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U-17 MNT Posts 5-0 Victory against Cuba to Open 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Feb. 27, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got off to a strong start at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, earning a 5-0 victory against Cuba in the Group A opener at Estadio Francisco Morazán. 

Joe Gallardo scored three goals, Hugo Arellano and Alejandro Zendejas tallied in the first half, while Christian Pulisic and Luca de la Torre each provided two assists to lead the way for the USA. 

With the victory, the U-17 MNT has now won seven straight group openers at this qualifying event, starting with the 2001 edition of the tournament. 

It was a dominant performance by the USA, which had ample chances to pad the lead in both halves. Gallardo struck the right post in the 20th minute and Haji Wright had a wide-open scoring opportunity but hit the left of the frame in the 50th minute. 

In Friday’s earlier Group A match, Guatemala defeated Trinidad & Tobago 4-1. Jamaica and Honduras kicked off their group opener following USA-Cuba. 

The USA next faces Trinidad & Tobago at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 2, at Estadio Francisco Morazán (FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Hugo Arellano (Christian Pulisic), 5th minute: Pulisic, who had threatened the net just one minute earlier to earn the corner kick, took the set piece opportunity from the left side, whipping the ball into the box to Arellano. The team captain rose over three Cuba defenders and headed it into the right side of the frame for the early lead. It was Arellano’s first goal of the year and second during his U-17 MNT tenure. USA 1, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Christian Pulisic), 40th minute: Pulisic and Alejandro Zendejas played a swift give-and-go down the right side and Pulisic crossed from the edge of the six-yard box. Gallardo tapped it home with ease for his second goal of the year and 11th of his U-17 MNT career. USA 2, CUB 0 

USA – Alejandro Zendejas, 43rd minute: Just before halftime, the USA worked the ball in from the left and Cuba’s Felipe Hurtado attempted a header clearance. Zendejas was there to settle the ball and ripped a long distance shot into the left of the frame to push the lead to three goals. Zendejas tallied his first international goal of 2015 and fourth during his U-17 career. USA 3, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre), 65th minute: Just seconds after entering the match, de la Torre took two quick touches in the box and set up Gallardo from 20 yards out. Gallardo fired toward the left of the frame, his shot bouncing once in the six-yard box, slightly deflected by Cuba goalkeeper Jesus Enrique Hernandez and finding its way into the back of the net. USA 4, CUB 0 

USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre), 88th minute: The USA wrapped up its scoring when de la Torre played a through ball to Gallardo at close range. Gallardo’s shot was stopped briefly by Jesus Enrique Hernandez, but bounced right back to Gallardo who capitalized on the second chance and found the left side of the frame for the hat trick. He now leads the U-17s this year with four goals this year and has 14 career goals. USA 5, CUB 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CUB – Jesus Enrique Hernandez, 10th and 13th minutes: The Honduras goalkeeper was challenged early and often, required to limit the damage on a couple occasions. In the 10th minute, Hernandez lunched to his right for a diving save on Josh Perez’s strike. Hernandez allowed a rebound, but Christian Pulisic was offside. Then in the 13th minute, Hernandez again dove to his right to smother another Perez shot. 

USA – Will Pulisic, 23rd minute: Cuba’s Eduard Puga drove a free kick into the box that Alejandro Zendejas headed away. But Cuba continued to threaten in the area and had a chance to attack the net again from the left side of the box with much of the back line pushed up. Pulisic alertly darted off of his line and snared the ball at the edge of the box. 

CUB – Jesus Enrique Hernandez, 62nd minute: U.S. forward Joe Gallardo found a window to shoot from 21 yards out. Hernandez once again made a diving save to his right, making up for a Cuba back line that allowed plenty of space for the USA to work the ball in. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT resumes Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 2, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • The U-17 MNT is now 4-1-0 in international play this year.
  • The USA moved to 6-0-2 all-time against Cuba in this tournament’s history.
  • Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup featured a 4-3-3 formation, with Will Pulisic in net and a defensive line that included John Nelson at left back, Matthew Olosunde at right back and a center back duo of team captain Hugo Arellano and Alexis Velela.
  • The midfield trio comprised of Alejandro Zendejas, Eric Calvillo and Christian Pulisic in an attacking role.
  • The front line featured Josh Perez on the left, Haji Wright on the right and Joe Gallardo in the middle.
  • Christian Pulisic and Wright earned their 30th international caps in this age group, tying for the most by any player in this cycle.
  • Every starter – other than Gallardo who was injured for much of 2014 with a leg injury – has earned 19 or more caps in this age group.
  • The USA was forced to burn an early substitution in the 28th minute when Tyler Adams entered for Calvillo, who suffered a lower leg injury.
  • Midfielder Luca de la Torre made his first appearance of the year when he entered for Zendejas in the 64th minute.
  • In the 84th minute, McKinze Gaines entered the game for Wright. Gaines is the only USA player to appear in all five international matches this year.

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Cuba U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Feb. 27, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazán; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 720
Weather: 86 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary:    1 2 F

USA                            3 2 5 
CUB                            0 0 0

USA – Hugo Arellano (Christian Pulisic)                   5th minute
USA – Joe Gallardo (Christian Pulisic)                      40
USA – Alejandro Zendejas                                         43
USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de le Torre)                      65
USA – Joe Gallardo (Luca de la Torre)                      88

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 6-Eric Calvillo (18-Tyler Adams, 28), 20-Alejandro Zendejas (8-Luca de la Torre, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic; 7-Haji Wright (13-McKinze Gaines, 86), 9-Joe Gallardo, 11-Josh Perez
Subs Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Thomas McCabe, 17-Pierre da Silva, 19-Brandon Vazquez
Head coach: Richie Williams

CUB: 12-Enrique Hernandez; 2-Felipe Hurtado (18-Neisser Sando, 54), 3-Dariel Morejon, 4-Carlos Borromeo (capt.), 15-Jeffrey Delgado; 5-Jansiel Blanco, 6-Jonathan Ramirez (17-Yordan Alonso, 66), 7-Raycharles Herrera (16-Brian Savigne, 87), 10-Eduard Puga, 13-Serguey Campillo; 8-Yosniel Gonzalez 
Subs Not Used: 1-Lazaro Garcia; 9-Carlos Sebrango, 11-Nelson Betancourt, 14-Yon Hernandez, 19-Omar Romero, 20-Yordanis Barreto  
Head coach: Fidel Salazar

Stats Summary: USA / CUB
Shots: 21 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 14
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
CUB – Felipe Hurtado (caution)                                39th minute
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (caution)                        51
USA – Haji Wright (caution)                                     69

Officials: 
Referee: Mathieu Boudeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Kenroy Willis (CAY)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelar
Fourth Official: Drew Fisher (CAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Joe Gallardo

U-17 MNT Kicks Off 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Today

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship  (Feb. 27 to March 12) today at 5 p.m. ET. The USA has been drawn with host Honduras, Cuba, Guatemala, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A. 

The U.S. opens against Cuba today at 5 p.m. ET, followed by Trinidad & Tobago (March 2), Guatemala (March 5), Honduras (March 8) and Jamaica (March 11). All of the USA’s group matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2, with the exception of its March 8 game against Honduras, which will be on FOX Soccer Plus. Fans can also follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt

The tournament, which takes place at two venues: Estadio Francisco Morazán for all Group A matches, and Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano for all Group B matches, the two Playoff games and the title match, will qualify four teams to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile this October. 

On Feb. 24, U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

 u17mnt

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy)
DEFENDERS (7): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ), John Nelson (Internationals), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City Academy), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey), Josh Perez (Unattached), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana), Haji Wright (Unattached)

Qualifying Format Change: The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams. Under the new setup (which was also implemented earlier this year in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship), the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Eyes on Chile 2015: The U.S. has qualified in 14 FIFA U-16 or U-17 World Championships, which ties for the most appearances with Brazil. The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup was the only occurrence in which the USA did not qualify for this tournament. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand. Landon Donovan earned the Golden Ball, which honors the tournament’s MVP.

2015 U.S. U-17 MNT RESULTS 

International record: 3-1-0; overall: 3-1-0

Date

Opponent

Result

U.S. Goal Scorers

Venue

Feb. 2

Panama

2-0 W

C. Pulisic, Perez

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 4

Panama

0-2 L

--

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 20

Bermuda

5-2 W

C. Pulisic, Gallardo, Perez, Wright (2)

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 22

Bermuda

4-0 W

Vazquez (2), del Rosario

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.


Richie Williams Names 20-Player Roster for 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

CHICAGO (Feb. 24, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named the 20-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The U.S. opens Group A play against Cuba on Friday, Feb. 27, at Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras (FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes).

“We’re very happy with the 20-man roster that we named, and we think it’s a strong and deep roster,” Williams said. “Obviously there were difficult decisions that needed to be made because we have a very good group, and we have a lot of players that have been here for a year and a half to two years that have really worked hard and developed. That made it difficult in terms of choosing that 20-man roster. It’s not easy when you have to tell players that they haven’t made it. But again, we feel this is a strong roster and it’s a group that’s ready to go and compete and win a championship.”

The USA is paired with Cuba, Guatemala, host side Honduras, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. After the USA’s game against Cuba on Feb. 27, the U-17 MNT faces Trinidad & Tobago on March 2, followed by Guatemala (March 5), Honduras (March 8) and Jamaica (March 11).

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy)
DEFENDERS (7): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ), John Nelson (Internationals), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City Academy), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey), Josh Perez (Unattached), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana), Haji Wright (Unattached)

Four countries from the CONCACAF region will directly qualify from this tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. The Group A and B winners will clinch a berth for the World Cup and earn a spot in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship title match on March 15. The group’s second- and third-place teams will advance to a playoff stage. Those four teams will be seeded, with the No. 2 and 3 seeds playing in one playoff and the No. 1 and 4 seeds in the other playoff game, both taking place on March 15. The two playoff victors will earn the other two berths for the U-17 World Cup.

Additional Roster Notes:

  • Nineteen of the 20 players also have ties to the Development Academy.
  • Much of this U-17 MNT roster played a big role in the USA’s 17-7-3 international campaign in 2014.
  • The roster includes forward Haji Wright, the leading goal scorer last year with 18 goals in 22 matches. Midfielder Christian Pulisic, who officially joined German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, is coming off a strong 2014 with the U-17s that included 17 goals and seven assists in international play. Both Wright and Pulisic were nominees for 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year.
  • The U-17s have had a successful cycle in international competition, including four tournament titles.
  • Most of this group was part of the 2013 Nike International Friendlies championship side and earned a runner-up finish in the 2014 Nike Friendlies.
  • Also in 2014, the USA defeated host Turkey to win the Aegean Cup title, followed by a championship crown at the Josip Katalinski International Tournament in Bosnia-Herzegovina and a title run at the Panama U-17 International Tournament in early October.
  • In preparation for qualifying, the U-17s have had four international matches this month. The U.S. split a two-game set against Panama on Feb. 2 and 4, then showcased a strong offensive display this past weekend with a 5-2 victory against Bermuda on Friday, Feb. 20, followed by a 4-0 win in the rematch two days later.
  • The USA has qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup on 14 occasions, more than any other CONCACAF team. The U-17 MNT’s absence from the 2013 World Cup was the only occurrence that the USA did not qualify for that stage.

Richie Williams Names 28 Players to U-17 MNT 2015 Spring Residency Roster

CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players to the 2015 Spring Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

In late February and early March, the U-17 MNT will be participating in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the CONCACAF region.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well. We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The U-17 Residency Program roster features 24 players who were with the team during the 2014 fall semester. The four newcomers to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez.

The Residency roster also includes 25 players currently registered with Development Academy clubs, and 27 in all with ties to the Academy.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.), Will Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (9): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matthew Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Texas), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Giuseppe Barone (Crew SC Academy Wolves; Grandville, Mich.), George Braima (Crew SC Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (8): Pierre Da Silva (Orlando City SC; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL; Durham, N.C.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Elvir Ibisevic (Sporting Iowa; Urbandale, Iowa), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.)

About the U-17 Residency Program:
The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and train in the morning under the guidance of the U.S. U-17 MNT coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily, but also has access to the IMG Academy facilities. The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists who work at the Academy. The IMG Academies include top-of-the-line soccer equipment, Bermuda grass fields, renovated student housing and dining facilities.

Since its inception, approximately 400 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 players have moved on to Major League Soccer and other professional leagues.

The first full-time U.S. Soccer Residency Program began on Jan. 17, 1999, when U.S. Soccer collected 20 of the country’s elite youth players to train year-round.

USA Draws Group A for 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras

CHICAGO (Dec. 8, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Group A for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which runs Feb. 27-March 15 in Honduras. The draw took place at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The USA is paired with Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and an UNCAF qualifier – either El Salvador or Guatemala. The remaining UNCAF team will conduct its playoff January 17 and 24. All Group A games will be held at Francisco Morazan Stadium. The USA opens against Cuba on Friday, Feb. 27.

“I think the draw went well,” U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams said. “We’re happy with the format of five group games and we feel confident that we’ll perform and do well. You never truly know until you get here. Obviously with Honduras in our group and playing at home, that will be difficult, but we’re ready to play against everyone and looking forward to it.”

The 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship will be played Feb. 27-March 15 in San Pedro Sula. The tournament will qualify four teams directly to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

  • Group A: Honduras, Jamaica, (UNCAF team), Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Cuba
  • Group B: Canada, Haiti, Panama, Mexico, St. Lucia, Costa Rica

USA’s Group A Schedule:

  • Friday, Feb. 27: Cuba, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
  • Monday, March 2: Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
  • Thursday, March 5: TBD (UNCAF team), 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
  • Sunday, March 8: Honduras, 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local)
  • Wednesday, March 11: Jamaica, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)

The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams.

Under the new setup, the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The playoff stage and final matches of qualifying will be held Saturday, March 14, at Olympic Stadium.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is coming off a second-place showing at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies. This age group has had a strong 2014 with 27 international matches and high-quality tournaments, posting a 17-7-3 international record (18-7-7 overall).

“It’s been our goal over the past year and a half to get as many international games as we can and play in different countries and against different teams,” Williams said. “The tournament in Mexico, the trip to Panama, competing against other CONCACAF opponents to get experience, all these games are excellent opportunities. We’ve given everyone the experience to have a strong 20-man roster come qualifying, and hopefully all of this will translate into a successful result in the tournament.”

2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Draw

U-17 MNT Finishes Runner-Up to Brazil at Nike International Friendlies

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida (Dec. 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team fell to Brazil 4-1 in the final game of the 2014 Nike International Friendlies in front of packed house at the Premier Sports Campus.

Brazil (2-0-1) finished the tournament with seven points, earning the 2014 Nike Friendlies crown and was followed by the USA (2-1-0; 6 points), England (1-1-1; 4 points) and Australia (0-0-3; 0 points).

Forward Andrey and midfielder Evander each scored a brace for Brazil in the win. Evander also added an assist. Christian Pulisic had the USA’s lone goal off of a Haji Wright assist. Pulisic was the USA’s leading scorer in the tournament with three goals.

In addition to claiming the 2014 Nike International Friendlies title, Brazil swept the individual awards. Evander (Golden Boot), Matheus Pereira (MVP) and Bruno (Golden Glove) were all recognized for their performances throughout the three-day tournament.

A fast-paced offensive attack dictated much of the game, and from the start Brazil made sure to set the tone often. The verde amarela exploded out of the locker room with powerful shots from distance and pressured the U.S. defense.

Within the first four minutes of the game, forward Andrey and midfielders Matheus Pereira and Evander had all taken a shot toward U.S. goalkeeper Kevin Silva, but every attempt went awry as it was either wide, high or saved, thus keeping the USA very much in the game.

In the 10th minute, forward Leandro found himself running toward the goal with only U.S. defender Daniel Barbir by his side. He was able to outrun Barbir with a nice move to the right side but his attempt toward the near post ended up hitting the post instead and went out of bounds.

One of the USA’s strongest chances early in the first half came on the 11th minute when Pulisic outplayed three defenders on the left band and proceeded to send a pass to the middle for midfielder Luca de la Torre. De la Torre took the shot but sent it wide and was unable to make it happen for the USA.

Evander continued to push the USA backwards into its own side of the field as he ran through players and resumed shooting the ball. Finally, a nifty left-legged pass from Lincoln who came to the front after receiving the ball on the midfield found Evander who then took the ball into the box trough the right side and sent it to the far post for the 1-0 Brazilian lead. The goal was the third of the tournament for Evander, who was responsible for nine of Brazil’s 26 shots in the match.

Wasting no time and regrouping fast, the USA started to shift its attention from defense and was able to put together a couple of plays that culminated in a play that tied the score to one apiece.

Haji Wright drove through a few Brazilian defenders on the left band and with some creative footwork was able to get past them and send a perfect ball to the middle where Pulisic awaited to kick it in. Brazil’s goalkeeper Bruno had left his spot, which allowed Pulisic to send the ball right to the middle cleanly and even up the scoreboard.

With both teams on the board, the pace appeared more uniform as each played some strong defense and drove forward. Despite the 1-1 score at the 29th minute, however, the shot differential was visible, as Brazil has outshot the USA 12-3 up to that point.

Brazil’s attack never slowed down, but in the 37th minute the USA tried to take advantage of a sleepy defense and midfielder Alejandro Zendejas knocked a strong shot toward the goal. However, he was not able to curl it on time and it went just wide.

A foul called on Zendejas on the 41st minute set up a Brazil free kick, which led to the second score of the game. The U.S. set up a four-man wall on the left side right outside the box and had two Brazilian men right behind them, looking to clear the ball in case it went their way. Nonetheless, Evander’s free kick sailed over both barriers and straight toward the far post where it found the back of the net with an incredible shot to put Brazil up 2-1 with his second score of the match.

Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half, the teams turned down the fast pace a notch and calmly seemed to control the ball until about the 60th minute. Yet on the 62nd minute, Evander again created problems for the U.S. defense and this time sent a ball to Andrey on the right side. Andrey took the shot and was able to score on a deflection off of U.S.  defender Tyler Adams’ leg to give Brazil the 3-1 lead.

The U.S. quickly responded on the 63rd minute and a near perfect header by Wright down the middle went just wide, as the USA continue to trail Brazil by two goals. Despite a resilient fight, there was not much the USA could do to stop the Brazilian attack.

In the 70th minute, Andrey took a ball from 35 yards out into about 18 yards and sent a textbook shot onto the left corner of the goal. The goal was his second of the night and fourth for Brazil to give them the 4-1 victory.

Next, the U.S. U-17 MNT will shift its focus toward preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship taking place from Feb. 27-March 14 in Honduras as the team hopes to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

- Nike Internationals Friendlies Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Brazil U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Dec. 2, 2014
Competition: 2014 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 1,500
Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1 2 F
USA                            1 0 1
BRA                            2 2 4

BRA – Evander (Lincoln)                              14th minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (Haji Wright)           22
BRA – Evander                                              42
BRA – Andrey (Evander)                              62
BRA – Andrey                                               70

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 19-Tyler Adams, 4-Alexis Velela (15-Tanner Dieterich, 81), 14-Daniel Barbir, 3-John Nelson; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (17-McKinze Gaines, 64), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic, 11-Josh Perez (2-Matthew Olosunde, 52); 7-Haji Wright (18-Pierre Da Silva, 81), 9-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 5-Hugo Arellano, 12-William Pulisic, 13-Logan Panchot, 16-Thomas McCabe, 20-Keegan Kelly
Head coach: Richie Williams

BRA: 1-Bruno (capt.) (12-Carlinhos, 90); 2-Kleber, 14-Thiago, 4-Leo, 6-Caique (13-Alan, 84); 7-Andrey (18-Jean, 90), 15-Renan, 17-Lincoln, 8-Matheus Pereira (5-Matheus Fernandes, 85), 19-Evander, 10-Leandro (11-Ramon, 60)
Subs Not Used: 3-Ronaldo, 9-Eronildo, 16-Mauro Junior, 20-Loran   
Head coach: Caio Zanardi

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 9 / 26
Shots on Goal: 1 / 6
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 7 / 14
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Caleb Mendez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: TJ Zablocki (USA)
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street (USA)

U-17 MNT Looks to Defend title against Brazil in Nike Friendlies Finale

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida (Dec.  2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will close out the 2014 Nike International Friendlies against Brazil on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. ET at the Premier Sports Campus. The game will be a rematch of last year’s finale, which the USA convincingly claimed with a 4-1 victory. The game will be live on ussoccer.com.

The USA (2-0-0; 6 points) will be entering the match with an unblemished record after taking down England (0-1-1; 1 point) 3-1 on Friday, Nov. 28, and downing Australia (0-0-2; 0 points) 2-1 on Sunday, Nov. 30. Brazil (1-0-1; 4 points) will also bring a clean record as it convincingly won against Australia 4-0 on Friday and got a 2-2 draw in a dramatic match against England, scoring its two goals in a span of three minutes on Sunday, only to see England equalize late in stoppage time.

A win or a draw will give the USA back-to-back tournament titles.

The USA-Brazil match is preceded by a 3 p.m. game featuring Australia and England. That game will also be live ussoccer.com. Fans can also follow all matches live on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

This marks the USA’s last major tournament of the year as the focus will then turn toward preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship from Feb. 27-March 14 in Honduras.

2014 U.S. U-17 MNT Statistics

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Brazil U-17

2014 Nike International Friendlies
Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Dec. 2, 2014

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Kevin Silva (PDA), 12-William Pulisic (Richmond United)
DEFENDERS (8): 2- Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy), 3- John Nelson (Internationals), 4-Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf), 5-Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy), 13-Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), 14-Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion), 15-Daniel Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal), 8-Luca de la Torre (Fulham), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas), 10-Christian Pulisic (Unattached), 16-Thomas McCabe (PDA), 20-Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic)
FORWARDS (4): 7-Haji Wright (Unattached), 11-Josh Perez (Unattached), 17-McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC), 18-Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club)

USA ROSTER NOTES:

  • The USA opened up the 2014 Nike International Friendlies with a 3-1 victory over England on Nov. 28, and added another three points on Sunday, Nov. 30, when it took down Australia 2-1.
  • Nine different players were in the starting lineup that took the field against Australia, with only midfielder Eric Calvillo and forward Josh Perez having started in both the England and Australia game.
  • The six points put the USA atop of the 2014 Nike International Friendly standings, followed by Brazil’s four points.
  • With a win or a draw, the USA will claim the title and win the Nike International Friendlies for the second year in a row.
  • After falling down 1-0 early in the game against Australia, forward McKinze Gaines tipped one in for the 1-1 score, tallying his fifth goal of 2014, and third-most on the team.
  • Gaines’ goal came from an assist by midfielder Pierre Da Silva.
  • Da Silva’s assist was his team-leading ninth of the year.
  • Gaines and Haji Wright made their 21st appearance of the year for the U-17 MNT against Australia, a leading mark on the USA roster.
  •  Midfielder Luca de la Torre scored the game-winning goal against Australia in the 69th minute. It was de la Torres’ first goal of his U-17 MNT tenure.
  • Midfielder Christian Pulisic led the way with two goals and Alejandro Zendejas tallied a goal and an assist for the USA win against England.
  • Pulisic now has 16 goals on the year, upping his career U-17 MNT total to 17 over a span of 25 games.
  • Goalkeeper Kevin Silva recorded six saves against England and is now 8-1-2 on the year.
  • Wright is the leading scorer for the U.S. in 2014 with 18 goals in 21 international matches and has added six assists. His career total with the U-17 National Team stands at 24 goals in 25 matches, racking up 21 of his 25 caps this year alone.
  • Wright has had three hat tricks this year, including a four-goal game against Montenegro. He has also featured for the U.S. U-18 MNT in 2014, winning a championship title at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic in mid-August.
  • Calvillo and Hugo Arellano made their 17th start against Australia to lead all players in starts in 2014.
  • The USA is the defending champion of this event, earning last year’s crown with a 4-1 victory against Brazil in the finale on Dec. 13, 2013.
  • The U-17 MNT is coming off a three-game tournament in Chile from Nov. 18-22, with draws against host Chile and Qatar and a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Brazil after rallying from a two-goal deficit.
  • U-17 head coach Richie Williams’ side has enjoyed a successful 2014. The team has compiled a 17-6-3 international record and a 18-6-7 mark overall.

USA VS. BRAZIL

  • The U.S. U-17 MNT and Brazil last met Nov. 20 at the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Chile. The U.S. rallied from a two-goal deficit but ultimately fell 4-3. Brazil went on to win the tournament.
  • The two teams also met earlier in the year during Copa Mexico in Mexico City on Aug. 10 with the game going the Brazilian’s way again in a 2-0 defeat.
  • In addition, the USA and Brazil met on the final game of the 2013 Nike International Friendlies with the USA earning a commanding 4-1 victory to claim the tournament title. 

ON USSOCCER.COM:

IN FOCUS: BRAZIL
Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol
Founded: 1914
FIFA affiliation: 1923
Head Coach: Caio Zanardi

BRAZIL U-17 ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Bruno (Coritiba), 12-Carlinhos (Portuguesa)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Kleber (Flamengo), 3-Ronaldo (Cruzeiro), 4-Leo, 6-Caique (Sao Paulo), 13-Alan (Vasco da Gama), 14-Thiago (Palmeiras)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Matheus Fernandes (Botafogo), 7-Andrey (Vasco da Gama), 8-Matheus Pereira (SC Corinthians), 15-Renan (SC Corinthians), 16-Mauro Junior (Desportivo Brasil) , 17-Lincoln (Gremio), 18-Jean (Gremio), 19-Evander (Vasco da Gama)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Eronildo (Vitoria), 10-Leandro (Ponte Preta), 11-Ramon (Fluminense), 20-Loran (Fluminense)

BRAZIL U-17 ROSTER NOTES:

  • Brazil began the 2014 Nike International Friendlies in dominating fashion taking down Australia 4-0 on Nov. 28 with four different players recording a goal.
  • The Brazilians outshot the Australians 27-5 and largely controlled the game, which saw Andrey, Evander, Leandro and Lincoln all score for the verde amarela.
  • The opening score against Australia on the fifth minute of the match was Andrey’s first goal as part of the Brazilian U-17 MNT.
  • The draw against England however came in dramatic fashion as Brazil scored its two goals in a three-minute span beginning in the 84th minute.
  • Lincoln and Evander were the authors of the two goals against the English side. It was the second goal at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies for each player, tying them with USA forward Christian Pulisic (2) atop the scoring list.
  • Goalkeeper Bruno sported the captain’s armband for the third straight game against England, after head coach Caio Zanardi first gave him the honor against Chile on Nov. 22.
  • Brazil leads all tournament teams with a plus-four goal differential but sits behind the USA with four points to the U.S. U-17 MNT’s six.
  • Brazil fell 4-1 to the USA at the 2013 Nike Friendlies and will have a chance to redeem itself on Tuesday. Only a win will allow the Brazilians to claim this year’s tournament crown.
  • Brazil recently won the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Chile on Nov. 18-22, where it defeated Chile 1-0, the U.S. 4-3 and Qatar 6-0.
  • The Nike Friendlies are the last main tournament for Brazil this year as the focused will shift toward the 2015 South American Under-17 Football Championship in Paraguay, which will qualify four teams for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
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