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2014 NTC Invitational

U.S. Soccer National Training Center; Carson, California
U.S. Matches
Group Schedule

Ramos Names U-20 MNT Roster for NTC Invitational

CHICAGO (July 10, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament that will take place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, from July 14-18.

The U-20 MNT will gather for training camp in Carson beginning July 10 before playing its first games of the NTC Invitational against Chile on July 14 (6 p.m. PT) and Bermuda on July 16 (4 p.m. PT). The U.S. concludes tournament play against Australia on July 18, a match that will be broadcast on at 7 p.m. PT. The day’s other match between Bermuda and Chile will also be broadcast on beginning at 4 p.m. PT.

The U.S. roster for the tournament is made up of a solid group of players with extensive experience in the U.S. Youth National Team Program as 11 players have reached a minimum of 10 YNT call-ups already in their young international careers. Six of those 11, including Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas Academy), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana) and Zack Steffen (Maryland) all have over 20 career YNT events under their belts, with Requejo Jr. leading the way with 33 to his name.

Dating back to last November’s international training camp in Verona, Italy, when this current iteration of the U-20 MNT was assembled, seven players have been included in a roster-high four U-20 MNT events: goalkeeper Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), defenders Donovan, Moore and Requejo Jr., midfielder Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) and forwards Pfeffer and Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC). Steffen, who was part of Ramos’ squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, is also be making his fourth appearance on a U.S. U-20 roster.

The roster blends a good mix of foreign- and domestic-based talents with eight players plying their trade outside the U.S., including Club Tijuana trio Fernando Arce – receiving his first call-up to a U.S. YNT event – Paul Arriola and Requejo Jr., who represent the most players named to the squad from one club.

Arriola, Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Moore, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., and Steffen are among 12 players on the roster who helped the team to a second-place finish in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 2014 Dallas Cup earlier this year in its last international competition.

After the conclusion of the NTC Invitational, Ramos and his staff will look to assemble the team again in early September for an international training camp.

U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]                 Location                                        Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     3 p.m.*             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v CHI      6 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    USA v AUS     7 p.m.               StubHub Center            

*Changed from original kickoff time

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG  Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)

2014 NTC Invitational Kicks Off Tonight

CHICAGO (July 14, 2014) – The 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament consisting of four teams from the United States, Australia, Bermuda and Chile kicks off today at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.The tournament will run from July 14-18.

The round-robin style tournament is predominantly for players born prior to Jan. 1, 1995, who will be age eligible for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Matches will be played on July 14, 16 and 18, with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team taking on Chile, Bermuda and Australia in that order.

The final two tournament matches – USA vs. Australia and Chile vs. Bermuda – on July 18 will be streamed live on Additionally, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship matches for the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups, which are also taking place at the National Training Center in Carson, will be streamed live on on July 19.

Teams can bring up to 20 players for the NTC Invitational, which will decide a champion using a group table format wherein the team with the most points (three points for a win, one point for a tie, zero for a loss) at the end of the three match days is declared the winner. Should two or more teams be tied on points in the final standings, goal differential, then greatest number of goals scored in all matches will be used as the first two tiebreakers.

The U.S. U-20 MNT roster for the NTC Invitational will be announced at a later date.

U.S. Soccer previously hosted the U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational this past February and plans to host more Youth Men’s and Women’s National Team tournaments in addition to the marquee Nike International Friendlies that have provided top level international competition for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team every year since 2001.

U.S. Soccer NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]        Location                                                    Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     3 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v CHI      6 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    USA v AUS      7 p.m.              StubHub Center            
July 19                        DA U-15/16     4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    DA U-17/18      7 p.m.              StubHub Center            

*Times changed from original schedule due to weather conditions.

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)

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**

Canouse Taking Lead with U.S. U-20 MNT, Hoffenheim

As a captain for Hoffenheim's U-19s during their run to an A-Junioren Bundesliga title, midfielder Russell Canouse figures to be a key component for the U.S. U-20s as Tab Ramos prepares the USA for 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Qualifying in January.

CONCACAF Announces Jamaica as Host of U-20 Championships in January

MIAMI (July 23, 2014) – CONCACAF has announced that Jamaica will host the upcoming U-20 CONCACAF Championships in January of 2015, a tournament that will yield four qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The National Stadium in Kingston as well as the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay will host group matches as the tournament switches to a new format. The final round will also be played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

The new format will feature 12 teams divided into groups of six that will play a round-robin format kicking off on January 9, with the top finisher in each group receiving an automatic bid to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and a spot in the championship match on January 24.

The second and third-place finishers in each of the two groups will then be re-seeded into a four-team table. The top seed will play the fourth seed and the second and third seeds will face off on January 24. The winners of each of those matches will also qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

In total, the tournament will have a record 33 matches over 11 match days with a triple-header on each match day. The new tournament structure is to enhance competition for the championship and increase development with more matches.

Of the 12 teams, five will come from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), four from the Central American Football Football Union (UNCAF) and three from North America. Mexico is the two-time defending U-20 CONCACAF champion, winning the title in Mexico in 2013 and in Guatemala in 2011.

CONCACAF U-20 Championships Jamaica 2015
Dates: January 9 – January 24, 2015
Location: Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica
Stadiums: National Stadium (Kingston) and Montego Bay Sports Complex
Participating Teams: 12
Caribbean Football Union: 5 Teams
North America: 3 Teams
Central American Football Union: 4 Teams
Number of teams qualifying to the FIFA World Cup: 4
Format: The twelve (12) teams shall be divided into a group stage consisting of two (2) groups (A, B) of six (6) teams each. The group winners qualify automatically for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. The second- and third-place teams from each group are re-seeded by group stage results, with the top team of the four facing the fourth-best team, and the second-best finisher facing the third-best. The winner of each of those two matches also advances to the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015.

U.S. U-20 MNT Wins NTC Invitational with Scoreless Draw Against Australia

CARSON, California (July 18, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team concluded the inaugural National Training Center Invitational with a draw against Australia at StubHub Center, resulting in the U.S. earning the championship trophy.

Both Australia and the U.S. finished with seven points atop the standings, but the goal differential of plus-5 achieved by the U.S. was greater than Australia’s (plus-4) and awarded the USA the title. Australia finished as the runner-up.

Both teams had multiple opportunities to score, much to the delight of the American Outlaws who attended the game and were vocal throughout. The U.S. hit the upright or crossbar four times, coming within inches of scoring on various occasions. Lynden Gooch alone hit the frame three times.

Australia tested U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen early when Brandon Borello found a seam and got behind the defense, forcing Steffen off his line to corral the ball at Borello’s feet.

The U.S. had a near goal in the sixth minute when Tommy Thompson dribbled down the right side and lifted a cross into the box, bringing Australia goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell off his line. The ball fell to U.S. midfielder Fernando Arce, who lofted a shot from the edge of the box that was headed over the goal by an Australia defender.

U.S. midfielder Romain Gall had a free kick from five yards outside the box in the 21st minute and he fired a shot over the wall that hit the upper left corner of the goal and bounced over.

Australia’s Daniel De Silva took a shot from the right side outside the box in the 31st minute, forcing Steffen to make a leaping save to his right.

Gooch gave the U.S. another great chance in the 37th minute when he fired a left-footed, running shot from well outside the box that crossed past Thurtell and hit the right upright before bouncing away.

The U.S. forced Thurtell into action again just two minutes later with a beautiful combination that saw midfielder Paul Arriola dribble toward the end line to the left of goal before finding Arce alone in the center of the box. Arce struck the ball with full force, but his shot was just above Thurtell’s head and he was able to reach up just in time to deflect it away.

In the 46th minute, Gooch’s shot hit the upright again. Gooch took a shot from the edge of the box that was just out of Thurtell’s reach, but proved to be just off target as the ball caromed off the right post.

Thompson dribbled through a sea of Australia defenders in the 77th minute and freed himself for a shot to the right of the penalty area. His shot was deflected wide. Gooch hit the crossbar again in the 79th minute with a shot from the middle of the field outside the 18-yard box that Thurtell tipped, grazing the crossbar and continuing over the goal and out of bounds.

The U.S. U-20 MNT now begins preparations for 2015 U-20 World Cup Qualifying, which begins in January. The team will come together for several foreign-based training camps before the end of the year.

-U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Australia
Date: July 18, 2014
Competition: 2014 Men’s National Training Center Invitational
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Attendance: 700
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees

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

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 13-Chris Odoi-Atsem, 4-Conor Donovan, 5-Michael Amick, 2-John Requejo; 16-Fernando Arce, 6-Russell Canouse (capt.); 7-Paul Arriola; 24-Tommy Thompson, 8-Lynden Gooch (9-Benji Lopez, 89) , 11-Zach Pfeffer (10-Romain Gall, 8)
Subs Not Used: 12-Santiago Castano, 14-Jacori Hayes, 17-Jesus Vasquez, 19-Andrija Novakovich, 20-Caleb Smith
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

AUS: 1-Jordan Thurtell; 5-Riley Woodcock (15-Scott Galloway, 62), 3-Daniel Alessi, 4-Ben Warland, 16-Ben Garuccio; 7-Shannon Brady (11-Jaushua Sotorio, 28), 6-Hagi Gligor (capt.) (20-Jordan Brown, 83), 10-Stefan Sotorio; 23-Daniel De Silva (14-Devante Clut, 73), 9-Brandon Borrello, 8-Awer Mabil (24-Marc Marino, 72)
Subs Not Used: 2-Shayne D’Cunha, 18-Paul Izzo, 21-Chris Naumoff, 22-Liam Rose,

Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 15 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
AUS – Jaushua Sotorio (caution)               76th minute
USA – Russell Canouse (caution)               86

Referee: Victor Rivas (USA)
Assistant Referee: Andrew Bigelow (USA)
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Mariscal (USA)
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi (USA)

Chile Downs Bermuda for Third Place at 2014 NTC Invitational

CARSON, California (July 18, 2014) – The Under-20 Chile National Team defeated Bermuda 2-0 in the first match of the final day of games at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center Invitational at StubHub Center. With the victory, Chile earned third place in the three-game tournament.

After dominating possession and outshooting Bermuda for a majority of the game, Chile finally broke the scoreless tie in the 72nd minute on a streaking counterattack following a giveaway by Bermuda. Camilo Rodriguez found Ignacio Jeraldino in the middle of the field, and he carried the ball into the box before finding a trailing Rodriguez by himself near the penalty area. Rodriguez shot to his right, and the ball bounced in after Bermuda goalkeeper Detre Bell got a hand on it.

Chile tacked on some insurance, as Jeraldino scored a goal of his own in the 86th minute to push the advantage to a 2-0. Juan Fuentes dribbled from midfield to the edge of the box before a deflection led to a loose ball that fell to Jeraldino in the middle of the box. He finished with ease to give Chile some breathing room.

Chile finished with 28 shots to Bermuda’s eight. Six of Chile’s shots were on goal compared to just one for Bermuda.

From the onset, Chile pressured the Bermuda defense early and often, keeping the ball on Bermuda’s half and dominating possession. Chilean forward Camilo Vargas got an open look from just inside the box on the left side, forcing a diving stop from Bermuda keeper Detre Bell. Chile got another dangerous chance in the 15th minute when Brayan Cortes’ cross found Ivan Pardo right in front of the goal, but Bell got a hand on his point-blank chance to deflect it out of bounds.

Bermuda had a few dangerous moments in the first half, typically looking for a streaking forward over the top. Chile stifled those chances and Bermuda failed to get a shot off until the 40th minute when forward Rai Simons took a pass from Jaz Ratteray Smith in the middle of the box, dribbled to his left and took a shot that forced Chile goalkeeper Miquel Vargas into a lunging save.

In the 31st minute, it was initially ruled that Matias Bizama of Chile was fouled inside the box and a penalty kick was awarded. However, the linesman and referee conversed and the call was overruled, resulting in a kick for Bermuda.

Chile almost got on the score sheet just before halftime, as Cristian Cuevas’ leaping header from the middle of the box hit the crossbar before bouncing over the goal. In the first minute of stoppage time, Chile had another dangerous shot when Pardo received a cross on the right side of the goal and his line-drive header was deflected out of bounds by Bell, ending the first half in a scoreless tie.

Chile came out swinging to start the second half, pressuring the Bermuda defense and forcing a leaping save from Bell to keep the game scoreless in the 47th minute. In the 56th minute, Chile’s Jeraldino headed a corner kick on frame but right at Bell. Ganzolo Reyes got loose down the left side in the 65th minute and forced a save from Bell, followed just 30 seconds later by a shot from Bryan Carvallo that Bell handled.

Bermuda had a good look in the 68th minute when forward Willie Clemens found defender William White near the top of the box. White attempted a one-timer, but his shot sailed over the goal.

Chile just missed another chance in the 81st minute when Rodriguez headed a cross toward the goal, just missing a diving attempt by Bernardo Cerezo who was sprinting in.

The win was Chile’s first of the invitational, finishing 1-2-0 in three games. Chile held a lead in each of its two losses, eventually losing to the U.S. 2-1 and to Australia 5-4.  Bermuda lost all three of its matches.

-2014 Men’s National Training Center Invitational Match Report-

Match: Chile vs. Australia
Date: July 18, 2014
Competition: 2014 Men’s National Training Center Invitational
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Attendance: --
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:           1      2      F
Chile                                      0      2      2
Bermuda                             0      0      0

CHI – Camilo Rodriguez (Ignacio Jeraldino)           72nd minute
CHI – Ignacio Jeraldino                                                   86


CHI: 1-Miguel Vargas; 5-Benjamin Kuscevic, 8-Bernardo Cerezo, 4-Raul Osorio (20-Rodrigo Echeverria, 46), 2-Camilo Rodriguez; 6-Kevin Medel (18-Juan Fuentes, 67), 14-Bryan Carvallo, 16-Joaquin Montecinos (9-Ignacio Jeraldino, 24), 10-Cristian Cuevas (19-Diaz Sebastian, 87); 7-Ivan Pardo (15-Christopher Dias, 46), 13-Matias Bizama (12-Brayan Cortes, 62)
Subs Not Used: 3-Sebeastian Vegas, 17-Gonzalo Reyes
Not Available: 11-Luis Pavez

BER: 12-Detre Bell; 20-Mauriq Hill (18-Lejaun Simmons, 64), 21-Neildante Smith, 14-William White, 3-Terrance Webb; 17-Willie Clemens (6-Dakai Grant, 88), 5-Alanzo Parson (15-Zeiko Lewis, 31), 9-Zaire Burchall (8-Jibri Lawrence Salaam, 64); 7-Jaz Ratteray Smith, 10-Rai Simons, 2-Oliver Harvey (11-Chae Brangman, 84)
Subs Not Used: 1-Jahquil Hill, 15-Zeiko Lewis, 16-Jaylon Bather, 19-Jair Minors

Stats Summary: AUS / CHI
Shots: 28 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 5 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
BER – Mauriq Hill (caution)                           43rd minute
BER – Jaz Ratteray Smith (caution)           61
CHI – Cristian Cuevas                                      84

Referee: Nima Saghafi (USA)
Assistant Referee: Brandon Rinkenberger (USA)
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Mariscal (USA)
Fourth Official: Jon Freemon (USA)

U-20 MNT vs. Australia: Highlights – July 18, 2014

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team concluded the inaugural National Training Center Invitational with a draw against Australia at StubHub Center. Both Australia and the U.S. finished with seven points atop the standings, but the U.S. goal differential was greater than Australia’s and awarded the USA the title. Australia finished as the runner-up.

Defender Caleb Smith Making Most of U.S. U-20 MNT Opportunity

Still a relative newcomer to the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, defender Caleb Smith of Solar Chelsea is finding his place on the squad and doing his best to stand out among a talented group. In just his second camp with the U.S. Men’s National Team at any age level, Smith has gone from unknown to being in the mix for a roster spot as the U-20s in the coming months will have their eyes on the qualification process for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“I guess I was never really on the radar,” Smith said. “I played in the Development Academy Showcase two years ago and got called in for a mini-camp. I did well there in my first opportunity with the National Team and I made the Residency squad. The first shot I got, I made the team, so I knew I had the potential to do some great things.”

Smith spent time with the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Florida last year, marking his first connection to the Youth National team.

“It was hard at first,” Smith said. “That was my first time ever living away from home. It’s always hard living away from home. You focus on the soccer aspect and the school aspect. Make sure you focus, get the grades you need, and playing soccer all day every day is actually a dream.”

The Residency Program was not his first exposure to soccer at a high level. As a starting defender for Solar Chelsea during the 2012-13 Development Academy season, Smith was part of a squad that finished as the runner-up to Real Salt Lake AZ in the U-15/16 division in the Development Academy Championships. That Solar Chelsea squad started the season off slowly but caught fire in the Academy Playoffs and Finals Week.

“It was an up-and-down season. We started off pretty shaky but we used our persistence and we never gave up,” Smith said. “We always fought to the end. We always had belief in each other. The coach had belief in the whole squad.”

Playing for a national title left an impact on Smith and taught him to value and find joy in each game he plays.

“Don’t look ahead – always look at the present,” Smith said. “Enjoy soccer. Soccer is just a game. Play hard every time you get the opportunity to.”

Smith’s development as a player with Solar Chelsea has played a big role in his inclusion with the U-20 player pool. He attributes some of his greatest strengths to the skills he honed with Solar Chelsea, especially as a defender.

“Seeing the field as the left back is really important,” Smith said. “As well as defending, left backs usually get forward. Our coach (Tab Ramos) always emphasizes that outside backs get involved in the attack. But the first job of a defender is to defend, and they have helped develop my defensive skills.”

In his first camp with the U-20s, Smith has come to the team ready to contribute and learn from those with more experience.

“Obviously I was nervous when I first came in. Coach Tab called me in for a reason and he thinks I have potential to hopefully make the team or contribute in any kind of way. I’m just going with my eyes open. It’s definitely a challenge playing with the best players in the country. It’s always a challenge playing with the National Team. It has really pushed me to become a better player.”

Among those helping Smith are the likes of Conor Donovan, Shaq Moore and John Requejo, all with extensive Youth National Team experience and regulars on the current U-20 squad. Having veteran leaders has helped Smith feel comfortable with his new teammates. 

“They’re a good group of guys, always helping me out,” Smith said. “Me being the new guy on the team, they take me under their wing and show me the positions I need to be in and what the National Team style of play is like so I can adapt pretty quickly. They are good guys and I look up to them as leaders.”

Smith said his inclusion with the U-20s has been an honor and is an experience he hopes to make the most of going forward in his career.

“It means a lot,” Smith said. “Representing your country, your family, your coaches; it’s a big honor. Wearing the crest is definitely a big honor, so I take pride in that. Potentially making the U-20 squad is one of my goals, so I’m working really hard to get there.” 

USA and Australia Meet in Decisive Final Match of 2014 NTC Invitational on Friday

CARSON, California (July 17, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and Australia sit tied atop the standings with six points heading into the final day of the 2014 Men’s National Training Center Invitational. The two teams will go head-to-head at 7 p.m. PT at StubHub Center, preceded by Chile and Bermuda playing at 4 p.m. PT at the same location. Both games will be live on

The USA and Australia are even in points, but with a point differential of plus five, the U.S. holds first place. Both Chile and Bermuda have zero points after two games.

Australia’s Awer Mabil leads all scorers with four goals through two games. Teammates Marc Marino and Steffan Mauk have each scored twice as Australia has scored a total of nine goals through two games.

Andrija Novakovich and Zach Pfeffer have scored two goals apiece to pace the U.S. attack and Cristian Cuevas has scored a pair to lead Chile. No other player has more than one goal.

2014 NTC Invitational Standings














































Monday, July 14
Australia 4, Bermuda 1
USA 2, Chile 1

Wednesday, July 16
Australia 5, Chile 4
USA 4, Bermuda 0

Friday, July 18
Chile vs. Bermuda
USA vs. Australia

Goal Scoring Leaders:
AUS-Awer Mabil - 4 goals
AUS-Marc Marino - 2 goals
AUS-Stefan Mauk - 2 goals
CHI-Cristian Cuevas - 2 goals
USA-Andrija Novakovich - 2 goals
USA-Zach Pfeffer - 2 goals
AUS- Devante Clut- 1 goal
AUS-Daniel De Silva- 1 goal
CHI-Bryan Carvallo- 1 goal
CHI- Christopher Dias- 1 goal
CHI-Ivan Pardo- 1 goal
USA- Tommy Thompson- 1 goal

Saves Leaders:
BER-Jahquil Hill - 13 saves
CHI-Brayan Cortes - 8 saves
AUS- Paul Izzo- 7 saves
USA- Zach Steffen- 2 saves
AUS-Jordan Thurtell - 1 save
USA-Santiago Castano - 1 save


Date Time Matchup Venue Info
July 14, 2014 4 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Chile Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
July 16, 2014 4 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Bermuda Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
July 18, 2014 7 PM PT U-20 MNT vs Australia Glen "Mooch" Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center
Robert Michael Amick D 5-11 165 4/3/95 Sunnyvale, Calif.
Fernando Arce M 5-11 160 11/27/96 Chula Vista, California Club Tijuana
Paul Arriola F 5-7 134 2/5/95 Chula Vista, Calif.
Russell Canouse D 5-9 175 6/11/95 Lancaster, Pa. Hoffenheim (Germany)
Santiago Castano GK 5-10 155 4/14/95 Union City, N.J. New York Red Bulls Academy
Marco Delgado M 5-8 145 5/16/95 Glendora, Calif.
Conor Donovan D 6-1 169 1/8/96 Fuquay Varina, N.C.
Romain Gall M 5-9 140 1/31/95 Herndon, Va. FC Lorient (France)
Lynden Gooch F 5-5 125 12/24/95 Santa Cruz, Calif. Santa Cruz County Breakers
Jacori Hayes M 5-8 140 6/29/95 Bowie, Maryland
Bradford Jamieson F 5-11 145 10/18/96 Los Angeles, Calif.
Benjamin Lopez F 5-11 145 2/16/95 San Diego, Calif.
Shaquell Moore D 5-9 146 11/2/96 Powder Springs, Ga.
Andrija Novakovich F 6-3 180 9/21/96 Muskegon, Wisconsin Reading
Chris Odoi Atsem D 5-10 155 5/28/95 Mitchellville, Maryland
Zachary Pfeffer F 5-8 143 1/6/95 Dresher, Pa. Philadelphia Union
John Requejo Jr. D 5-7 146 5/23/96 Carpinteria, Calif.
Caleb Smith D 5-9 135 10/15/96 Arlington, Texas
Zackary Steffan GK 6-3 190 4/2/95 Downingtown, Pa. FC DELCO
Jesus Vazquez D 6-1 180 3/22/95 San Luis Obispo, California UANL Tigres
U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams               Time [PT]       Location                                 Broadcast
July 14            AUS v BER      1 p.m.             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                        USA v CHI      4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none

July 16            AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                        USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none

July 18            BER v CHI       4 p.m.             StubHub Center            
                        USA v AUS     7 p.m.             StubHub Center