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Matthew Olosunde

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

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

Highlights: U-17 MNT Outlast Jamaica in PKs to Claim World Cup Berth

The U-17 MNT qualified for the World Cup with a dramatic shootout victory against Jamaica.

Quote Sheet: U-17 MNT Regroup, Look Toward Sunday's World Cup Qualifying Play-In Game

2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 0, JAM 1
March 11, 2015


On the loss to Jamaica:
"We’re obviously very disappointed to lose the match in the way that we lost it, to lose any match. As we said, every team is competitive. With the amount of chances that we had, and didn’t score, and then to give up the one goal, we’re disappointed.”

On if the U.S. became unsettled after Jamaica scored:
"Yes, probably, because they figured they needed a goal. Maybe going forward too quickly and trying to get a goal right away when we had time left, so, possibly. We still had some chances and we just didn’t get it done.”

On the team not having the same possession as previous games, and if the physical nature of Jamaica affected the USA:
“I thought we had plenty of possession in the first half, and we had chances. That’s when you need to score, and we didn’t do that. In terms of the physicality, I think we were able to create opportunities and didn’t take the opportunities. The physicality part, if we take our chances early then we win the game.”

On how to regroup the team for the match on Sunday against a difficult opponent:
“They have another opportunity. With the format the way it is, we have a game on Sunday, and it’s for everything to go to the World Cup. So you better be motivated. We’ll regroup. We have three days until the game to get everyone back to full fitness. We’ll approach the game like we would any game and get out there and work to get the win.”

On the team starting the tournament strong but, coming up short the last two matches:
“I thought the game against Honduras was a positive result. Playing Honduras in Honduras and you’re able to get a draw, that’s very positive, and I thought we played well. And I thought we played well in the first half today against Jamaica. It’s just, again, you need to take your chances. You have to take responsibility in the final third and score, and we didn’t do that. For the large majority of the tournament we’ve played well. And today, no excuse, we just didn’t get the job done.”

On failing to get the direct berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and now needing to win Sunday’s play-in match:
“Of course we wanted the first spot. That was our plan all along. And that was our approach, to win the group. Unfortunately that was not the case. Like I said, we have the opportunity due to the format of the tournament to have one more game and we’ll approach it in a way to go out and win the game.”


On what the team can take away from the match:
"One thing for sure we can take away is that the chances we get in a game, we can’t take them for granted. We need to capitalize on our opportunities.”

On having another chance to qualify for the World Cup on Sunday:
“We’re going to try to take these three days that we have to get mentally prepared and physically as well, to try to recover as much as possible and, come out flying for our next game.”

On what the players said to each other after the loss:
“Just to keep our heads up, don’t look down, and look towards our next game. We have to leave this game behind us.”

U.S. U-17 MNT defender TYLER ADAMS

On the team’s mindset after a disappointing result:
“We tell each other to keep our heads up. We’ve gone through mental conditioning and, that taught us a lot. We’ll take the experience but, we have to forget about the game and move on so we can focus on our next game.”

On how the team will prepare for whomever the opponent is on Sunday:
“The next three days are all about recovery. We have great trainers that will get everyone ready. We have to stay positive. We came to this tournament for one reason and that’s to make it to the World Cup, and we still have a chance to do that on Sunday.”

U-17 MNT Falls 1-0 to Jamaica, Must Win Sunday Playoff Game to Qualify for FIFA U-17 World Cup

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will need to go through a playoff match to earn a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup after Jamaica defeated the USA 1-0 at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

Nicholas Nelson’s 57th-minute penalty kick was the difference maker in a tight match. Jamaica and the USA are level with 3-1-1 records and 10 points, but Jamaica takes the first-place lead based on the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

Honduras (2-0-2, 8 points) and Guatemala (1-2-1, 4 points) play later Wednesday night to cap off Group A play. Honduras would move ahead of both Jamaica and the USA if it defeats Guatemala. The Group A and Group B winners of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship earn automatic berths to the FIFA U-17 World Cup. 

Two other CONCACAF teams will advance to the World Cup by virtue of playoff wins. The USA will play either at 4 or 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 15, based on the seeding of the second- and third-place teams for each group. 

Earlier Wednesday, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago played to a 2-2 draw in Group A action in a matchup of two teams that already had been eliminated from playoff contention. Cuba moved to 0-1-4 (4 points) and Trinidad & Tobago finished 1-4-0 (1 point). 

In Group B, the field includes first-place Mexico (3-0-1, 10 points), second-place Canada (3-0-1, 10 points) and third-place Costa Rica (3-1-0, 9 points). All three teams have advanced to at least the playoff stage of the tournament and resume group play Thursday. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (penalty), 57th minute: Jamaica’s Donovan Dawkins crossed from the right side and USA center back Hugo Arellano was called for a handball in the box as the ball struck his left arm. Arellano, with his second yellow card in the tournament, is suspended for the USA’s final match. Donovan Dawkins took the subsequent penalty kick, slotting a right-footed, rolling shot toward the right of the frame. USA goalkeeper Will Pulisic had anticipated the shot going the opposite direction. USA 0, JAM 1 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Jahmali White, 4th minute: Shortly after a Jamaica set piece chance, the USA went on the attack when Christian Pulisic provided an outlet pass to Josh Perez on the right. Perez crossed perfectly with his left foot to lead Alejandro Zendejas. White came off of his line to make a save with his legs. 

JAM – Jahmali White, 7th minute: Midfielder Eric Calvillo made a surprising run onto the ball from about 40 yards out and struck it well with a shot headed toward the left of the frame. White did enough to get a glove on the ball as the shot also ricocheted off of the left post. 

JAM – Ajeanie Talbott, 25th minute: Christian Pulisic’s through ball opened a strong scoring opportunity for Alejandro Zendejas behind the Jamaica defense. As Zendejas aggressively rushed toward the six-yard box with a shot from the right side, Talbott’s help defense bailed his team out as he deflected it away at the last second.

USA – Will Pulisic, 33rd minute: Shortly after Jamaica goalkeeper Jahmali White’s long boot toward the right side, Deshane Beckford ripped a shot from the far right of the box toward the far left post. Pulisic stretched to his right for a big save in the game’s best scoring chance to that point. 

JAM – Jahmali White, 42nd minute: The goalkeeping continued to be the focal point in the first half when Jamaica’s defense made an errant outlet pass. USA forward Josh Perez stepped up well for the interception and dribbled up the right side. He cut the corner to the end line, where he dished to Alejandro Zendejas. Zendejas shot left-footed, aiming for the left of the frame, and White parried the ball enough to send the shot wide left for a U.S. corner kick. 

JAM – Ajeanie Talbott, 52nd minute: For the second time in the match, Talbott’s recovery defense proved vital. The USA’s Haji Wright started an attack, dishing to Christian Pulisic in the middle who then led Alejandro Zendejas with a well-placed pass straight up the field. Zendejas headed in toward the left of the box and Talbott slid in to tackle the ball away for a USA throw-in. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT will prepare for a playoff match at either 4 or 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 15, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • The U-17 MNT is 6-2-1 in international play this year.
  • The USA moved to 3-2-1 all-time against Jamaica in this tournament’s history.
  • Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup included a 4-3-3 formation, anchored by goalkeeper Will Pulisic and a defensive line of Matthew Olosunde at right back, Tyler Adams at left back and center backs Hugo Arellano and Alexis Velela. Pulisic and Olosunde have started in every qualifying match, while Arellano earned his fourth tournament start and Adams his second. Arellano wore the captain’s armband.
  • The midfield trio featured Luca de la Torre, Eric Calvillo and the return of Christian Pulisic in an attacking role. Pulisic was injured during the USA’s win against Guatemala on March 5 and was an available bench option against Honduras but did not see the pitch.
  • Up front, Alejandro Zendejas played in the middle, Haji Wright on the left and Josh Perez on the right. All three players earned their fourth starts in five qualifying games.
  • In a three-minute span, the USA made its first two subs midway through the second half, both focused on the attack when the team was down a goal. In the 69th minute, the USA made its first sub as Joe Gallardo replaced Wright. Then in the 72nd minute, McKinze Gaines entered for Perez.
  • The U.S. made its final sub in the 76th minute with Brandon Vazquez joining the attack to replace Velela.
  • Arellano, who was called for the handball in the box that led to Jamaica’s lone goal, picked up his second yellow card in the tournament and is suspended for Sunday’s playoff match.
  • The USA was shut out for the second time this year and the first time at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The only other occasion was a 2-0 loss to Panama on Feb. 4 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

-U.S. Under-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 11, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship; Group A
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazan
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. Local)
Attendance: 1,288
Weather: 84 degrees, clear 

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

JAM – Nicholas Nelson (Penalty kick)           57th minute 

USA: 1-Will Pulisic, 2-Matthew Olosunde , 4-Alexis Velela (19-Brandon Vazquez, 76), 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 18-Tyler Adams; 6-Eric Calvillo, 10-Christian Pulisic, 8-Luca de la Torre; (13-McKinze Gaines, 72), 20-Alejandro Zendejas, 11-Josh Perez 7-Haji Wright (9-Joe Gallardo, 69)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 3-John Nelson, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 15- Danny Barbir, 16-Tommy McCabe, 17-Pierre Da Silva
Head coach: Richie Williams 

JAM: 13-Jahmali Waite, 2-Javian Brown, 5-Jahwani Hinds (capt.), 17-Ajeanie Talbott , 6-Fabian Grant, 11-Zaire Bartley, 15-Deshane Beckford (19-Nathaniel Adamolekun, 46), 16-Jahlanie Hammond (14-Hakim Williams, 76), 9-Nicholas Nelson, 8-Tajea Brown (4-Shandel Senior, 83), 3-Donovan Dawkins
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Akeem Chambers, 7-Peter Vassell, 10-Alex Marshall, 12-Antoniel Mullings, 18-Chris-Andrew Dixon, 20-Demar James
Head coach: Andrew Edwards 

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 14
Offside: 3 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Fabian Grant (caution)            44th minute
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution)          56th
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution)       86th 

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Paredes (MEX)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX) Man of the Match: TBA

Under-17s: Olosunde earned two starts and three caps during the U-17 MNT’s 2013 campaign. He was a regular starting back for the U-17s in 2014, starting in 16 of the 19 matches he played in while logging 1,175 minutes. His 16 starts ranked fifth on the team. Olosunde added two assists that year. … Under-15s: In 2012 and 2013, Olosunde played for the U-15 Boys’ National Team.
Olosunde is a product of the New York Red Bulls Academy.