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Haji Wright

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

U-17 MNT Continues Vaclav Jezek Tournament with 1-1 Draw Against Slovenia

SVITAVY, Czech Republic (Aug. 19, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team bounced back in the Vaclav Jezek Tournament with a 1-1 draw against Slovenia.

Alejandro Zendejas scored the opening goal of the game. Haji Wright was the architect and he bent in a perfect cross that Zendejas jumped to head home in the 17ht minute. The U.S. maintained the lead for much of the match, but Slovenia broke through late with an 85th minute stunner that tied the game.

With the draw, the U-17’s group record moves to 0-1-1 in the tournament. The team plays its final group game against Slovakia on Aug. 21.

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

Match: United States U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Slovenia
Date: Aug. 19, 2015
Competition: 22nd International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek
Venue: Svitavy; Czech Republic
Kickoff:  9 a.m. ET local (5 pm local)
Weather: 61 degrees

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

USA                 Alejandro Zendejas (Haji Wright)             17th minute
SVN                 Jan Mlakar                                                  85               

USA: 12-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson (4-Hugo Arellano, 46), 15-Auston Trusty, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 13-Reginald Cannon; 16-Tommy McCabe, 18-Eric Calvillo, 10-Christian Pulisic (8-Luca de la Torre, 46); 17-Haji Wright, 19-Joe Gallardo (7-Josh Perez, 62), 20-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 1-Will Pulisic, 5-Daniel Barbir, 2-Alexis Velela; 6-Tyler Adams, 9-Brandon Vazquez, 11-Pierre Da Silva
Head Coach: Richie Williams  

SVN: 1-Rok Vodisek; 2-Sandi Coralic, 3-Sven Sostaric- Karic, 16-Janez Pisek, 17-Matija Rom; 4-Sandi Ogrinec (21-Nejc Pusnik, 67), 18-Rok Buzinel, 10-Dejan Petrovic (19-Luka Kambic, 81); 14-Kristjan Sredojevic (8-Matic Ficko, 53), 9-Jan Mlakar (capt.), 20-Gaber Petric (11-Luka Stor, 67)
Subs Not Used: 7-Jakob Novak,12-Igor Vekic, 13-Tilen Pecnik
Head Coach: Igor Benedejcic

Misconduct Summary:
USA-Hugo Arellano (Caution)                 58th minute
SVN-Nejc Pusnik (Caution)                     67           

Head Referee: Brychta Ondrej
Referee 2: Raplik Lukas
Referee 3: Horinek Lukas

Williams Names Roster for U-17 Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament in Czech Republic

CHICAGO (Aug. 13, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster that will head to Pardubice, Czech Republic, for the 2015 U-17 International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek, which runs from Aug. 14-22.

The U-17’s begin play on Tuesday, Aug. 18, when they face Russia. The team will play again the following day on Aug. 19 against Slovenia and will conclude group play on Aug. 21 against Slovakia. The opponent for a final placement game, which will be played on Saturday, Aug. 22, will be determined following the conclusion of group play.

The U.S. competed with its U-18 team in this tournament a year ago, and defeated Ukraine 1-0 to take the title.

The trip will serve as part of the U-17’s continued preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, where the team has been grouped with Nigeria, Croatia and Chile. The USA kicks off with the first game of that tournament on Oct. 17.

Nineteen players on the roster have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2):  William Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Academy; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.),  Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union Academy; Media, Pa.), Alexis Velela (New York Cosmos; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; Hershey, Pa.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (5): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC Academy; Port Chester, N.Y.), Joe Gallardo (C.F. Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.)

U-18 MNT Draws Czech Republic at NTC Invitational in Carson

CHICAGO (July 13, 2015) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team finished competition at the 2015 NTC Men’s U-18 Invitational Tournament with a 1-1 draw against Czech Republic at StubHub Center.

The USA took an early lead in the game thanks to some nifty moves from Sebastian Elney in the sixth minute. Elney saw a bad pass made at midfield and took advantage, stealing the ball, sliding past a Czech defender and running towards the Czech box. From the left flank, Elney tried to cross it to the center but the ball hit the goalkeeper’s heel instead and bounced inside for an own goal and the USA’s lead.

Despite strong efforts from the U.S. defense, the Czech Republic continued pushing forward, trying to find the back of the net. On the 65th minute, January Kutcha found some space off a corner and headed home the equalizer. Coy Craft had the best chance to score a game-winner for the USA with a shot in stoppage time, but his attempt hit the crossbar and kept the draw between the two sides.

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

Match: U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Czech Republic U-18 National Team
Monday, July 13, 2015
2015 U-18 Men’s NTC Invitational
Venue: StubHub Center
Kickoff: 5:00 PM Local Time
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F                                             

USA                             1          0          1
CZE                                0        1          1

USA – Sebastian Elney              6th minute
CZE – January Kuchta                             65

USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann (GK) (Capt); 7-Malcolm Jones, 11-Mauricio Pineda, 17-Hugo Arellano, 15-Pablo Pelaez; 23-James Murphy (14-Ben Swanson, 46), 20-Jackson Yueill (10-Cameron Lindley, 64), 2-Mukwelle Akale; 6-Sebastian Elney (24-Christian Lucatero, 87), 13-Emmanuel Sabbi (8-Victor Mansaray, 90), 16-Haji Wright (3-Coy Craft, 64)
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinokwski, 4-Kyle Duncan, 21-Alexis Velela, 9-Sebastian Saucedo
Head Coach: Javier Perez

CZE: 1-January Stejska (GK); 2-January Zarsky (3-Matej Helebrand, 46), 20-David Brezina (4-Martin Chlumecky, 87), 21-David Lischka, 13-Vojtech Cmelik; 15-Petr Prucha, 22-Daniel Trubac, 8-Jiri Januska (18-Tomas Wiesner, 64), 10-Matej Pulkrab (7-Jiri Klima, 46); 11-Denis Lanka (6-January Kuchta, 46), 17-Ondrej Mihalik (Capt) (19-Tomas Ladra, 84)
Subs not used: 16-Dominik Svaceck, 9-Ondrej Badocha, 14-Jakub Kucera
Head Coach: Pavel Malura

Stats Summary: USA / CZE
Shots: 10 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 12 / 7
Fouls: 7 / 12
Offsides: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
CZE – January Zarsky (caution)                       43rd minute
CZE – David Brezenia (caution)                       62
USA – Ben Swanson (caution)                        71
CZE – Jiri Klima (caution)                               90

Referee: Adam Finney
Assistant Referee 1: Chris Hutchinson
Assistant Referee 2: Jennifer Garner
4th Official: Joe Dickerson



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

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.