ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT: U-17 MNT Qualifies for 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team is headed to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup after taking down Jamaica 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout in the final playoff match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Tournament rules indicated that no extra time would be played if the teams remained tied at the end of regulation, thus the game was decided by penalty kicks following 90 minutes of scoreless play against the Caribbean nation. Next, the U-17 MNT awaits the official U-17 World Cup draw which will be announced at a later date.
- U-17 MNT's Christian Pulisic Living His Soccer Dream: U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team midfielder and PA Classics alum Christian Pulisic chatted with ussoccer.com about embarking on a road not often traveled by most 16 year-olds, one that includes training in Europe alongside German stars Mats Hummels and Marco Reus at Borussia Dortmund.
- Luca de la Torre Making His Way at Fulham : ussoccer.com spoke with Nomads and San Diego Surf alum Luca de La Torre about signing with Fulham and his development as a player at the London club.
- Rejuvenated Gallardo: ussoccer.com caught up with Nomads alum Joe Gallardo who discussed his leg injury in August and how that has strengthened him, both physically and mentally, during his return. Gallardo also sat down with ussoccer.com for a Q&A in Spanish.
World Cup-Bound: U-17 MNT vs. Jamaica- March 15, 2015:
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ACADEMY QUICK HITS (March 14-15):
- West Conference: Spencer Held scored a game-winning goal in the 90th minute to secure Real So Cal U-17/18s 3-2 victory over Chivas USA in the Western Division on Saturday. Held has scored a team-leading 22 goals in 25 games played this season. Matthew Gooden tallied both goals for Chivas USA, including one in the 90th minute, but the team was unable to overcome Real So Cal's early attack. James Handal and Jamoke Hutton scored the other two goals for the victors. It was Handal's 10th goal of the season, a team second-best, and Hutton's first score of the year. With the win, Real So Cal remains in control in the Wildcard Pool in second place, while Chivas is out at the moment as its sits in the 13th position.
- Central Conference: Second half sub Caleb Young came up huge for FC Dallas U-17/18s when he notched the sole goal of the match for either side in the 90th minute to give his team the 1-0 victory over Lonestar SC on Sunday. FC Dallas now sits second in the division and remains in contention for a playoff spot. It was Young's seventh goal in eight games this season. Crew SC Academy and Shattuck-Saint Mary's U-17/18s teams played to a 2-2 draw after an exciting game of back-and-forth scoring between both teams. Omar Mohamed opened the score sheet on the 31st minute for Crew SC, but a 36-minute goal by Bryan Missana from Shattuck quickly equalized the match before the half. Once again, Crew SC went on top with a tally from Edward Folds in the 71st, yet Shattuck immediately found the back of the net with a 72nd-minute goal from Kalim Amokachi. The draw proved to be enough for Shattuck to stay atop conference standings.
- East Conference: Amadu Kunateh tallied a late first half goal and later added a second in the 71st minute, as New England Revolution U-17/18s beat Albertson SC 3-2 on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Albertson was able to tie the game 1-1 on the 56th minute with a goal from Kevin Arriola, and then take the lead few minutes later with a 65th-minute score from Matthew Rosenberg. The Revs came back however, as Bryant Nardizzi scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd to seal New England's victory at home. The matchup between the sides was a crucial one in the conference as they now have equal records but New England is third on the standings and Albertson fourth, due to their head-to-head result. Joshua Coan lifted Capital Area RailHawks-CASL U-15/16s past South Carolina United Battery Academy 4-3 on Sunday after notching the game-winning goal in the 79th minute. Coan's goal was the exclamation point on a three-goal comeback from the RailHawks who had gone into halftime down 3-1 after SC United Battery's Kellan O'Hara's brace gave his team a 2-0 advantage and Austin Tuggle added an extra tally in the first half. Alexander Rose scored twice for the RailHawks, putting them on the board in the 19th and tying the game in the 67th. Jose Morales was responsible for sparking the comeback with a goal three minutes into the second half. The win keeps the RailHawks second in the conference and with a solid grasp on a playoff spot.
- Academy Player of the Week: D.C. United and U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team midfielder Eryk Williamson earned Academy Player of the Week during the U-17/18 team's 5-1 victory against Players Development Academy on Saturday. Williamson received high ratings for his outstanding performance, including a hat trick, and bringing the midfielder's goals per game percentage to just over a goal per game. In 12 games played this season, he has scored 13 goals. With the win, D.C. United improves to 11-4-0 this season and remains in second place in the Atlantic Division.
- Academy Referee of the Week: Jaroslaw Werel, a 34-year old Grade 4 referee from Pennsylvania, was named Academy Referee of the Week for receiving high marks during the U-15/16 match between PA Classics and Richmond United. Werel has worked Academy matches since 2010, in addition to Premier Development League, United Soccer League, National Teams, Open Cup, MLS Reserve, Dallas Cup, National Premier Soccer League and National Women Soccer League games.
For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
U-23 MNT Heads to Europe for Prep Matches against Bosnia and Denmark : The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team will travel to Bosnia and Denmark for a camp running March 23-April 1 in its preparation for Olympic qualifying later this year. The U-23s, headed by Men's National Team assistant coach Andi Herzog, will play Bosnia on Friday, March 27, in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and then travel to face Denmark on Tuesday, March 31. This marks the USA's first camp of the year.
U-16 BNT Concludes Netherlands International Tournament: The U.S. Under-16 Boys' National Team wrapped up the Netherlands International Tournament on Sunday against the Netherlands in Rotterdam, dropping its final match 3-1. The USA's camp ran through March 16 and 18 of the 21 players that participated are currently playing in the Development Academy.
Academy Coaching Spotlight: Molding the Elite Player: LA Galaxy U-15/16 head coach Mike Munoz spoke with ussoccer.com about how U.S. Soccer and the LA Galaxy are working together to provide an effective development model for players from the youth level all the way up to the first team.
- D.C. United: Doyle Doesn't Duck the Chance
- Portland Timbers: Darlington Nagbe Earns MLS Player of the Week Award
- mlssoccer.com: Union Midfielder Zach Pfeffer Pushing for Starting Spot
- San Jose Earthquakes: Reliving Fatai Alash's MLS Debut Against FC Dallas
- Sporting Kansas City: Academy U-18's Move Into Playoff Position
- Sporting Kansas City: Amadou "T" Dia Rises from MLS Combine Snub to SKC Starter
- Alejandro Zendejas back with FC Dallas after competing with U-17 MNT at 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship