All Six Matches at Nike Friendlies to Feature Live Web Stream on ussoccer.com; Academy Showcase Includes 79 U-15/16 and U-17/18 Teams, as well as U-15 Boys’ National Team and Additional U-17 Men’s National Team
CHICAGO (Nov. 6, 2013) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face Brazil, England and Portugal at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase, which takes place from Dec. 9-15 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
All six Nike Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, and updates will be provided on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
The U.S. U-17 MNT will open against Portugal on Monday, Dec. 9, and then face England on Dec. 11 and Brazil on Dec. 13. The USA matches kick off at 5 p.m. ET and will be preceded by the other two participating countries at 2 p.m. ET.
Along with the Nike Friendlies, the 79-team Development Academy field at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups will compete in three match days. The U-15/16 matches take place on Dec. 12, 13 and 15, and the U-17/18 games are Dec. 11, 12 and 14.
To even the playing field at 80 teams, a U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team and an additional U-17 Men’s National Team will participate. With 28 players involved in the fall semester of U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program, head coach Richie Williams will select from that pool for the U-17 teams competing in the Winter Showcase and Nike Friendlies.
The U-15 BNT will face the U-15/16 New York Red Bulls, De Anza Force and Weston FC, and the additional U-17 MNT squad will play the U-17/18 New England Revolution, Solar Chelsea and PA Classics.
Similar to last year’s event, four Academy Select squads – two at the U-15/16 and two at the U-17/18 level – will face each other in a match on Thursday, Dec. 12. U.S. Soccer technical advisors will play a role in forming these elite rosters, as well as coaching the teams. The U-15/16 Select game kicks off at 6 p.m. and the U-17/18 game at 8 p.m.
All matches are held at the 22-field Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch.
The U.S. U-17 MNT took third place at the 2012 Nike International Friendlies and won the 2011 Nike Friendlies with a 3-1 victory against Brazil in the finale. Portugal is the defending champion heading into this year’s event.
U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide top-level competition for the U.S. U-17 MNT and is one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Starting in 2008, the event evolved to incorporate U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. This setup provides the opportunity for Academy teams to compete against unique opponents outside of their division. This event also allows the U.S. Scouting Network to have a presence at every match and evaluate players.
2013 Nike International Friendlies Schedule
Matches streamed live on ussoccer.com (kickoff times listed ET)
Monday, Dec. 9
2 p.m. – England vs. Brazil
5 p.m. – USA vs. Portugal
Wednesday, Dec. 11
2 p.m. – Brazil vs. Portugal
5 p.m. – USA vs. England
Friday, Dec. 13
2 p.m. – Portugal vs. England
5 p.m. – USA vs. Brazil