used: 4-Luis Arias, 11-Leandro Avila, 12-Marcos Mendez, 16-Kevin Nelson, 18-Rodolfo Forde, 21-Randolf Ramos, 22-Luis Vasquez
Head Coach: Juan Carlos Cubilla

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Eric Calvillo (caution)              10th minute
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (caution)   44
PAN – Ronaldo Cordoba (caution)      57
PAN – Emanuel Chanis (caution)        77
USA – Haji Wright (caution)               89

Referee: Roberto Moreno
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: John Pitti

U-17 MNT Blanks Canada at Panama Tournament

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 3, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a goal in each half and shut out Canada 2-0 in the four-team Panama U-17 International Tournament. Alejandro Zendejas and Haji Wright each scored a goal, both assisted by Pierre Da Silva.

Zendejas wasted little time giving the USA a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with a strong dribble past three Canada defenders in the left side of the box and shooting to the far right corner of the frame.

The score stayed that way until the 69th minute when Da Silva took a left-footed corner kick on the right side and whipped the ball into the six-yard box to Wright. The USA striker headed it home for the two-goal lead. Wright now has four goals in this tournament and a team-leading 15 this year in international matches.

The U.S. wraps up the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 5, against host Panama.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Oct. 3, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Maracana Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

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

USA – Alejandro Zendejas (Pierre Da Silva)  6th minute
USA – Haji Wright (Pierre Da Silva)              69 minute

USA: 12-William Pulisic; 13-Tyler Adams, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 2-Matt Olosunde (3-John Nelson, 46); 16-Tommy McCabe, 9-Alejandro Zendejas (capt.) (10-Christian Pulisic, 46), 20-Keegan Kelly (8-Luca de la Torre, 62); 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice (7-Haji Wright, 62), 17-McKinze Gaines (11-Josh Perez, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Kevin Silva, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano, 6-Eric Calvillo
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CAN: 18-Matthew Nogueira; 7-Andrew Dias,10-Matthew Baldisimo, 15-Julian Takagi-Stewart, 6-Kadin Chung; 12-Terran Campbell (2-Tristan Borges, 78), 14-David Norman (8-Luca Ricci, 71), 9-Munir Saleh, 5-Gabriel Boakye; 4-Malik Johnson, 19-Kevin Timachy (20-Duwayne Ewart, 66)
Subs Not Used: 1-Brogan Engbers, 11-Kosaovar Sadiki, 13-Jordan Montoya, 16-Daniel Sagno
Head Coach: Sean Fleming

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Gabriel Boakye (caution)    29th minute
USA – Keegan Kelly (caution)       45
CAN – David Norman (caution)     59

Referee: John Pitti
Assistant Referee 1: Ronald Bruna
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: Rolando Vidal

U-17 MNT Starts Strong in Panama with 5-2 Win Against Costa Rica

PANAMA CITY (Oct. 1, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica 5-2 to open the Panama U-17 International Tournament at Estadio Maracaná.

Haji Wright scored three goals to lead the way for the USA – an 18th-minute redirect in the six-yard box, a 58th-minute shot to the far post from a difficult angle on the left side of the box and a third tally in the 68th minute. Wright also deflected a Christian Pulisic corner kick to assist Hugo Arellano’s 51st-minute goal.

Arellano’s goal gave the USA a 3-1 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Josh Perez also added a goal in the 22nd minute, set up by John Nelson – a left-footed blast to the upper left corner of the frame from approximately 21 yards out.

Costa Rica’s Jonathan Martinez scored both of his team’s goals, including a long-distance free kick tally just before halftime.

Wright now has a team-leading 14 goals this year and 20 total for his U-17 career in international matches. Pulisic leads the USA with six assists in 2014.

The U-17s scored five goals in a game for the fourth time this year and they improved to 13-5-1 in international competition.

Next up, the USA faces Canada on Friday, Oct. 3, followed by a game against host Panama on Sunday, Oct. 5.

-U.S. U-17 MNT Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Costa Rica
Date: Oct. 1, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracaná
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          2 3 5
Costa Rica                 1 1 2

USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        18th minute
USA – Josh Perez (John Nelson)                 22
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            45
USA – Hugo Arellano (Haji Wright)           51
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        58
USA – Haji Wright (Alejandro Zendejas)   68
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            69

USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano, 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde (20-Keegan Kelly, 89); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (13-Tyler Adams, 83), 8-Luca de la Torre (16-Tommy McCabe, 76), 10-Christian Pulisic (17-McKinze Gaines, 76); 11-Josh Perez, 9-Alejandro Zendejas, 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CRC: 1-Alejandro Barrientos; 6-Luis Hernandez, 2-Diego Mesen, 3-Pablo Arboine (capt.), 4-Ian Smith; 7- Kevin Masis (15-Barlon Sequeira, 46), 10-Jonathan Martinez, 8-Sergio Nunez (5-Jaylon Hadden, 46), 13-Jesus Chaves (14-Roberto Cordoba, 27); 9- Andy Reyes (21-Yostin Daily,68), 11-Shawn Manley
Subs Not Used:12-Daniel Villegas, 16-Allan Ramos, 17-Yarik Granados, 18-Patrick Sequeira, 19-Yael Lopez
Head Coach: Luis Fernando

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Diego Mesen (caution) 42nd minute
CRC – Jaylon Hadden (caution) 70
USA – Alexis Velela (caution) 83
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution) 88

Referee: Ameth Sanchez
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Garrido
Fourth Official: Jafeth Perea

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