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U-18 MNT to Play at International Tournament in Portugal

CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will take an 18-player roster to the U-18 International Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 6-11.

While at the four-team event, the U.S. will face Norway on June 6, Portugal on June 8 and Sweden on June 10 in a round-robin style competition. The U.S. U-18s will also play a pre-tournament friendly against Primeira Liga powerhouse Benfica’s U-19 squad on June 3.

Former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Eddie Lewis will guide the squad while U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez assists with the senior Men’s National Team as it prepares for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The U.S. roster features sixteen players who are currently registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy Clubs, including Minnesota Thunder midfielder Mukwelle Akale, who was named the tournament MVP at the Copa del Atlantico this past February in Canary Islands, Spain.

Akale’s 23 previous Youth National Team call-ups across all age levels are second on the roster only to FC Utrecht striker Rubio Rubin’s 35 and Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Ben Swanson’s 25.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, relative new-comer Mauricio Pineda is attending just his second event and first international competition with the U.S. YNT program. Pineda and midfielders Collin Fernandez and Cameron Lindley represent the largest contingent of players from one team; all three are part of the Chicago Fire Academy.

U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team International Tournament Schedule:
Date                Opponent                    Time (Local)
June 3             vs. Benfica U-19         4:30 p.m.
June 6             vs. Norway U-18         4 p.m.
June 8             vs. Portugal U-18        6 p.m.
June 10           vs. Sweden U-18        4 p.m.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chase Gasper (Bethesda Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids; Longmont, Colo.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City; Oveido, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Brooks Lennon (RSL Arizona; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (RSL Arizona; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (4): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca, Fla.), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)

U-18 MNT Drops Last-Minute Decision to Mexico in Friendly

CARSON, Calif. (April 12, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team suffered a last-minute defeat to Mexico, which scored two goals in second half stoppage time to win the teams’ international friendly 4-3 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif.

The U.S. led on three occasions thanks to a first-half Jorge Ruiz penalty kick, and a pair of second-half strikes from Sebastian Elney and Sebastian Saucedo. However, Mexico answered on each occasion with Erick Germain Aguirre notching the tying and winning goals in the 92nd and 95th minutes, respectively.

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

Match: U.S. U-18 MNT v. Mexico U-18 MNT
Date:
April 12, 2014
Competition:
International Friendly
Venue:
Mooch Myernick Field, National Training Center
Kickoff:
3 p.m. PT
Attendance:
250
Weather:
61 degrees

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

USA                Jorge Ruiz                                                        41st  minute
MEX                Luis Fernando Cruz                                        54
USA                Sebastian Elney (Kyle Scott)                           62
MEX                Ian de Jesus Arellano (Luis Fernando Cruz)  69
USA                Sebastian Saucedo                                           76
MEX                Erick Germain Aguirre                                   92
MEX                Erick Germain Aguirre                                   95

Lineups:
USA:
1-JT Marcinkowski (12-Jonathan Klinsmann, 61); 14-David Chavez, 18-Mauricio Pineda, 17-Justen Glad, 20-Pablo Pelaez; 8-Jorge Ruiz,10-Jackson Yueill (23-Kyle Scott, 61), 4-Ben Swanson(capt.), 7-Mukwelle Akale (16-Sebastian Elney, 61); 11-Sebastian Saucedo, 19-Coy Craft (6-Collin Fernandez, 88)
Subs not used: 2-Christian Lucatero, 3-Shannon Seymour, 5-Henry Martin, 9-Stephen Payne, 13-Alex Ramos, 15-Quentin Pearson, 21-Cameron Lindley, 22-Christian Herrera, 24-Patrick Jean-Gilles
Head Coach: Javier Perez
 

MEX: 12-Angel Francisco Rascon; 4-Cesar Guillermo Jimenez, 3-Diego Rangel (14-Edson Omar Alvarez, 44), 5-Bryan Gael Castrejon, 16-Frnacisco Cordova; 13-Erik Germain Aguirre (capt.), 7-Ian de Jesus Arellano (17-Jose Luis Chavez, 94), 8-Miguel Angel Tapias, 9-Ricardo Javier Cruz; 11-Diego de Jesus Aguilar (18-Luis Enrique Gonzalez, 82), 10-Luis Fernando Cruz (19-Jose de Jesus Godinez, 81)
Subs not used: 1-Jose Santiago Hernandez, 2-Carlos Alan Ortega, 6-Jonatan Becerrill,15-Manuel Alejandro Mayorga, 20-Gerardo Perez
Head Coach: Marco Antonio Sanchez Yacuta
 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 3 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 15 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – 11-Sebastian Saucedo             (caution)          26th minute
MEX – 9-Ricardo Javier Cruz            (caution)          32
USA – 19-Coy Craft                           (caution)          47
MEX – 7-Ian de Jesus Arellano          (caution)          67
USA – 14-David Chavez                    (ejection)         94

Officials:
Head Referee – Ashbir Singh
Assistant Referee 1 – Brandon Chapman
Assistant Referee 2 – Adrian Gonzalez
4th Official – Shaine Danbeli           

Scoring Summary:
USA – Mukwelle Akale fouled inside the penalty area. Jorge Ruiz scores the ensuing penalty kick. (1-0)
MEX – Luis Fernando Cruz turns into the box from the right side and converts a shot inside the far post. (1-1)
USA – Kyle Scott passes to Sebastian Elney who swivels in the box and pings a shot off the left post into the net. (2-1)
MEX – Luis Fernando Cruz passes to Ian de Jesus Arellano outside the box. Arellano takes a touch and scores a drive from near the top of the 18. (2-2)
USA – Sebastian Saucedo takes the ball from midfield through the middle and unleashes a shot into the left upper 90. (3-2)
MEX – Erick Germain Aguirre scores from close range. (3-3)
MEX – Erick Germain Aguirre scores on penalty kick after David Chavez received red card for a handball on the goal line. (3-4)

U-18 MNT Prepares for Mexico Friendly

U-18 MNT Head Coach Javier Perez and players Sebastian Saucedo, Mukwelle Akale, and Coy Craft look ahead to playing rival Mexico in the final match of April camp.

U.S. U-18 MNT Loses Final Copa del Atlantico Match to Canary Islands 3-2 on Last-Minute Goal

LAS PALMAS, Canary Islands (Feb. 7, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team concluded its first trip to the Copa del Atlantico with a 3-2 defeat to the Canary Islands. As the youngest team at the tournament, the U.S. compiled a 0-0-3 record, losing all three matches by a one-goal margin with two of the three defeats inflicted by last minute concessions to Spain and the Canary Islands.

Despite the winless record, the U.S. matched all three of its opponents –including the Argentina U-20 national team, which was two years older than the USA – on the stat sheet and saw midfielder Mukwelle Akale of the Minnesota Thunder Academy named the tournament’s top player. Akale is only the second player from outside Spain or the Canary Islands to receive the honor since its inception in 2009.

U.S. captain Rubio Rubin sparked the USA’s climb out of a 2-0 hole midway through the second half. After conceding just before the break and in the 50 th minute, the USA cut the deficit in half as Rubin fed fellow striker Alan Winn in the 58th minute. Rubin then converted a penalty kick in the 77th minute to draw the USA level, before the Canary Islands grabbed a late winner with one minute left to play.

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

Match: United States U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Canary Islands U-18 Men’s National Team
Date:
February 7, 2014
Competition:
2014 Copa del Atlantico
Venue:
“Alfonso Silva” Field, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Kickoff:
5:00 p.m. WET
Weather:
65 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
GCI                         1 2 3
USA                        0 2 2

GCI Nadjib Mongoud Montes 44 minute
GCI Omar Sanchez Morales (Mallick Diallo Thiao) 52
USA Alan Winn (Rubio Rubin) 60
USA Rubio Rubin 79
GCI Adan Ravelo Exposito 89

Lineups:
USA:
12-Christian Herrera; 8-Shaquell Moore, 16-Erik Palmer-Brown, 6-Tommy Redding, 15-Tyler Turner, 20-Ben Swanson (9-Omar Castro, 57), 5-Emerson Hyndman (3-Jackson Yueill, 57), 13-Mukwelle Akale, 17-Dembakwi Yomba (24-Sebastian Saucedo, 57), 7-Rubio Rubin, 2-Alan Winn (19-Andrija Novakovich, 75)
Subs Not Used: 1-JT Marcinkowski, 4-Ahinga Selemani, 14-Chase Gasper

Head Coach: Javier Perez

GCI: 1-Samuel Perez Farina; 2-Carlos Santana Tejera, 5-Jorge Sanz de Miera, 4-Omar Vazquez Velazquez, 3-Kilian Pita Osorio, 12-Jose Luis Vallejo Martin (14-Juan Rodriguez Alonso, 76), 6-Juan Soto Rodriguez, 15-Nadjib Mongoud Montes (10-Adan Ravelo Exposito, 76), 8-Alejandro Cruz Espinosa (11-Carlos Fernandez Tadeo, 90+2), 17-Omar Sanchez Morales (9-Jose Rincon Perez, 59), 18-Mallick Diallo Thiao
Subs Not Used: 7-Alejandro Hernandez, 13-Neftali Rocha Perez, 16-Garoe Valentin Garcia
Head Coach: Antonio Montoya

Stats Summary: USA / GCI
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 14
Offside: 4 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
Ben Swanson Caution 35 minute

Officials:

U.S. U-18 MNT Head Coach Javier Perez Calls 18 Players for International Tournament in Spain

CHICAGO (Jan. 28, 2014) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez named an 18-player squad for the Copa del Atlantico that runs from Jan. 30 – Feb. 8 in Las Palmas, Spain.

Making its first appearance at the prestigious tournament, the USA will open its Copa del Atlantico schedule against Spain on Feb. 4, before facing Argentina on Feb. 5 and the Canary Islands on Feb. 7.

Seventeen players on the U.S. roster have ties to U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, with 13 currently registered with Academy teams. Omar Castro of Eintracht Braunschweig, who has been named to his first camp or tournament roster under Perez, is the only player on the squad never to have played for an Academy team.

Four MLS Academies are represented on the roster with Real Salt Lake AZ sending two players (Christian Herrera and Sebastian Saucedo) and the Crew Soccer Academy (Ben Swanson), Sporting Kansas City (Erik Palmer-Brown) and San Jose Earthquakes (JT Marcinkowski) all sending one.

The USA will be one of the youngest teams at the tournament as it fields a mixed squad of 1996- and 1997-born players. Eight ’97-born players have been included after impressing Perez at the team’s last training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., earlier this month.

Five of the team’s ’97-born players (Mukwelle Akale, Marcinkowski, Palmer-Brown, Tommy Redding and Swanson) were also included for the U.S. U-18 MNT’s last international tournament in Limoges, France. In total, 14 players on the current roster featured at the Limoges tournament last October, helping the team finish second to host France with an unbeaten 2-0-1 record.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2)
: Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5):
Chase Gasper (Bethesda-Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Shaquell Moore (IMG Academy; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic PSG; Oviedo, Fla.), Tyler Turner (IMG Academy; Meriden, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6):
Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Omar Castro (Eintracht Braunschweig; Plant City, Fla.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC; Plano, Texas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (5):
Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG; Muskego, Wis.), Rubio Rubin (Unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC; Garland, Texas), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)

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