LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2012) – Second-half substitutes Rubio Rubin and Alan Winn helped vault the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team to a 4-1 win against Turkey with a goal and an assist each on Friday night at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Rubin scored his third goal in the last two matches and added another assist to the two he earned on Wednesday during a 4-4 draw against Brazil. The forward made a strong run off the ball as Corey Baird gained possession in the middle of the field and released Winn on the left flank in the 82 nd minute. Winn delivered a low cross across the goal as Rubin arrived just in time to convert for a 3-1 lead.
The U.S. grabbed a one-goal lead in the 70th minute after Baird was felled in the box and earned a penalty kick. Defender and team captain Shaquell Moore stepped up and smashed a confident shot into the lower right corner for his third penalty kick goal of the year.
After struggling to maintain strong possession in the first 45 minutes, the second half featured some end-to-end action before the U.S. earned the majority of the chances in the final 25 minutes.
Goalkeeper Evan Louro, who helped lead the New York Red Bulls to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 title last July, made nine saves including a momentum-sustaining kick save in the 76th minute as Ünal Enes broke free for a point-blank opportunity to level the score just minutes after the U.S. grabbed the lead.
Capping off the overpowering final 20 minutes, Rubin returned the favor by feeding Winn with a pin-point cross from the right side. Winn settled with a quick touch and blasted a shot near post past goalkeeper Ubeyd Adiyaman in the 85th minute. The goal was the Texan’s second in as many games.
After nearly 15 minutes of early pressure from Turkey in which the visitors missed several good opportunities including a free kick at the top of the box in the 18th minute, the U.S. was able to strike against the run of play.
Playing the ball up the center of the field, U.S. midfielder Rolando Muñoz lifted a pass over the top of Turkey’s defense for forward Mukwelle Akale. The speedy forward, one of the youngest players in the U-17 Residency Program, was able to split the two center backs and settle the pass that came in over his shoulder. Showing good awareness, the Minnesota native chipped a shot over the oncoming goalkeeper and watched as the ball rolled into the back of the net before a defender could reach it.
Akale’s 24th-minute goal was his second of the year for the U-17 MNT.
Following the goal, the U.S. earned more of a share in possession, developing better movement on the attack. Midfielder Emerson Hyndman, a member of Fulham FC’s U-19 Academy team in England, worked his way through the Turkish defense in the 34th minute before combining with Cameron Lindley and Akale to set up a cross for Ahinga Selemani. The forward’s good look on goal was deflected, however, but one minute later another opportunity arrived.
Selemani took a pass in stride from Sebastian Elney and ripped a left-footed shot that the goalkeeper was able to push over the crossbar and out for a corner kick.
Following another series that saw a close shot in the box by Akale saved and Lindley’s rebound sail wide in the 44th minute, Turkey quickly attacked on the restart and found space down the left side. Firat Suçsuz was able to weave his way to the end line before cutting a pass back into the box that was just out of the reach of a U.S. defender. Turkey forward Enes Ünal calmly fired a shot past Evan Louro to tie the score at 1-1 right before halftime.
The win, coupled with an earlier 1-1 draw between Portugal and Brazil, sets up a do-or-die final match for the U.S. on Sunday against Portugal. Currently, the USA leads the group with four points and a plus-three goal differential while Portugal is tied with the U.S. with four points, but trails in goal differential.
Should the U.S. draw against Portugal and Brazil beat Turkey, Brazil can win the tournament if they can win by four goals to overcome the USA’s lead in goal differential.
If Portugal defeats the U.S., the European nation will take home the title.
--U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report--
Match: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Turkey
Date: Nov. 30, 2012
Competition: 2012 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 76 degrees, mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
TUR 1 0 1
USA – Mukwelle Akale (Rolando Muñoz ) 24th minute
TUR – Enes Ünal (Firat Suçsuz) 44
USA – Shaquell Moore (penalty kick) 71
USA – Rubio Rubin (Alan Winn) 82
USA – Alan Winn (Rubio Rubin) 85
USA: 12-Evan Louro; 2-Elijah Martin, 4-Shaquell Moore (capt.), 6-Cameron Lindley, 9-Ahinga Selemani (3-John Requejo Jr., 90), 13-Peter Schropp, 14-Sebastian Elney (11-Rubio Rubin, 62), 15-Jordan Cano, 18-Rolando Muñoz (16-Ben Swanson, 61), 19-Mukwelle Akale (17-Alan Winn, 62), 20-Emerson Hyndman (10-Corey Baird, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Paul Christensen, 5-Conor Donovan, 7-Junior Flores, 8-Christopher Lema
Head Coach: Richie Williams
TUR : 23-Ubeyd Adiyaman; 2-Savaş Polat, 4-Egemen Zengin, 6-İbrahim Serdar Aydin, 7-Burak Camoğlu (8-Zafer Çuvalci, 78), 9-Batuhan Altintaş (19-Furkan Yaman, 45), 10-Kaan Baysal, 13-Hasan Tuzcu, 15-Umut Bozok, 16-Enes Ünal (17-Kenan Tepe, 80), 18-Firat Suçsuz
Subs not used: 1-Çağlar Duhan Akdağ, 3-Samet Acar, 5-Emre Akyüz, 11-Berk Yildiz, 12-Fatih Demirlek, 14-Muhammed Ari
Head Coach: Tamer Sivrikaya
Stats Summary: USA / TUR
Shots: 14 / 10
Shots on Goal: 8 / 10
Saves: 9 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1
Referee: Cedric Adams (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Brandon Rinkenberger (USA)
Fourth Official: Lance Vanhaitsma (USA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Shaquell Moore