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U.S. U-17 '97s MNT Opens 2013 Caspian Cup with Win Against Kyrgyzstan

CHICAGO (May 30, 2012) – The U.S. Under-17 ’97s Men’s National Team traveled with an 18-player roster to the 2013 Caspian Cup from May 26-June 6 in Azerbaijan. The team opened with a dominating 11-0 win against Kyrgyzstan.

The U.S. team is made up entirely of players born in 1997 and is being led by U.S. U-17 MNT assistant coach Jim Rooney.

Eight players on the roster recently finished the 2013 Spring Residency semester at the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. A total of 14 players have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Against Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. started strong from the get-go, with Brooks Lennon finishing off a pass from Collin Fernandez in just the first minute. Seven minutes later, Amirgy Pineda connected with Sebastian Saucedo for the second goal of the game. Pablo Pelaez set up DJ Villegas for a goal in the 11th minute and Fernandez dished out his second assist of the game, once again to Lennon in the 21st minute.

Sebastian Saucedo scored back-to-back goals, finishing off a rebound in the 22nd minute and scoring off a free kick in the 29th minute. Lennon completed a first-half hat-trick in the 32nd minute.

The onslaught continued in the second half, when Villegas’ shot from the corner of the 18-yard box bent into the back of the net. Peter Schropp scored five minutes later with a 25-yard blast to the back post. Alejandro Vergara scored in the 61st minute and Mukwelle Akale finished off the scoring with a goal in the 69th minute.

The U.S. next faces host Azerbaijan on Saturday, June 1. There will then be two placement matches, one June 2 or 3 and one June 4 or 5.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jake Gelnovatch (Richmond Strikers; Earlysville, Va.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake Academy; Tucson, Ariz.), David Godinez-Chavez (Juventus Sport Club; Redwood City, Calif.), Malcolm Jones (Chivas USA; Chino Hills, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summitt, Mo.), Pablo Palaez (Albion SC; San Diego, Calif.), Tommy Redding (FC America Premier; Oviedo, Fla.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire Academy; Downers Grove, Ill.), Abuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic; Gotha, Fla.), Amirgy Pineda (Fullerton Rangers; Santa Ana, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Alejandro Vergara (Chivas USA, Long Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake Academy; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake Academy; Casa Grande, Ariz.), DJ Villegas (Davis Legacy; Sacramento Calif.)