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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team
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Richie Williams Names 28 Players to U-17 MNT 2015 Spring Residency Roster

CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players to the 2015 Spring Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

In late February and early March, the U-17 MNT will be participating in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the CONCACAF region.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well. We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The U-17 Residency Program roster features 24 players who were with the team during the 2014 fall semester. The four newcomers to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez.

The Residency roster also includes 25 players currently registered with Development Academy clubs, and 27 in all with ties to the Academy.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.), Will Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (9): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matthew Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Texas), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Giuseppe Barone (Crew SC Academy Wolves; Grandville, Mich.), George Braima (Crew SC Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (8): Pierre Da Silva (Orlando City SC; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL; Durham, N.C.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Elvir Ibisevic (Sporting Iowa; Urbandale, Iowa), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.)

About the U-17 Residency Program:
The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and train in the morning under the guidance of the U.S. U-17 MNT coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily, but also has access to the IMG Academy facilities. The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists who work at the Academy. The IMG Academies include top-of-the-line soccer equipment, Bermuda grass fields, renovated student housing and dining facilities.

Since its inception, approximately 400 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 players have moved on to Major League Soccer and other professional leagues.

The first full-time U.S. Soccer Residency Program began on Jan. 17, 1999, when U.S. Soccer collected 20 of the country’s elite youth players to train year-round.

U-17 MNT Plays 2014 Nike International Friendlies

ussoccer.com takes a look back at the U-17 MNT's run through the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, culminated by a chance to win the title in the pivotal final game against Brazil.

Thirty Eight Players Called to U-17 MNT Camp

CHICAGO (July 4, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has called 38 players to a training camp that will take place from July 5-12 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

The large camp will help Williams and his staff determine the rosters for a pair of upcoming international tournaments set to run from the end of July into August in Denmark and Mexico, respectively. The 2014 Nordic Open Cup Tournament in Kolding, Denmark, runs from July 24-Aug. 3, overlapping the third annual Copa de Mexico in Mexico City, the group stage of which will take place July 30-Aug. 11.

While in camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, the U-17 MNT will train for the first four days before playing a pair of matches on July 9 – the first against Orange County Blue Stars at 10 a.m. PT and the second against Club Tijuana’s U-18 team at 5 p.m. PT. The players will also take in both FIFA World Cup semifinal matches on July 8 and 9 before finishing camp with two more friendly games on July 12; the first against Orange County Blue Stars will be at 10 a.m. PT and the second against the LA Galaxy Academy U-17/18s at 12:30 p.m. PT.

The camp roster includes 22 players currently enrolled in U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida, and a handful of internationally-based players, including Monterrey FC (Mexico) duo Joe Gallardo and Jonathan Gonzalez, Vitesse (Netherlands) forward Kai Koreniuk, and Fiorentina (Italy) midfielder Josh Perez. The camp is the first with the U-17 program for Perez since December, when he helped the U.S. win the 2013 Nike International Friendlies. Additionally, it represents the first U.S. National Team call-up at any age level for Koreniuk.

Other players receiving their first National Team call-ups include: Francisco Contreras (Bathesda-Olney), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers) and Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy), while Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic) and Mattias Tomasino (Kendall SC) are making just their second appearance at a YNT event.

The roster is primarily composed of players born in 1998 with the exception of six who were born in 1999. Five of the six ’99-born players are core pieces of the U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team, including: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf), Gonzalez and Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy); the sixth, Edwin Lara (De Anza Force), has been a consistent contributor with the U-17 program throughout the current cycle.

Thirty-one of the 38 players on the roster are registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team NTC Camp Schedule:
Date                Opponent                                            Time (PT)
July 9              vs. Orange County Blue Stars            10 a.m.
                        vs. Club Tijuana U-18s                       5 p.m.
July 12            vs. Orange County Blue Stars            10 a.m.
                        vs. LA Galaxy Academy                    12:30 p.m.

U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (12): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Edwin Lara (De Anza Force; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy; Point Reyes, Calif.), Mattias Tomasino (Kendall; Miami, Fla.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (12): George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Francisco Contreras (Bethesda-Olney; Fredrick, Md.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey FC; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers; Watsonville, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (11): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy - CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore), Kai Koreniuk (Vitesse; Ormond Beach, Fla.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (ACF Fiorentina; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas)


The Road to Residency: U-17 MNT Defender John Nelson

ussoccer.com: On playing in the Continental Cup, an international youth tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, that helped launch his rise to the U.S. U-17 MNT.
John Nelson
: It allowed me to go to Italy to train in the AC Milan camp. That was a good experience that then allowed me to go to South Africa with a team from Miami called Miami Elite. This was in 2010, and I got to go to Argentina to play teams down there.”

ussoccer.com: On being recruited by different elite teams to travel for international competitions.
JN
: “It just felt great! And, I know that if I keep working at it, that will lead me to my goals and one day become a professional soccer player. All [the competition] gets me a step closer and gives me a visual to see what it is to play around the world.”

ussoccer.com
: On the training he took part in while with AC Milan.
JN
: “It was about two weeks; it was different than here in the U.S. but really cool. I was with my family there; they always came to watch me play. The kids there were great because they were kids from all around the world that came in for that camp. The players were more advanced than what I had played against here and the coaching was really good too.”

ussoccer.com
: On what he took away from the experience of training in Italy.
JN
: “I saw how good those kids were, so I knew how good I needed to be. What I took away was that I need to train more. Train more every day and train harder.”

ussoccer.com
: On his time with U.S. Soccer Development Academy club Internationals.
JN
: “I think my time with Internationals was really good; we won a lot of tournaments. It allowed me to play in the Academy system, which played against other great players. I played against some of my teammates from [the U-17 National Team] I’d known from previous national camps in California. It also allowed me to play two years up, so that definitely helped me.”

ussoccer.com
: On his time in the U.S. Soccer Residency Program.
JN
: “I’ve enjoyed playing soccer every day with this team. It’s definitely helped me get better going to school down here. It’s helped me become a better player because you work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday and train every morning. Back at home in the Academy, you’re training three or four days, but here, you’re training every day with a game on Saturdays. You’re playing down here with the best players in the country, so it really pushes you.”

ussoccer.com: On playing against talented attacking teammates such as Haji Wright and Christian Pulisic.
JN: “It’s hard, tiring, and it gets competitive, but I know it makes me a better player. Defending them all the time makes me a better player because they are great players.”

ussoccer.com
: On the team’s upcoming trip to play Academy teams from Seattle and Portland.
JN
: “They’re good academy teams, I know that. We get to travel across the country, which is cool. I haven’t been to that part of the west side, only to California. I actually like watching the Portland Timbers with Darlington Nagbe because he used to play for Internationals. I like watching him a lot, but it’d be a rough game to play against him.”

ussoccer.com
: On any extra work the players do when watching professional matches.
JN
: “The coaches don’t give us homework, but we definitely talk about it after we watch the games. We talk about all the tactical stuff and the player movement.”

ussoccer.com
: On the education component of the Residency Program.
JN
: “I like it. It covers the main classes and courses. It’s not as long as school back home, but I still think the academics are good preparation for college.”

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).

U.S. U-17 MNT SCHEDULE:
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

U.S. U-17 MNT ROSTER BY POSITION
:
GOALKEEPERS (2)
: William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7)
: 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.)
MIDFIELDERS (6)
: 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)
FORWARDS (5)
: 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.)
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