Sixth Annual Nike Friendlies Conclude at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
BRADENTON, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2006) – The 2006 Nike Friendlies came to a close on Sunday afternoon, concluding the sixth edition of the annual youth tournament. The four-day event saw more than 50 club teams, including youth national teams from the United States and Brazil, and Italian side Juventus’ youth squad, compete in over 80 games. Played on the IMG Academies campus, the Nike Friendlies offer an environment that stresses high-level competition without emphasizing results and standings.
Sunday’s action featured four matches for U.S. youth national teams, including a marquee matchup between the U-18s and Brazil in the early afternoon. Unfortunately for the Americans, Brazil carried the majority of the play in a 3-0 win, but the U.S. fans made their presence felt throughout the match. In fact, counting a pair of entertaining 2-2 draws on Thursday and Saturday, more than 2,500 boisterous fans packed the stands on Field 1, witnessing a spirited three-game series in what has quickly become a heated rivalry at the youth level.
Meanwhile, the U-17 91’s took to the field vs. perennial St. Louis, Mo., power Scott Gallagher, playing to a 1-1 draw. Eder Arreola gave the U.S. a lead midway through the first half, but Will Bruin responded in the 37th minute, leveling the score at 1-1 just before the intermission.
At the U-15 age group, head coach Jim Barlow enjoyed the luxury of fielding two teams throughout the event, and both teams took to the field on the final day. In the morning, the U-15 White team fell, 3-0, to U-16 SoCal United while the Blue team lost by an identical scoreline to U-16 Arsenal. Despite playing against older competition, the U-15s turned in a respectable showing at the 2006 Nike Friendlies, highlighted by Thursday’s results, a 2-2 draw vs. Juventus and a 2-0 win vs. PDA.
While U.S. Soccer had hoped to webcast select U.S. matches over the weekend, technical difficulties on-site prevented the games from airing. However, Studio 90, the popular web show which debuted during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, returned to offer highlights and extensive behind the scenes coverage of the Friendlies. Fans can also find scores, photo galleries and all_access videos on ussoccer.com’s 2006 Nike Friendlies page.
Under-18 Results | Lineups
Bethesda United 2, Sereno 1
San Diego Surf 4, Brooklyn Knights 0
FC Portland 3, Lonestar 1
Colorado Rush 2, IMG Academy 1
Virginia Rush 1, PDA 4
Real Colorado 1, Atlanta Fire 2
USA U-18 0, Brazil 3
Dallas Texans 3, Carmel United 0
Under-17 Results | Lineups
Real Colorado 1, Neusport 0
Arsenal 1, Concorde Fire 1
USA U-17 '91 1, U-17 Scott Gallagher 1
Colorado Rush 4, Team Ohio 2
FC DELCO 3, Sereno 0
Sockers FC Chicago 2, Dallas Texans 1
Vardar 4, Crossfire 0
PDA 1, FC Greater Boston 4
Atlanta Fire 1, Weston Fury SC 0
IMG Academy 0, Richmond Strikers 1
Under-16 Results | Lineups
IMG Academy 1, San Diego Surf 4
Ohio Elite 0, FC DELCO 2
USA U-15 White 0, Real So Cal 3
Irvine SC Strikers 5, Santa Rosa 1
Virginia Rush 1, Team Ohio 3
PDA 0, Dallas Texans 2
USA U-15 Blue 0, U-16 Arsenal 3
Juventus 1, FC Greater Boston 0