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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)

Q&A with U.S. U-21 MNT Defender Shane O’Neill

U.S. Under-21 Men’s National Team defender Shane O’Neill had moved his way up the Colorado Rapids Academy system primarily as a forward and midfielder. Since his time with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team under head coach Tab Ramos, O’Neill has been primarily at center back for club and country. O’Neill took some time during the recent U-21 MNT camp to chat with ussoccer.com about the position switch and his hopes of joining the U.S. squad for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

ussoccer.com: Had you ever played on the back line before joining the U.S. U-20 MNT for the previous cycle?
Shane O’Neill: “No, not before Tab put me back there with the U-20s over in Spain for the Marbella Cup [in October of 2012]. It was a bit of an adjustment, but it’s kind of worked out for me so far. Ever since then, it’s been my thing playing center back. Obviously it was a bit of a change. I still think I can offer something in the midfield if somebody wants me to play there, but so far it’s been good. Tab’s put a lot of faith in me. It was good moving back there during the whole U-20 cycle.”

ussoccer.com: So this switch was made in your first U-20 call-up?
SO: “Yes, right away when I came in, Tab kind of told me that he sees me playing center back for this group. He brought me in as a center back even though I hadn’t really played there that much, and he probably saw something in my game that suggested that I could play back there.”

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