BRADENTON, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2016) – With assistant coach Marcelo Serrano filling in for head coach for John Hackworth (who was completing U.S. Soccer's first Pro License course), the U-17 Men’s National Team finished in third place of the IMG Academy Cup - Boys Invitational Super Group. The tournament, held in the backyard of the team’s Residency program at IMG Academy, proved to be a great test for the team following a successful sweep at the Nike International Friendlies earlier this December.
In the first game of group play, the U.S. found themselves down 1-0 early to Baltimore Armour U-18. In the 30th minute, Akil Watts crossed the ball into the box and connected with the head of Tonny Temple, who redirected the ball straight into the net on his first touch. In the 53rd minute, Temple found himself on the front end of a scoring play, assisting Isaac Angking who’s goal put the U.S. up for good. Outshooting Baltimore 12-4, the USA pressure was enough to keep the ball on the opposite side of the field and secure the come-from-behind win.
The second opponent for the U.S. hailed from Edinburg, Texas. Rio Grande Valley FC U-19 proved to be up to the task, until the 22nd minute. Carlo Rittaccio found Ayo Akinola for the first goal of the game. Fifteen minutes later, the duo would combine again for another goal and Akinola’s final points for the day. The USA continued to test Rio Grande Valley for the remainder of the match, recording 18 shots (12 on target). Of those 12, three would find the back of the net via strikes from George Acosta (67’), Andrew Carleton (70’) and Zyen Jones (77’).
After defeating Baltimore Armour and Rio Grande Valley FC, the U.S. looked to carry its momentum with a top finish in the group against a fast and physical Tottenham FC lineup, and punch a ticket to the Super Group Championship. Despite a valiant effort, the team was unable to get around the size and speed of Tottenham, falling 3-1.
“With Tottenham, we got to experience a mixture of ages as they had a lot of 1998’s (birth year) on the field,” Serrano said. “That was the challenge that we had. We needed to find a way to compete with a team that was not only an excellent team, but also more physical than us. But I thought we did a good job. We competed with them the whole game. In the second half, down 2-1, our objective was to tie the game, at least, and in their counter attack they made it 3-1. We had some chances to put in a second goal, but in the end, Tottenham played a good game. So it was a great experience for us to play against a highly skilled and older team.”
With the loss, the U-17’s placed second in their bracket and were positioned against FC Florida Prep Academy, which finished second in the other bracket of the Super Group, in a placement game for third place. The U.S. closed out the tournament with a victory, defeating FC Florida 3-1. Akinola got the team off to a quick start with a goal in the 12th minute, assisted by Chandler Vaughn. In the 43rd minute, Ritaccio found Josh Sargent to put the USA up 2-0. Twenty-seven minutes later, Akinola would put the game out of reach, tallying his second goal of the game via a great assist from Chris Goslin.
“This tournament was a great chance for us to manage the Residency roster, especially after doing so well at the Nike International Friendlies,” Serrano concluded. “We had a chance to evaluate a lot of players in a high-level competition.”
The U-17 Men’s National Team will rest through the holiday season and return to Residency in January, where they will continue to train and prepare for the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship (April 21-May 7), which serves as the qualifying tournament for the U-17 FIFA World Cup to be played from Oct. 6-28 in India.Read more
CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has been drawn with Mexico, El Salvador and Jamaica into Group C of the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The draw occurred Tuesday evening in Panama City, Panama, with the qualifying tournament for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup set to take place from April 21–May 7, 2017, at the Maracana and Rommel Fernandez stadiums in Panama City.
The U.S. opens the group stage against Jamaica (April 23), followed by Mexico (April 26) before finishing up against El Salvador (April 29).
“It’s a tough draw, but I think our team is determined to be able to represent our country in a World Cup,” U.S. U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth said. “We are going to plan accordingly for three very tough opponents to start the tournament. We will get ready to make sure that we are prepared for everything anyone can throw at us.”
The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format features three groups of four teams. As host, Panama was seeded at the top of one of the three groups, while Costa Rica and Mexico were also assigned as the remaining two seeds. Mexico earns its seed as the current CONCACAF champion, while Costa Rica’s seed came as the result of being the best-placed CONCACAF team from the last edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, excluding the regional champion and host.
The top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to the Classification Stage, which features two groups (D and E) of three teams each. In the Classification Stage, the top two finishers from each group will qualify for the U-17 World Cup to be played from Oct 6-28 in India. Additionally, the first-place teams from Groups D and E will play for the 2017 CONCACAF championship.
USA’s Group C Schedule:
- Sunday, April 23 vs. Jamaica – 1:30 p.m. ET
- Wednesday, April 26 vs. Mexico – 6:30 p.m. ET
- Saturday, April 29 vs. El Salvador – 2 p.m. ET
2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Groups:
- Group A: Panama, Honduras, Curacao, Haiti
- Group B: Costa Rica, Canada, Cuba, Suriname
- Group C: Mexico, El Salvador, Jamaica, United States
The U.S. finished tied for third with Costa Rica at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras, while Mexico and Honduras finished first and second, respectively. In the 2015 playoff stage, the USA defeated Jamaica 5-4 on penalties to clinch CONCACAF’s fourth and final automatic qualifying spot for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, where the U.S. lost to eventual champions Nigeria in the group stage before failing to advance to the knockout stage.
Since the FIFA U-17 World Cup (previously known as the FIFA U-17 World Youth Championship and the FIFA U-16 World Championship) was founded in 1985, the U.S. has qualified for 15 of 16 tournaments, with their best finish coming in a fourth-place performance at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.Read more
CHICAGO (Dec. 5, 2016) – U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for the 2016 U.S. Soccer Young Male, Young Female and Disabled Player of the Year awards.
Nominees for Young Male Player of the Year are Andrew Carleton, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Josh Sargent, Christian Pulisic and Jordan Morris.
Young Female Player of the Year nominees are midfielders Emily Ogle and Andi Sullivan, defenders Kaleigh Riehl and Karina Rodriguez and forward Ashley Sanchez. This is the second nomination for Sanchez.
The Disabled Player of the Year nominees are Adam Ballou (Paralympic Soccer National Team), Nico Calabria (U.S. Amputee Soccer National Team), Emily Cressy (U.S. Deaf Women’s National Team), Matt Eby (U.S. Deaf Men’s National Team)
The winner for the Young Male Player of the Year award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 9 on FS1, while the winner for the Young Female Player of the Year award will be revealed on Sunday, Dec. 11 on ESPN FC. The Disabled Player of the Year winner will be announced Monday, Dec. 12 on ussoccer.com.
- 2016 Player Bios: Young Male | Young Female | Disabled
- Past U.S. Soccer Player of the Year Winners
A new voting process was put into place in 2014. Votes are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2016, American soccer league (MLS, NASL and NWSL) head coaches, select media members, former players and administrators.
Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female award more than once.
The award for Young Male and Young Female Player of the Year was first awarded in 1998 with Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow, winning for Young Male and Young Female, respectively. The Disabled Player of the Year was first awarded in 2012 with Felicia Schroeder earning the honor.Read more