CHICAGO (Nov. 30, 2007) – Fox Soccer Channel will televise all three U.S. Under-17 ’92 Men’s National Team games during the 2007 Development Academy Nike Friendlies, which are taking place from Dec. 6-9 at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. All three matches are against international teams, with the U.S. U-17s taking on Brazil, Russia and Turkey during the weekend.
The U.S. kicks off the weekend live on FSC when they go up against Russia on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. ET. Two days later, the U.S. will continue its familiar December match-up with Brazil for the third straight year, and fourth overall, at the Friendlies when the countries square off on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The U.S. will then face Turkey on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, which will be televised on a same-day delay at 8 p.m. ET.
A total of 54 teams competing across the Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 age groups will participate in the 2007 Nike Friendlies.
The U.S. Under-17 and Under-15 Mens’ National Teams will each be divided into two squads that will represent U.S. Soccer. The U-17 teams will be divided in to the U-17 ’91 MNT and the U-17 ’92 MNT, while the U-15 team will be made primarily of players born in 1993, and will play as the U-15 Blue and U-15 White teams. The U-17 ‘91s and the U-15 Boys’ National Team will compete against elite club teams.
Along with the 81 games that will be played across the weekend, the 2007 edition of the annual event will focus on the development of players, coaches and referees at the international level.
U.S. Soccer Symposiums will be conducted for domestic and international coaches and referees and will feature CONCACAF Coaching and Referee Symposiums. U.S. Soccer National Team Coaches and Referees will meet with Academy Coaches and Referees to review their individual development. Gatorade will be providing educational hydration testing for select Academy athletes to learn how proper in-game nutrition can help improve their performance.
U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States are invited to play high-level games that stress quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Tournament standings are not kept during the competition, in which each U-15/16 team plays three 80-minute games, while U-17/18 teams play three 90-minute games over the four days. A full list of teams and complete schedule is available now at ussoccer.com.
During the tournament, ussoccer.com will provide comprehensive coverage of the event including mini-match reports from every game played, photos and video. U.S. Soccer’s all_access video team, as well as Studio 90, the web show made popular during the 2006 World Cup, will be on site providing features and highlights.
2007 Development Academy Nike Friendlies
Player Development and Identification
Gatorade Sweat Loss Testing
Gatorade will weigh athletes before and after games in a controlled environment. Following the matches, a certified athletic trainer will interpret results and provide personalized hydration plans for athletes to improve performance.
National Team, Professional and College Scouts in Attendance
In addition to a full slate of U.S. National Team coaches, college coaches from across the country will join professional team scouts from Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester United, Celtic and PSV Eindhoven in Bradenton to scout 1,100 of the country’s elite soccer players
Coaching and Referee Development
CONCACAF Coaching Symposium
Domestic and International coaches will experience U.S. Soccer’s expertise in sessions held Thursday and Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Speakers at the symposium include Thomas Rongen, John Hackworth, Bob Jenkins and Jim Barlow. Coaches will also have the opportunity to analyze the U.S. Under-17 ’92 Men’s National Team’s match against Brazil.
CONCACAF Referee Academy
Fifteen national and international-level referees from the United States and neighboring countries will listen to the top instructors in U.S. Soccer’s Referee Department. They will then apply the theories taught in the classroom to the field, when they officiate Nike Friendlies games throughout the weekend.
U.S. Soccer Assessor Academy
The U.S. Soccer Assessor Academy will provide five National Assessor candidates with an opportunity to be trained and evaluated by members of the U.S. Soccer Referee Department staff.