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Nike Friendlies Recap


We understand. You have a life. Between your job, school, taking care of the kids and hanging out with friends and family, you don’t always get the chance to watch the other professional soccer leagues in the United States. That’s why we’re here. This section provides you with a quick recap of something exciting, intriguing or just off-the-wall going on at U.S. Soccer or in leagues like the MISL, USL (First and Second Divison), PDL, W-League and Super Y-League.

The fifth annual Nike Friendlies recently took place during the first four days of December and since we figure you might not have trekked down to Bradenton, Fla., to take in the more than 120 games, we’ll let you know just what you missed and how to get caught up.

What you missed:
Final “home” match and Arvizu bike -- The first day of the Nike Friendlies was highlighted by the last match the U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team would ever play at IMG Academy, their home for the past two years. Players like Ofori Sarkodie, Kyle Nakazawa, Bryant Rueckner and Ryan Soroka took the field one final time and left on a high note by defeating the older U-18 Dallas Texans 3-2 behind two goals from Preston Zimmerman and a jaw-dropping bicycle kick from David Arvizu. We could explain the bike, but it wouldn’t do it justice. Luckily for you, there’s two ways to see it.

How to get caught up:
The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team’s match against the Dallas Texans will be shown by Fox Soccer Channel at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Can’t stay up that late and don’t have Tivo, DVR or even that old-time VCR, well, you can at least catch Arvizu’s ridiculous bike right here courtesy of ussoccer.com’s all_access video.

What you missed:
The new crop’s first international – With the majority of the U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team players graduating and moving on to the college or professional ranks, the U-17 ‘90s took their first steps towards the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Championship during the Nike Friendlies. And that first step was a doozy as the ‘90s took on Brazil, which once again demonstrated that it has some of the best youth talent in the world. The U.S. ended up falling 1-0 despite a number of good chances, but with the likes of goalkeeper Josh Lambo, midfielder Jared Jeffries and forward Sheanon Williams performing well in their first international on American soil, it appears the U.S. has some talented youth of its own.

How to get caught up:
FSC comes through again, broadcasting the U-17 ‘90s first international against Brazil on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 11 p.m. ET. For an inside look at the match, ussoccer.com all_access video has you covered as well with footage from the game, head coach John Hackworth’s halftime speech and quotes from players after the match.

What you missed:
Goals, goals, goals – Since the inaugural Nike Friendlies in 2001 when 19 teams competed, the competition has more than tripled in size, making the event one of the most highly anticipated by clubs and college coaches because of the emphasis on quality soccer and the top-level competition. During the four-day event, in all 65 teams played more than 130 games and scored more than 375 goals.

How to get caught up:
Just log onto the Nike Friendlies competition page and check out the complete coverage from the four-day event. Along with results from every game in all three age groups (U-16, U-17 and U-18), you can check out the daily photo galleries and the all_access video featuring the wide-range of teams that competed and the family ties that are beginning to be made within the U.S. youth national teams.

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