LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2014) – Guided by a balanced attack and a strong defense, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team took down England 3-1 on its opening match of the 2014 Nike International Friendlieson Friday night at the Premier Sports Campus.
U.S. midfielder Christian Pulisic led the USA with a brace. Pulisic’s goals were No. 15 and 16 on his international tally this year. Additionally, U.S. goalkeeper Kevin Silva had an incredible outing, finishing with six saves and improving to 8-1-2 on the year.
The contested matchup had back-and-forth moments, but it was the USA that quickly gained the upper hand. U.S. midfielder Josh Perez had an active game and created some strong scoring chances in the opening minutes. In the 11th minute, Perez sent in a beauty of a wide left cross to Alejandro Zendejas who kicked the ball into the back of the net with his left foot for a 1-0 USA lead.
The USA continued to threaten offensively while maintaining a strong presence in the back to keep England off of the score sheet.
A corner in the 18th minute was a dangerous one from England, but Silva kept his cool and punched it out to avoid the equalizer.
The USA had another strong opportunity in the 21st minute when a crafty play from Perez on the left side sent a ball straight to the middle for Haji Wright who could not control it.
England had a strong attack over the following minutes, including a dangerous opportunity from William Patchings’ free kick that sailed just wide. But the combination of England’s missed chances and Silva’s ability to come up with several key saves maintained a steady presence in the back while allowing the USA to work the ball back into the offensive third.
The U.S. added to its lead shortly after defender Matthew Olosunde’s shot struck Adetayo Edun, who was called for a hand ball in the box. In the 40th minute, Pulisic stepped up to the penalty spot and nailed his kick into the right corner for a 2-0 lead.
The intensity continued in the second half as the USA threatened and attacked early. Perez’s shot went just wide in the 48th minute, but in the following offensive attack, Zendejas nudged the ball to Pulisic who sank it on the near right post of the net and open up the game wide for the USA, giving the Red, White and Blue a commanding 3-0 lead.
England continued to fight for the remainder of the game and had a couple of missed opportunities. On the first minute of stoppage time, however, Layton N’dukwu passed the ball in from the left side of the box and connected with Daniel Wright, who slotted the ball into the net and prevent a U.S. shutout.
The U.S. and Brazil opened the tournament with wins, but Brazil currently holds first place based on goal differential.
Next, the USA will face Brazil and England will play Australia on Sunday, Nov. 30, with the first game scheduled for 3 p.m. ET and the latter at 6 p.m. ET. All games at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies are shown live on ussoccer.com.
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. England
Date: Nov. 28, 2014
Competition: 2014 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: 53 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
ENG 0 1 1
USA – Alejandro Zendejas (Josh Perez) 11th minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (penalty) 40
USA – Christian Pulisic (Alejandro Zendejas) 48
ENG – Daniel Wright (Layton N’dukwu) 90+1
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 2-Matthew Olosunde (19-Tyler Adams, 46), 3-John Nelson, 4-Alexis Velela, 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 7-Haji Wright, 8-Luca de la Torre (16-Thomas McCabe, 84), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (17-McKinze Gaines, 83), 10-Christian Pulisic (20-Keegan Kelly, 84), 11-Josh Perez (18-Pierre Da Silva, 66), 14-Daniel Barbir
Subs Not Used: 5-Hugo Arellano, 12-William Pulisic, 13-Logan Panchot, 15-Tanner Dieterich,
Head Coach: Richie Williams
ENG: 13-Alfie Whiteman; 2-James Yates (12-Kyron Stabana, 80), 3-Adetayo Edun, 4-Tom Davies (capt.) (20-Daniel Wright, 80), 6-Cameron Humphreys-Grant, 7-Nathan Holland (17-Ike Ugbo, 70), 9-Lukas Nmecha (8-Adam Phillips, 61), 11-Layton N’dukwu, 15-Danny Collinge (5-Reece Oxford, 70), 18-William Patching, 19-Jahmal Hector-Ingram
Subs Not Used: 1-Paul Woolston, 10-Marcus Edwards, 14-Trent Arnold, 16-Easah Suliman
Head Coach: John Peacock
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 0 / 1
USA – Daniel Barbir (caution) 30th minute
USA – Luca de la Torre (caution) 60
Referee: Mark Allatin (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose J. Da Silva (USA)
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street (USA)