BRADENTON, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2006) – The 2006 Nike Friendlies kicked off at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., welcoming more than 50 club teams to compete in the four day event. Now in its sixth year, the Nike Friendlies offer an environment that stresses high-level competition without emphasizing results and standings.
This year’s event features five U.S. Youth National Teams, with four squads in action on opening day. The Americans compiled a 2-0-2 record, with the marquee matchup pitting the U-17 ’90 Men’s National Team vs. the Brazil U-17 Men’s National Team. In a back-and-forth affair, the U.S. pulled even just five minutes from the final whistle when Jesse Paredes finished from close range, capping an impressive build-up from fellow midfielder Brendan King (photos). The match ended, 2-2, setting up a mouth-watering rematch on Saturday afternoon.
The younger U.S. U-17 side (‘91s) earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory vs. U-17 Arsenal. The USA jumped out to an early lead, scoring a pair of goals in the first quarter of an hour. The opener came through Eddy Gonzalez in the ninth minute before Bryan Dominguez doubled the lead in the 13th minute. Arsenal pulled within one just after halftime, but Nick Millington restored the two-goal cushion and provided the game’s final margin in the 59th minute.
With 36 players called in for the Nike Friendlies, U.S. U-15 Boys National Team head coach Jim Barlow was able to split his squad into two teams, Blue and White, ensuring more game action for his young players. Competing “up” a level with the U-16s, both sides responded well to the challenge. The Blue team posted a 2-0 shutout win vs. PDA on the strength of first-half goals from Andrew Craven and Perry Kitchen.
In the U-15’s second match, the White team got an equalizer in the 80th minute from Josh Sylva to draw, 2-2, vs. Italian club Juventus. Charles Renken converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute, knocking it off the right post, for the other U.S. goal. The U-15 Blue team will get their crack at the Italians when the two sides square off on Friday morning.
Fans can follow all of the action throughout the weekend on ussoccer.com. Be sure to check out daily schedules and results, player features and exclusive all_access videos. Studio 90, the popular web show which debuted at the World Cup in Germany, also returns giving fans more in-depth coverage of your favorite players and teams.
2006 Nike Friendlies - Day 1 Results - December 7
Under-16 Results - Lineups
FC DELCO 0, Real So Cal 0
IMG Academy 2, Virginia Rush 3
USA U-15 Blue 2, PDA 0
San Diego Surf 2, Team Ohio 2
FC Greater Boston 3, Santa Rosa 0
USA U-15 White 2, Juventus 2
Ohio Elite 1, Irvine SC Strikers 4
Dallas Texans 0, Arsenal 2
Under-17 Results - Lineups
Team Ohio 1, Atlanta Fire 4
FC DELCO 0, Sockers FC Chicago 2
PDA 0, Real Colorado 1
FC Greater Boston 1, Neusport 2
Colorado Rush 2, Weston Fury SC 0
USA U-17 '91 3, U-17 Arsenal 1
Scott Gallagher 1, Concorde Fire 0
IMG Academy 0, Vardar 3
Dallas Texans 3, Sereno 1
Crossfire 1, Richmond Strikers 1
Under-18 Results - Lineups
Bethesda United 0, Dallas Texans 3
IMG Academy 0, San Diego Surf 1
Carmel United 1, Sereno 0
FC Portland 3, PDA 0
Brooklyn Knights 1, Colorado Rush 4
Lonestar 1, Virginia Rush 1
USA U-17 '90 2, Brazil 2
Real Colorado 0, Scott Gallagher 0
Atlanta Fire 0, FC DELCO 3