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Academy Coaches Soak in U-17 MNT Program’s Methodology

The Southeast region of the Development Academy has the advantage of being located close to the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

The connection from the Academy to the Youth National Team system and senior National Team is a continual point of emphasis, so for Academy coaches and scouts, it was an invaluable opportunity to spend a full day recently with the U-17 MNT and head coach Richie Williams. They had the chance to see firsthand how their program works.

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia, who regularly scouts players and teams in the Academy’s Southeast Division, invited a group of coaches and scouts to take part in the event, and the response was strong. There were 42 coaches on hand from the Southeast, with nearly every Academy club represented.

The morning included a meeting with Michia, an introduction by Williams, and then the opportunity to watch a full training session, from the warm-up process to specific goalkeeping session work led by U-17 assistant coach Anthony Latronica.

The coaches had multiple meetings, including an afternoon presentation by Williams focusing on style of play, training sessions and scheduling.

Academy coaches and scouts also had an open conversation about systems and high-level training environments, as well as video analysis from previous U-17 MNT games.

“It was a very good experience, and I received some great response from many of the coaches who spent the day with the U-17 National Team,” Michia said. “Richie Williams and his staff did a tremendous job and were open with sharing the U-17 program’s system and methodology. It’s something that many of the coaches want to be a part of again in the future.”

Juan Carlos Michia

Christian Pulisic, U-17 MNT Riding Yearlong Wave of Success

Christian Pulisic reflects on the U-17 MNT's improvement and growth after a year of residency, his start at PA Classics, and the healthy pressure the team feels after tasting international success.

Current U-17 MNT Crop Reflects on Donovan’s Impact

While most people tend to focus on U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan’s accolades on the senior team, it was his U-17 Men’s National Team impact that immediately put him on the map.

As Donovan prepares for his MNT swan song on Friday against Ecuador to cap off his illustrious 15-year career, ussoccer.com caught up with three players on the current U-17 MNT to get their perspective on Donovan: midfielder Christian Pulisic, forwards Haji Wright and defender Hugo Arellano.

The trio sat down with U.S. Soccer during its impressive three-game sweep to win the Panama U-17 International Tournament. Wright and Arellano both have ties to the Development Academy’s LA Galaxy, and Pulisic is a PA Classics product:

U-17 MNT Wins Panama Tournament, Tops Host Side 1-0

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team wrapped up the Panama U-17 International Tournament in thrilling fashion at Estadio Maracana. Christian Pulisic scored an 86th-minute goal and the USA defeated hosted Panama 1-0 to win the event.

Pulisic scored his 12th goal this year in international play with the U-17s, tallying off of a Haji Wright assist.

The USA went a perfect 3-0-0 during the tournament, previously posting a 5-2 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 1 and a 2-0 victory against Canada on Friday, Oct. 3.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is now 15-5-1 in international competition in 2014.

This marks the team’s fourth tournament crown over the past 10 months. The USA also won the 2013 Nike International Friendlies in December, the Aegean Cup in January and the Josip Katalinski International Tournament in April.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Panama
Date: Oct. 5, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracana
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          0 1 1
Panama                     0 0 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Haji Wright)      86th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano (14-Daniel Barbir, 38), 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre (18-Pierre Da Silva, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic; 11-Josh Perez (17-McKinze Gaines, 72), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (13-Tyler Adams, 90+2), 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic,15-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Tommy McCabe , 19-Elijah Rice, 20-Keegan Kelly
Head Coach: Richie Williams

PAN: 1-Javier Cruz; 14-Andres Andrade (3-Jorge Gutierrez, 84), 13-Cesar Blackman, 23-Emanuel Chanis, 2-John Del Busto; 17-Chamel Asprilla (19-Joel Thompson, 72), 6-Giandermir Jaen (8-Carlos Kirton, 43), 20-Adalberto Carrasquilla (capt.), 10-Damaso Santos; 9-Ronaldo Cordoba (15-Rafael Rodriguez, 83), 7-Jose Rodriguez
Subs Not Used: 4-Luis Arias, 11-Leandro Avila, 12-Marcos Mendez, 16-Kevin Nelson, 18-Rodolfo Forde, 21-Randolf Ramos, 22-Luis Vasquez
Head Coach: Juan Carlos Cubilla

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Eric Calvillo (caution)              10th minute
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (caution)   44
PAN – Ronaldo Cordoba (caution)      57
PAN – Emanuel Chanis (caution)        77
USA – Haji Wright (caution)               89

Officials:
Referee: Roberto Moreno
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: John Pitti

U-17 MNT Blanks Canada at Panama Tournament

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 3, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a goal in each half and shut out Canada 2-0 in the four-team Panama U-17 International Tournament. Alejandro Zendejas and Haji Wright each scored a goal, both assisted by Pierre Da Silva.

Zendejas wasted little time giving the USA a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with a strong dribble past three Canada defenders in the left side of the box and shooting to the far right corner of the frame.

The score stayed that way until the 69th minute when Da Silva took a left-footed corner kick on the right side and whipped the ball into the six-yard box to Wright. The USA striker headed it home for the two-goal lead. Wright now has four goals in this tournament and a team-leading 15 this year in international matches.

The U.S. wraps up the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 5, against host Panama.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Oct. 3, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Maracana Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 1 2
Canada                     0 0 0

USA – Alejandro Zendejas (Pierre Da Silva)  6th minute
USA – Haji Wright (Pierre Da Silva)              69 minute

Lineups:
USA: 12-William Pulisic; 13-Tyler Adams, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 2-Matt Olosunde (3-John Nelson, 46); 16-Tommy McCabe, 9-Alejandro Zendejas (capt.) (10-Christian Pulisic, 46), 20-Keegan Kelly (8-Luca de la Torre, 62); 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice (7-Haji Wright, 62), 17-McKinze Gaines (11-Josh Perez, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Kevin Silva, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano, 6-Eric Calvillo
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CAN: 18-Matthew Nogueira; 7-Andrew Dias,10-Matthew Baldisimo, 15-Julian Takagi-Stewart, 6-Kadin Chung; 12-Terran Campbell (2-Tristan Borges, 78), 14-David Norman (8-Luca Ricci, 71), 9-Munir Saleh, 5-Gabriel Boakye; 4-Malik Johnson, 19-Kevin Timachy (20-Duwayne Ewart, 66)
Subs Not Used: 1-Brogan Engbers, 11-Kosaovar Sadiki, 13-Jordan Montoya, 16-Daniel Sagno
Head Coach: Sean Fleming

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Gabriel Boakye (caution)    29th minute
USA – Keegan Kelly (caution)       45
CAN – David Norman (caution)     59

Officials:
Referee: John Pitti
Assistant Referee 1: Ronald Bruna
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: Rolando Vidal

U-17 MNT Starts Strong in Panama with 5-2 Win Against Costa Rica

PANAMA CITY (Oct. 1, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica 5-2 to open the Panama U-17 International Tournament at Estadio Maracaná.

Haji Wright scored three goals to lead the way for the USA – an 18th-minute redirect in the six-yard box, a 58th-minute shot to the far post from a difficult angle on the left side of the box and a third tally in the 68th minute. Wright also deflected a Christian Pulisic corner kick to assist Hugo Arellano’s 51st-minute goal.

Arellano’s goal gave the USA a 3-1 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Josh Perez also added a goal in the 22nd minute, set up by John Nelson – a left-footed blast to the upper left corner of the frame from approximately 21 yards out.

Costa Rica’s Jonathan Martinez scored both of his team’s goals, including a long-distance free kick tally just before halftime.

Wright now has a team-leading 14 goals this year and 20 total for his U-17 career in international matches. Pulisic leads the USA with six assists in 2014.

The U-17s scored five goals in a game for the fourth time this year and they improved to 13-5-1 in international competition.

Next up, the USA faces Canada on Friday, Oct. 3, followed by a game against host Panama on Sunday, Oct. 5.

-U.S. U-17 MNT Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Costa Rica
Date: Oct. 1, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracaná
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          2 3 5
Costa Rica                 1 1 2

USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        18th minute
USA – Josh Perez (John Nelson)                 22
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            45
USA – Hugo Arellano (Haji Wright)           51
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        58
USA – Haji Wright (Alejandro Zendejas)   68
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            69

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano, 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde (20-Keegan Kelly, 89); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (13-Tyler Adams, 83), 8-Luca de la Torre (16-Tommy McCabe, 76), 10-Christian Pulisic (17-McKinze Gaines, 76); 11-Josh Perez, 9-Alejandro Zendejas, 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CRC: 1-Alejandro Barrientos; 6-Luis Hernandez, 2-Diego Mesen, 3-Pablo Arboine (capt.), 4-Ian Smith; 7- Kevin Masis (15-Barlon Sequeira, 46), 10-Jonathan Martinez, 8-Sergio Nunez (5-Jaylon Hadden, 46), 13-Jesus Chaves (14-Roberto Cordoba, 27); 9- Andy Reyes (21-Yostin Daily,68), 11-Shawn Manley
Subs Not Used:12-Daniel Villegas, 16-Allan Ramos, 17-Yarik Granados, 18-Patrick Sequeira, 19-Yael Lopez
Head Coach: Luis Fernando

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Diego Mesen (caution) 42nd minute
CRC – Jaylon Hadden (caution) 70
USA – Alexis Velela (caution) 83
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution) 88

Officials:
Referee: Ameth Sanchez
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Garrido
Fourth Official: Jafeth Perea

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster Named for Panama International Tournament

CHICAGO (Sept. 26, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster for the four-team Panama U-17 International Tournament from Oct. 1-5.

The USA will face Costa Rica on Wednesday, Oct. 1, followed by Canada on Oct. 3 and host Panama on Oct. 5, with all games played at Estadio Maracaná in Panama City.

The U-17s most recently played in the Nordic Open Cup Tournament in Denmark and the third Copa Mexico in Mexico City, with the two events overlapping each other from late July to early August. The USA took sixth place in the Nordic Open Cup and earned fourth place at the Copa Mexico.

In international competition, Haji Wright and Christian Pulisic lead this group with 11 goals apiece this year. Six of Pulisic’s goals came during the Copa Mexico. Wright is the top goal scorer for the U-17s dating back to last year with a combined 17 goals over this stretch in 17 games.

The goalkeeping duo of William Pulisic (6-3-0) and Kevin Silva (5-0-1) has handled the majority of international play in 2014. Silva leads the team with three shutouts and a 0.87 goals against average.

The USA roster includes 15 players who are in the midst of their fall semester in the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. Fourteen players have current ties to the Development Academy.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is 12-5-1 in international competition and 13-5-5 overall in 2014.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7):  Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.)
FORWARDS (6):  Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (Unattached; Los Angeles, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)

The Younger Yanks Are Coming

ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”

ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”

ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”

ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field.  I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”

2014 Nike Friendlies and Academy Winter Showcase Set for Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Lakewood Ranch, Florida

CHICAGO (Sept. 10, 2014) – The 2014 Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase event will return to the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, from Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

The Nike Friendlies feature the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team and three other international opponents: Australia, Brazil and England. The format of the tournament includes three doubleheaders, with the USA match serving as the marquee second game. The U.S. faces England on Nov. 28, Australia on Nov. 30 and Brazil on Dec. 2.

All six games at the Nike Friendlies will be live on ussoccer.com, with the first game kicking off at 3 p.m. ET and the USA game at 6 p.m. This marks the 12th edition of the Nike International Friendlies.

In conjunction with this event, the Academy Winter Showcase brings together the U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams in the Academy for an important three-game set against teams outside their respective conferences and divisions. On Thursday, Dec. 1, two Academy Select teams will compete against each other in a match showcasing 1997- and 1998-born players handpicked by U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and Youth National Team staff.

The Academy Winter Showcase schedule runs on Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 for the U-17/18 age group and Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 for the U-15/16s.

The U.S. U-17s have had a strong spell at the Nike Friendlies, winning the tournament in 2011 and 2013. Last year’s tournament was capped off by the USA’s 4-1 victory against Brazil on Dec. 13, 2013, with LA Galaxy Academy product Haji Wright scoring two goals in that final game to earn the tournament’s Golden Boot with five tallies for the tournament. Players Development Academy alum Kevin Silva was awarded the Golden Glove award as the event’s top goalkeeper and PA Classics product Christian Pulisic was named the tournament MVP.

U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide top-level competition for the U.S. U-17 MNT and is one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Starting in 2008, the event evolved to incorporate U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. This event also allows the U.S. Scouting Network to have a presence at every match to evaluate players.

2014 Nike International Friendlies Schedule
All games live on ussoccer.com
Friday, Nov. 28
Australia vs. Brazil, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. England, 6 p.m. ET

Sunday, Nov. 30
Brazil vs. England, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Australia, 6 p.m. ET

Tuesday, Dec. 2
England vs. Australia, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 6 p.m. ET

Richie Williams Names 29 Players to U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team 2014 Fall Residency Roster

CHICAGO (Sept. 2, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 29 players to the 2014 Fall Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

Twenty players return from the 2014 Spring Semester. The nine newcomers include defenders Tyler Adams and Miles Stray, midfielders Keegan Kelly and Luka Prpa, and forwards Lucas Del Rosario, Ronaldo Escudero, Joe Gallardo, Lagos Kunga and Nick Taitague.

Gallardo is the leading goal scorer on the roster with nine tallies in 11 games with the U-17s. He has four goals and three assists in seven matches in 2014. The most-capped player among this roster at the U-17 level is defender Hugo Arellano, who has played in 16 internationals, including 13 games in 2014.

This group features 26 players who are currently registered with clubs in U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy.

The U-17s recently competed in the Nordic Tournament and the third Copa Mexico, and 24 of the players on the Fall Residency roster played in either one of these tournaments or both.

The next major event for the U.S. U-17 MNT is the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The tournament, hosted by Honduras from Feb. 27-March 14, serves as the qualification process for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup from Oct. 17-Nov. 8 in Chile.

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.

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William 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.), Nikkye De Point (Empire Revolution; 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.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake AZ; Point Reyes, Calif.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): George Braima (Crew Soccer 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.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (9): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks – CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Lagos Kunga (DDYSC 98 Wolves Elite; Atlanta, Ga.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.)

Academy Coaches Soak in U-17 MNT Program’s Methodology

The Southeast region of the Development Academy has the advantage of being located close to the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

The connection from the Academy to the Youth National Team system and senior National Team is a continual point of emphasis, so for Academy coaches and scouts, it was an invaluable opportunity to spend a full day recently with the U-17 MNT and head coach Richie Williams. They had the chance to see firsthand how their program works.

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia, who regularly scouts players and teams in the Academy’s Southeast Division, invited a group of coaches and scouts to take part in the event, and the response was strong. There were 42 coaches on hand from the Southeast, with nearly every Academy club represented.

The morning included a meeting with Michia, an introduction by Williams, and then the opportunity to watch a full training session, from the warm-up process to specific goalkeeping session work led by U-17 assistant coach Anthony Latronica.

The coaches had multiple meetings, including an afternoon presentation by Williams focusing on style of play, training sessions and scheduling.

Academy coaches and scouts also had an open conversation about systems and high-level training environments, as well as video analysis from previous U-17 MNT games.

“It was a very good experience, and I received some great response from many of the coaches who spent the day with the U-17 National Team,” Michia said. “Richie Williams and his staff did a tremendous job and were open with sharing the U-17 program’s system and methodology. It’s something that many of the coaches want to be a part of again in the future.”

Juan Carlos Michia

Current U-17 MNT Crop Reflects on Donovan’s Impact

While most people tend to focus on U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan’s accolades on the senior team, it was his U-17 Men’s National Team impact that immediately put him on the map.

As Donovan prepares for his MNT swan song on Friday against Ecuador to cap off his illustrious 15-year career, ussoccer.com caught up with three players on the current U-17 MNT to get their perspective on Donovan: midfielder Christian Pulisic, forwards Haji Wright and defender Hugo Arellano.

The trio sat down with U.S. Soccer during its impressive three-game sweep to win the Panama U-17 International Tournament. Wright and Arellano both have ties to the Development Academy’s LA Galaxy, and Pulisic is a PA Classics product:

The Younger Yanks Are Coming

ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”

ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”

ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”

ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field.  I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”

U-17 MNT Wins Panama Tournament, Tops Host Side 1-0

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team wrapped up the Panama U-17 International Tournament in thrilling fashion at Estadio Maracana. Christian Pulisic scored an 86th-minute goal and the USA defeated hosted Panama 1-0 to win the event.

Pulisic scored his 12th goal this year in international play with the U-17s, tallying off of a Haji Wright assist.

The USA went a perfect 3-0-0 during the tournament, previously posting a 5-2 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 1 and a 2-0 victory against Canada on Friday, Oct. 3.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is now 15-5-1 in international competition in 2014.

This marks the team’s fourth tournament crown over the past 10 months. The USA also won the 2013 Nike International Friendlies in December, the Aegean Cup in January and the Josip Katalinski International Tournament in April.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Panama
Date: Oct. 5, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracana
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          0 1 1
Panama                     0 0 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Haji Wright)      86th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano (14-Daniel Barbir, 38), 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre (18-Pierre Da Silva, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic; 11-Josh Perez (17-McKinze Gaines, 72), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (13-Tyler Adams, 90+2), 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic,15-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Tommy McCabe , 19-Elijah Rice, 20-Keegan Kelly
Head Coach: Richie Williams

PAN: 1-Javier Cruz; 14-Andres Andrade (3-Jorge Gutierrez, 84), 13-Cesar Blackman, 23-Emanuel Chanis, 2-John Del Busto; 17-Chamel Asprilla (19-Joel Thompson, 72), 6-Giandermir Jaen (8-Carlos Kirton, 43), 20-Adalberto Carrasquilla (capt.), 10-Damaso Santos; 9-Ronaldo Cordoba (15-Rafael Rodriguez, 83), 7-Jose Rodriguez
Subs Not Used: 4-Luis Arias, 11-Leandro Avila, 12-Marcos Mendez, 16-Kevin Nelson, 18-Rodolfo Forde, 21-Randolf Ramos, 22-Luis Vasquez
Head Coach: Juan Carlos Cubilla

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Eric Calvillo (caution)              10th minute
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (caution)   44
PAN – Ronaldo Cordoba (caution)      57
PAN – Emanuel Chanis (caution)        77
USA – Haji Wright (caution)               89

Officials:
Referee: Roberto Moreno
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: John Pitti

U-17 MNT Blanks Canada at Panama Tournament

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Oct. 3, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a goal in each half and shut out Canada 2-0 in the four-team Panama U-17 International Tournament. Alejandro Zendejas and Haji Wright each scored a goal, both assisted by Pierre Da Silva.

Zendejas wasted little time giving the USA a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with a strong dribble past three Canada defenders in the left side of the box and shooting to the far right corner of the frame.

The score stayed that way until the 69th minute when Da Silva took a left-footed corner kick on the right side and whipped the ball into the six-yard box to Wright. The USA striker headed it home for the two-goal lead. Wright now has four goals in this tournament and a team-leading 15 this year in international matches.

The U.S. wraps up the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 5, against host Panama.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Oct. 3, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Maracana Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 1 2
Canada                     0 0 0

USA – Alejandro Zendejas (Pierre Da Silva)  6th minute
USA – Haji Wright (Pierre Da Silva)              69 minute

Lineups:
USA: 12-William Pulisic; 13-Tyler Adams, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 2-Matt Olosunde (3-John Nelson, 46); 16-Tommy McCabe, 9-Alejandro Zendejas (capt.) (10-Christian Pulisic, 46), 20-Keegan Kelly (8-Luca de la Torre, 62); 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice (7-Haji Wright, 62), 17-McKinze Gaines (11-Josh Perez, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Kevin Silva, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Hugo Arellano, 6-Eric Calvillo
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CAN: 18-Matthew Nogueira; 7-Andrew Dias,10-Matthew Baldisimo, 15-Julian Takagi-Stewart, 6-Kadin Chung; 12-Terran Campbell (2-Tristan Borges, 78), 14-David Norman (8-Luca Ricci, 71), 9-Munir Saleh, 5-Gabriel Boakye; 4-Malik Johnson, 19-Kevin Timachy (20-Duwayne Ewart, 66)
Subs Not Used: 1-Brogan Engbers, 11-Kosaovar Sadiki, 13-Jordan Montoya, 16-Daniel Sagno
Head Coach: Sean Fleming

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Gabriel Boakye (caution)    29th minute
USA – Keegan Kelly (caution)       45
CAN – David Norman (caution)     59

Officials:
Referee: John Pitti
Assistant Referee 1: Ronald Bruna
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria
Fourth Official: Rolando Vidal

U-17 MNT Starts Strong in Panama with 5-2 Win Against Costa Rica

PANAMA CITY (Oct. 1, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica 5-2 to open the Panama U-17 International Tournament at Estadio Maracaná.

Haji Wright scored three goals to lead the way for the USA – an 18th-minute redirect in the six-yard box, a 58th-minute shot to the far post from a difficult angle on the left side of the box and a third tally in the 68th minute. Wright also deflected a Christian Pulisic corner kick to assist Hugo Arellano’s 51st-minute goal.

Arellano’s goal gave the USA a 3-1 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Josh Perez also added a goal in the 22nd minute, set up by John Nelson – a left-footed blast to the upper left corner of the frame from approximately 21 yards out.

Costa Rica’s Jonathan Martinez scored both of his team’s goals, including a long-distance free kick tally just before halftime.

Wright now has a team-leading 14 goals this year and 20 total for his U-17 career in international matches. Pulisic leads the USA with six assists in 2014.

The U-17s scored five goals in a game for the fourth time this year and they improved to 13-5-1 in international competition.

Next up, the USA faces Canada on Friday, Oct. 3, followed by a game against host Panama on Sunday, Oct. 5.

-U.S. U-17 MNT Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Costa Rica
Date: Oct. 1, 2014
Competition: International Tournament Sub-17
Venue: Estadio Maracaná
Kickoff: 6 p.m. local
Weather: 85 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          2 3 5
Costa Rica                 1 1 2

USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        18th minute
USA – Josh Perez (John Nelson)                 22
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            45
USA – Hugo Arellano (Haji Wright)           51
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic)        58
USA – Haji Wright (Alejandro Zendejas)   68
CRC – Jonathan Martinez                            69

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano, 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde (20-Keegan Kelly, 89); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (13-Tyler Adams, 83), 8-Luca de la Torre (16-Tommy McCabe, 76), 10-Christian Pulisic (17-McKinze Gaines, 76); 11-Josh Perez, 9-Alejandro Zendejas, 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used:12-William Pulisic, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice
Head Coach: Richie Williams

CRC: 1-Alejandro Barrientos; 6-Luis Hernandez, 2-Diego Mesen, 3-Pablo Arboine (capt.), 4-Ian Smith; 7- Kevin Masis (15-Barlon Sequeira, 46), 10-Jonathan Martinez, 8-Sergio Nunez (5-Jaylon Hadden, 46), 13-Jesus Chaves (14-Roberto Cordoba, 27); 9- Andy Reyes (21-Yostin Daily,68), 11-Shawn Manley
Subs Not Used:12-Daniel Villegas, 16-Allan Ramos, 17-Yarik Granados, 18-Patrick Sequeira, 19-Yael Lopez
Head Coach: Luis Fernando

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Diego Mesen (caution) 42nd minute
CRC – Jaylon Hadden (caution) 70
USA – Alexis Velela (caution) 83
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution) 88

Officials:
Referee: Ameth Sanchez
Assistant Referee 1: David Barria
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Garrido
Fourth Official: Jafeth Perea

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster Named for Panama International Tournament

CHICAGO (Sept. 26, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster for the four-team Panama U-17 International Tournament from Oct. 1-5.

The USA will face Costa Rica on Wednesday, Oct. 1, followed by Canada on Oct. 3 and host Panama on Oct. 5, with all games played at Estadio Maracaná in Panama City.

The U-17s most recently played in the Nordic Open Cup Tournament in Denmark and the third Copa Mexico in Mexico City, with the two events overlapping each other from late July to early August. The USA took sixth place in the Nordic Open Cup and earned fourth place at the Copa Mexico.

In international competition, Haji Wright and Christian Pulisic lead this group with 11 goals apiece this year. Six of Pulisic’s goals came during the Copa Mexico. Wright is the top goal scorer for the U-17s dating back to last year with a combined 17 goals over this stretch in 17 games.

The goalkeeping duo of William Pulisic (6-3-0) and Kevin Silva (5-0-1) has handled the majority of international play in 2014. Silva leads the team with three shutouts and a 0.87 goals against average.

The USA roster includes 15 players who are in the midst of their fall semester in the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. Fourteen players have current ties to the Development Academy.

The U.S. U-17 MNT is 12-5-1 in international competition and 13-5-5 overall in 2014.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7):  Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.)
FORWARDS (6):  Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (Unattached; Los Angeles, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)

2014 Nike Friendlies and Academy Winter Showcase Set for Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Lakewood Ranch, Florida

CHICAGO (Sept. 10, 2014) – The 2014 Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase event will return to the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, from Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

The Nike Friendlies feature the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team and three other international opponents: Australia, Brazil and England. The format of the tournament includes three doubleheaders, with the USA match serving as the marquee second game. The U.S. faces England on Nov. 28, Australia on Nov. 30 and Brazil on Dec. 2.

All six games at the Nike Friendlies will be live on ussoccer.com, with the first game kicking off at 3 p.m. ET and the USA game at 6 p.m. This marks the 12th edition of the Nike International Friendlies.

In conjunction with this event, the Academy Winter Showcase brings together the U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams in the Academy for an important three-game set against teams outside their respective conferences and divisions. On Thursday, Dec. 1, two Academy Select teams will compete against each other in a match showcasing 1997- and 1998-born players handpicked by U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and Youth National Team staff.

The Academy Winter Showcase schedule runs on Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 for the U-17/18 age group and Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 for the U-15/16s.

The U.S. U-17s have had a strong spell at the Nike Friendlies, winning the tournament in 2011 and 2013. Last year’s tournament was capped off by the USA’s 4-1 victory against Brazil on Dec. 13, 2013, with LA Galaxy Academy product Haji Wright scoring two goals in that final game to earn the tournament’s Golden Boot with five tallies for the tournament. Players Development Academy alum Kevin Silva was awarded the Golden Glove award as the event’s top goalkeeper and PA Classics product Christian Pulisic was named the tournament MVP.

U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide top-level competition for the U.S. U-17 MNT and is one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Starting in 2008, the event evolved to incorporate U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. This event also allows the U.S. Scouting Network to have a presence at every match to evaluate players.

2014 Nike International Friendlies Schedule
All games live on ussoccer.com
Friday, Nov. 28
Australia vs. Brazil, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. England, 6 p.m. ET

Sunday, Nov. 30
Brazil vs. England, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Australia, 6 p.m. ET

Tuesday, Dec. 2
England vs. Australia, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 6 p.m. ET

Richie Williams Names 29 Players to U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team 2014 Fall Residency Roster

CHICAGO (Sept. 2, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 29 players to the 2014 Fall Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

Twenty players return from the 2014 Spring Semester. The nine newcomers include defenders Tyler Adams and Miles Stray, midfielders Keegan Kelly and Luka Prpa, and forwards Lucas Del Rosario, Ronaldo Escudero, Joe Gallardo, Lagos Kunga and Nick Taitague.

Gallardo is the leading goal scorer on the roster with nine tallies in 11 games with the U-17s. He has four goals and three assists in seven matches in 2014. The most-capped player among this roster at the U-17 level is defender Hugo Arellano, who has played in 16 internationals, including 13 games in 2014.

This group features 26 players who are currently registered with clubs in U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy.

The U-17s recently competed in the Nordic Tournament and the third Copa Mexico, and 24 of the players on the Fall Residency roster played in either one of these tournaments or both.

The next major event for the U.S. U-17 MNT is the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The tournament, hosted by Honduras from Feb. 27-March 14, serves as the qualification process for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup from Oct. 17-Nov. 8 in Chile.

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.

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William 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.), Nikkye De Point (Empire Revolution; 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.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake AZ; Point Reyes, Calif.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): George Braima (Crew Soccer 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.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (9): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks – CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Lagos Kunga (DDYSC 98 Wolves Elite; Atlanta, Ga.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.)

U.S. U-17s Finish Fourth in Copa Mexico Following 2-0 Loss to Brazil

MEXICO CITY (Aug. 10, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team took fourth place in the Copa Mexico de Naciones, losing 2-0 in the third-place match to Brazil. It was the first time the U.S. offense was held scoreless in the tournament.

Brazil’s Evander Da Silva recorded a brace and provided all the scoring to lead Brazil, netting his first in the 26th minute and scoring again in the 36th minute.

After sweeping Group C and winning its quarterfinal matchup, the U.S. fell to Ecuador in the semifinals before meeting Brazil in the third-place match.

Christian Pulisic led the U.S. with six goals in the tournament. He recorded a hat trick in the opener against China PR and scored one goal in each of the other two group matches and the quarterfinal match. Haji Wright contributed four goals to help pace the offense, also netting a hat trick against China.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Aug. 10, 2014
Competition: 3rd Copa Mexico de Naciones  (3rd Place Match)
Venue: Azteca
Kickoff: 10:06 a.m. local
Weather: 70 degrees

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

BRA – Evander Da Silva        26th minute    
BRA – Evander Da Silva        36       

Lineups:
USA: 12-Will Pulisic; 13-Edwin Lara, 5-Hugo Arellano, 15-Tanner Dieterich (17-Danny Barbir, 30), 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (8-Luca de la Torre, 43), 16-Tommy McCabe, 20-Alex Zendejas; 18-Josh Perez (10-Christian Pulisic, 36), 19-Elijah Rice (7-Haji Wright, 36), 14-McKinze Gaines
Subs not used: 1- Kevin Silva, Pierre Da Silva
Head Coach: Richie Williams

BRA: 1-Bruno Oliveira; 14-Alan Cardoso, 4-Jose Alves (capt.), 3-Ronaldo Rodrigues, 2-Kleber Leite; 13-Thiago Nasciemento (5-Lucas De Souza, 67), 7-Matheus Fernandes (17-Marco Oliveira, 36), 16-Andrey Ramos; 19-Evander Da Silva, 20-Luis Farinhas (9-Geovane Santana, 52), 10-Mauro Ferreira (11-Siqueira Ramon De Araujo, 52)
Subs not used: 8-Matheus Dos Anjos, 12-Juliano Marlon, 15-Ralph Machado, 18-Matheus Moresche
Head Coach: Caio Zanardi

**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 70 minutes**

U-17s Fall to Ecuador 2-1 in Copa Mexico de Naciones Semifinals

MEXICO CITY (Aug. 8, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team lost for the first time in the Copa Mexico de Naciones, dropping its semifinal matchup against Ecuador 2-1. With the loss, the U.S. plays Brazil in the third-place game on Sunday, Aug. 10.

After battling through a scoreless first half, the U.S. finally conceded a goal in the 59th minute as Ecuador took a 1-0 lead on Washington Corozo’s tally. Just seven minutes later, Jhoner Montezume converted a penalty kick to extend Ecuador’s lead to 2-0 after an Ecuador forward was taken down in the box.

The U.S. comeback attempt fell short, as Alex Zendejas put in a left-footed strike from the edge of the box in stoppage time but the U.S. failed to net an equalizer.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 National Team vs. Ecuador
Date: Aug. 8, 2014
Competition: 3rd Copa Mexico de Naciones Semifinal
Venue: CECAP Field No. 1; Mexico City
Kickoff: 10:06 a.m. local
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F                                                         

USA                            0          1          1        
ECU                            0          2          2         

ECU – Washington Corozo                             59th minute
ECU – Jhoner Montezume (penalty)             66
USA – Alex Zendejas (Christian Pulisic)        70

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 13-Edwin Lara, 17-Danny Barbir, 5-Hugo Arellano, 2- Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo, 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic; 11-Pierre Da Silva (20-Alex Zendejas, 59), 7-Haji Wright, 18-Josh Perez (14-McKinze Gaines, 48)
Subs not used: 12-Will Pulisic, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Tommy McCabe, 19-Elijah Rice
Head Coach: Richie Williams

ECU: 1-Jose Cevallos; 6-Jhoner Montezuma, 4-Francisco Obando, 3-Jose Quintero, 13-Byron Castillo; 10-Fabiano Tello (17-Pervis Estupinan, 70), 14-Renny Jaramillo, 16-Joao Montano, 8-Andy Casquete; 15-Jhoel Montano (9-Edgar Viviero, 36), 11-Jhon Pereira (7-Washington Corozo, 58)
Subs not used: 2-Victor Narvaez, 5-Juan Nazareno, 12-Gian Terreros, 18-Tana Bryan, 19-Ronaldo Villa, 20-Jean Pena
Head Coach: Javier Rodriguez

**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 70 minutes**

U.S. U-17 MNT Beats Colombia in PKs to Reach Semifinals

MEXICO CITY (Aug. 6, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Colombia in penalty kicks 3-0 to advance to the semifinals of the Copa Mexico de Naciones. The U-17s will take on Ecuador on Friday, Aug. 8, with a spot in the final on the line.

Christian Pulisic scored his sixth goal of the tournament to put the U.S. up 1-0 in the 17th minute off of a Pierre Da Silva assist from the left side.

The lead was short-lived for the U.S. as Colombia’s Edward Bolanos netted the equalizer in the 32nd minute.

Tied at 1-1, neither team scored for the rest of regulation, sending the match to penalty kicks.

Pulisic led off for the U.S. with a right-footed strike to the left of Colombia goalkeeper Luis Garcia. Elijah Rice and Danny Barbir were each successful in their attempts for the U.S., clinching the victory as Colombia missed two attempts and had a third saved by U.S. goalkeeper Will Pulisic, who was a late second-half sub for this moment. Stiven Vaga and John Arango hit the cross bar and left upright, respectively, and Jefferson Valdeblanquez’s attempt was saved by Will Pulisic.

Ecuador, the U.S. opponent in the semifinals, swept Group A and beat South Korea 3-0 in its quarterfinal matchup to get to the semifinals. Paraguay and Brazil will meet in the other semifinal. Brazil outgunned Mexico 4-3 and Paraguay beat Portugal 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

The championship for the Copa Mexico de Naciones takes place Sunday, Aug. 10.

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

Match: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: Aug. 6, 2014
Competition: 3rd Copa Mexico de Naciones  
Venue: CECAP Field # 1
Kickoff: 10:06 a.m. local
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F                     
USA                            1          0          1
COL                            1          0          1

USA – Christian Pulisic (Pierre Da Silva)       17th minute    
COL – Edward Bolanos                                  32

Penalty Summary:
USA: Pulisic (goal), Rice (goal), Barbir (goal)
COL: Vega (miss), Valdeblanquez (save), Arango (miss)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva (12-Will Pulisic, 69); 13-Edwin Lara, 5-Hugo Arellano, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 2-Matt Olosunde (17-Danny Barbir, 49); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic; 11-Pierre Da Silva (14-McKinze Gaines, 49), 7-Haji Wright, 18-Josh Perez (19-Elijah Rice, 49)
Subs not used: 16-Tommy McCabe, 20-Alex Zendejas
Head Coach: Richie Williams

COL: 1-Luis Garcia; 4-Hugo Daza, 14-John Lucumi, 5-Stiven Vega (capt.), 3-Jefferson Valdeblanquez; 6-Jesus Marimon, 20-Edwin Ariza (8-David Perez, 65), 10-John Arango; 17-Andres Mosquera (13-Juan Rengifo, 55), 9-Edward Bolanos, 18-Edwin Cetre 
Subs not used: 2-Juan Posada, 7-Jhonatan Cuellar, 11-Oscar Lucumi, 12-Joao Orozco, 15-Brayan Torres, 16-Santiago Jimenez, 19-Jose Mora
Head Coach: Harold Rivera

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution)                     13
USA – Edwin Lara (caution)                          35
USA – Tanner Dieterich (caution)                 57
COL – Juan Rengifo (caution)                      63

**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 70 minutes**

U.S. U-17s Win Group at Copa Mexico de Naciones with 2-1 Victory Over Paraguay

MEXICO CITY (Aug. 4, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored two first-half goals and beat Paraguay 2-1 in a match to decide Group C at the 2014 Copa Mexico de Naciones. With the win, the U.S. swept the group to finish with nine points and punch its ticket to a quarterfinal matchup with Colombia on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

Haji Wright scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the 23rd minute to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead, finishing an assist from Luca de la Torre. Christian Pulisic extended the lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute on a Josh Perez assist. Pulisic scored in all three group matches, netting a hat trick against China PR in the opener and one each against Mexico 2 and Paraguay. Wright and Pulisic led the U.S. to the highest scoring output of any team in the group stage with a combined 10 goals.

Having clinched a spot in the quarterfinals already, the U.S. needed a win or a tie against Paraguay to take the top spot in Group C. Paraguay ended up in second place in the group with four points and will play Group D winner Portugal on Wednesday. Mexico 2 placed third with three points and China PR took fourth with one point. 

The U.S. now faces Colombia in Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchup. Colombia finished second in Group D with a 2-1-0 record. Colombia lost only to Group D winner Portugal. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 8.

 

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

Match: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Paraguay
Date: Aug. 4, 2014
Competition: 3rd Copa Mexico de Naciones  
Venue: CECAP Field No. 2; Mexico City
Kickoff: 10 a.m. local
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F                                             
USA                            2          0          2
PAR                             0          1          1

USA – Haji Wright (Luca de la Torre)             23rd minute    
USA – Christian Pulisic (Josh Perez)             34
PAR – Jonathan Valiente                                3

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson (13-Edwin Lara, 62), 5-Hugo Arellano, 4-Alexis Velela (15-Tanner Dieterich, 36), 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic; 7-Haji Wright, 11-Pierre Da Silva (14-McKinze Gaines, 57), 18-Josh Perez
Subs not used: 12-Will Pulisic, 16-Tommy McCabe, 17-Danny Barbir, 19- Elijah Rice, 20-Alex Zendejas
Head Coach: Richie Williams 

PAR: 12-Oscar Meza; 4-Blas Riveros, 5-Elvis Echague, 3-Juan Ojeda, 2-Rodi David; 6-Arturo Aranda (capt.), 15-Jorge Morel, 18-Cristhian Paredes (7-Julio Villalba, 56); 10-David Colman (17-Gill, 68), 19-Jonathan Valiente, 8-Richard Toledo (14-Luis Gimenez, 56)
Subs not used: 1-Blas Aguilar, 9-Carlos Ferreira, 11-Hector Santander, 13-Carlos Paredes, 16-Fernando Lomaquis, 20-Angelo Orue
Head Coach: Carlos De Los Santos 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Haji Wright (caution)                            6th minute
PAR – Jorge Morel (caution)                          17 

Officials:
Referee: Michel Caballero Galicia
Assistant Referee 1: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval
Assistant Referee 2: Angel Francisco Hernandez Alcantara
Fourth Official: Adalid Maganda Villalva

**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 70 minutes**

Christian Pulisic, U-17 MNT Riding Yearlong Wave of Success

Christian Pulisic reflects on the U-17 MNT's improvement and growth after a year of residency, his start at PA Classics, and the healthy pressure the team feels after tasting international success.

U-17 MNT vs. Ecuador: Highlights - Aug. 8, 2014

The U.S. U-17 MNT fell to Ecuador 2-1 in the semifinals of the 2014 Copa Mexico de Naciones.

U-17 MNT vs. Colombia: Highlights - Aug. 6, 2014

The U.S. U-17 MNT advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 Copa Mexico de Naciones after outlasting Colombia in a penalty kick shootout.

U-17 MNT vs. Paraguay: Highlights - August 4, 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored two first-half goals and beat Paraguay 2-1 in a match to decide Group C at the 2014 Copa Mexico de Naciones.

U-17 MNT vs. Mexico: Highlights - August 3, 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with its second win at the Copa Mexico de Naciones in Mexico City, beating Mexico’s second squad 2-0.

U-17 MNT vs. China: Highlights - August 2, 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got a pair of hat tricks from Christian Pulisic and Haji Wright to defeat China PR 6-0 in the team’s opener of the Copa Mexico de Naciones.

U-17 MNT vs. Faroe Islands: Highlights - July 31, 2014

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated the Faroe Islands 4-0 in its third match of the 2014 Open Nordic Tournament at Mosevej Stadium. McKinze Gaines scored two goals while Kai Koreniuk and Eric Matzelevich also provided a goal apiece for the USA.

U-17 MNT vs. Norway: Highlights - July 29, 2014

The U.S. U-17 MNT dropped its second game of the Open Nordic Cup, a 4-1 loss to Norway Tuesday at Norre Aaby Stadium.

U-17 MNT vs. Denmark: Highlights - July 28, 2014

Denmark’s Mark Christensen scored in the fourth minute to give his squad an early 1-0 lead. Marco Ramkilde scored in the 28th minute and the Denmark defense held the U.S. at bay to preserve the shutout victory. Full time is 80 minutes in all games in the Open Nordic Tournament.

U-17 MNT vs. Croatia: Highlights - Zagreb, Croatia

The U.S. Under-17 MNT brought down Croatia in a 1-0 nail-biter with the help of an early header by forward Elijah Rice.
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