U-18 MNT Midfielder, Mukwelle Akale - Bio
In a rare feat for any player, Akale earned a pair of MVP honors at two international tournaments with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in 2014. The former U.S. U-17 Residency player and Minnesota Thunder Academy product was named MVP during the 2014 Copa del Atlantico in February, becoming just the second player from outside Spain or the Canary Islands to receive the award since its inception in 2009. Akale followed up with top player honors at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic. In the latter tournament, the 17-year-old Akale scored the lone goal during the USA’s 1-0 victory against Ukraine in the championship match on Aug. 23.
U-20, U-23 & MNT Midfielder, Emerson Hyndman - Bio
The 18-year-old Dallas native had a groundbreaking year. He was called in by Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for multiple camps and made his MNT debut during the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. Hyndman has represented both the U-23 and U-20 Men’s National Teams this are, helping both squads in their preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and 2016 Summer Olympics, respectively. He started for the U-23 MNT in its Oct. 14 match against Brazil in Brasilia and earned his first two U-20 MNT caps during the USA’s November trip to Spain for the 2014 U-21 Marbella Tournament, starting against Russia’s U-21s and the Republic of Ireland’s U-20 national team. Hyndman made his English Championship debut with Fulham in mid-August and has earned regular starts as a central midfielder for the club. Hyndman is a former member of the FC Dallas Academy and the grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.
U-17 MNT Midfielder, Christian Pulisic - Bio
Since earning MVP honors during a championship run at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies last December, the 16-year-old playmaker maintained his well-rounded game throughout 2014 with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. Prior to the U-17 MNT’s trip to Chile for the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, Pulisic tallied 12 goals and six assists in 16 international matches this year. The PA Classics product had a particularly strong performance at the third Copa Mexico de Naciones in August, leading the USA with six goals, opening with a hat trick against China PR. Pulisic is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.
U-17 MNT Forward, Haji Wright - Bio
Wright has been the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s top scoring presence over the past year. Heading into the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Chile, Wright led the U-17s with 15 goals in 16 international matches, as well as five assists. For his U-17 MNT tenure, the former LA Galaxy Academy striker has accumulated 21 goals in 20 matches. Wright has three hat tricks this year, including a four-goal game against Montenegro. Additionally, Wright has featured for the U.S. U-18 MNT this year, winning a championship title at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic in mid-August. Wright is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.
MNT Defender, DeAndre Yedlin - Bio
Yedlin’s star has risen for the past two years, but it was his performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup that took his game and career to another level. Yedlin earned three caps and provided 115 effective minutes off the bench in both an outside back and midfield role as the U.S. Men’s National Team advanced out of the “Group of Death” in Brazil. Yedlin was one of seven players to make at least 10 appearances for the MNT this year, earning his first start during the USA’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Oct. 10. Additionally, the Seattle Sounders FC Academy product earned a transfer to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur through his play for club and country this year.