LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida (Nov. 30, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated the Australia Under-17 Men’s National Team 2-1 in the nightcap of the second day of the 2014 Nike International Friendlies at the Premier Sports Campus.
Goals by forward McKinze Gaines in the 15th minute and midfielder Luca de la Torre in the 69th minute lifted the USA past the Joeys after an early goal from Australian captain Joe Caletti had given Australia the 1-0 lead.
It was Gaines’ fifth goal of the year and his U-17 tenure, and de la Torre scored his first U-17 goal.
With the victory, the USA is in a strong position to repeat as Nike International Friendlies champion. The U.S. is 2-0-0 (6 points) and needs a win or a draw against Brazil (1-0-1, 4 points) on Tuesday, Dec. 2, to clinch the tournament title. Tuesday’s game kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and will be live on ussoccer.com.
The U.S. U17 MNT began Sunday’s game slightly off balance as Australia went on the attack early with a shot in the second minute that was just tipped by U.S. goalkeeper William Pulisic. On the following play, Australia’s corner kick was batted away by Pulisic, but Caletti ran onto the deflected ball just outside the box and slotted it into the right side of the net for the 1-0 lead.
After a couple of missed shots to the far post by both teams, the USA regrouped and began creating some opportunities. The best one came on the 15th minute when forward Pierre Da Silva played the ball into the penalty box area through the left side and sent a cross to a perfectly placed Gaines, who kicked it right into the middle back of the net, tying the score at one apiece.
“I didn’t need to do much,” Gaines said of converting the goal. “Pierre did a lot of the work; it was a great cross. He just found me right in front of the goal and I just had to tap it in.”
In the second half, the USA threatened early after making three subs to open the second half. In the 50th minute, a free kick by Da Silva hit forward Haji Wright in the knee on what would have otherwise been an open lane toward the goal.
Australia responded with a couple of good opportunities, especially a free kick shot on the 60th minute, but the USA was the one that converted when it mattered.
In the 69th minute, Australia turned the ball over in its half and the USA took advantage. Wright dropped the ball off for de la Torre, who fired right-footed from nearly 25 yards out and into the upper left corner for the 2-1 lead and ultimately the game-winner.
The USA had one more big opportunity in the closing minutes of the game to add to its tally. During an 86th-minute free kick from midfielder Christian Pulisic, de la Torre received the ball and tried to kick it into the net, however Australia’s goalkeeper Brandon Osipov punched it out. U.S. defender Daniel Barbir got the rebound and tried to head it home, but the shot hit the crossbar. After hitting the woodwork, Osipov jumped up and grabbed it before allowing any potential rebound.
The 2014 Nike International Friendlies conclude on Tuesday, Dec. 2, with Australia taking on England at 3 p.m. ET and the USA facing Brazil for the tournament title at 6 p.m. ET. Both games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.
- Nike International Friendlies Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Australia U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Nov. 30, 2014
Competition: 2014 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
AUS 1 0 1
AUS – Joe Caletti 3rd minute
USA – McKinze Gaines (Pierre Da Silva) 15th
USA – Luca de la Torre (Haji Wright) 69th
USA: 12-William Pulisic; 5-Hugo Arellano (14-Daniel Barbir, 46), 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (9-Alejandro Zendejas, 46), 11-Josh Perez (7-Haji Wright, 46), 13-Logan Panchot, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 16-Thomas McCabe, 17-McKinze Gaines (8-Luca de la Torre, 60), 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Tyler Adams, 20-Keegan Kelly (10-Christian Pulisic, 59)
Subs Not Used: 1-Kevin Silva; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 3-John Nelson, 4-Alexis Velela
Head Coach: Richie Williams
AUS: 12-Brandon Osipov; 2-Malcolm Ward, 5-Zac Speth, 6-Joe Caletti (capt.) (17-Nicholas Panetta, 50), 7-Daniel Maskin (22-Cameron Joice, 50), 8-Daniel Arzani (10-Jamie Dimitroff, 76), 9-Panos Armenakas (24-Marc Tokich, 70), 11-Peter Kekeris (15-Jackson Bandiera, 76), 16-Danny Kim (14-Solomon Monahan-Vaiika, 70), 20-Perry Fotakopoulos, 23-Kosta Petratos
Subs Not Used: 13-Christian Verbi, 18-James Delianov
Head Coach: Tony Vidmar
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 10 / 8
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 0
Fouls: 16 / 16
Offside: 2 / 3
AUS – Danny Kim (caution) 39th minute
Referee: Chipalo Street (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Chris Hutchison (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Caleb Mendez (USA)
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is back in action at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies when it faces Australia at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 30, at the Premier Sports Campus. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and will be live on ussoccer.com. The USA (1-0-0) is coming off a 3-1 victory against England on Friday, Nov. 28.
The USA-Australia match is preceded by a 3 p.m. game featuring Brazil (1-0-0) and England (0-1-0). Brazil holds first place in the tournament based on goal differential.
All four remaining games at the Nike Friendlies are live on ussoccer.com, with the USA game serving as the night cap on every day of competition. The U.S. U-17 MNT will close out the tournament against Brazil on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Fans can also follow all matches live on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
This marks the USA’s last major tournament of the year as the focus will then turn toward preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship from Feb. 27-March 14 in Honduras.
The USA is in good spirits after a strong opener and hopes the momentum stays on its side against Australia on Sunday.
“Nike Friendlies are always excellent because you’re always going to get good competition – we always look forward to these games,” U.S. U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams said. “It’s just another great experience and opportunity for our players to play tough, international teams from around the world. The expectations from winning it last year are that we want to come back and win it again. It’s only been one game so far, so we’ve got two more difficult games and we’ve got to make sure we show up with the same mentality that we did for England and get two more good results.”
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Australia U-17
2014 Nike International Friendlies
Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Nov. 30, 2014
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Kevin Silva (PDA), 12-William Pulisic (Richmond United)
DEFENDERS (8): 2- Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy), 3- John Nelson (Internationals), 4-Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf), 5-Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy), 13-Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), 14-Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion), 15-Daniel Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal), 8-Luca de la Torre (Fulham), 9-Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas), 10-Christian Pulisic (Unattached), 16-Thomas McCabe (PDA), 20-Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic)
FORWARDS (4): 7-Haji Wright (Unattached), 11-Josh Perez (Unattached), 17-McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC), 18-Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club)
USA ROSTER NOTES:
- The USA opened up the 2014 Nike International Friendlies with a 3-1 victory over England on Nov. 28.
- Midfielder Christian Pulisic led the way with two goals and Alejandro Zendejas tallied a goal and an assist for the USA.
- Pulisic now has 16 goals on the year, upping his career U-17 MNT total to 17 over a span of 25 games.
- Goalkeeper Kevin Silva recorded six saves against England and is now 8-1-2 on the year.
- Forward Haji Wright played in his 20th game of 2014 for the USA. He is tied with McKinze Gaines for the most appearances on the roster.
- Wright is the leading scorer for the U.S. in 2014 with 18 goals in 20 international matches and has added five assists. His career total with the U-17 National Team stands at 24 goals in 24 matches, racking up 20 of his 24 caps this year alone.
- Wright has had three hat tricks this year, including a four-goal game against Montenegro. He has also featured for the U.S. U-18 MNT in 2014, winning a championship title at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic in mid-August.
- Wright, Pulisic, Matthew Olosunde and Eric Calvillo all made their 16th start against England to lead all players in starts in 2014.
- The USA is the defending champion of this event, earning last year’s crown with a 4-1 victory against Brazil in the finale on Dec. 13, 2013.
- The U-17 MNT is coming off a three-game tournament in Chile from Nov. 18-22, with draws against host Chile and Qatar and a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Brazil after rallying from a two-goal deficit.
- U-17 head coach Richie Williams’ side has enjoyed a successful 2014. The team has compiled a 16-6-3 international record and a 17-6-7 mark overall.
- Wright Stuff: Forward and Young AOTY Nominee Enjoying Strong Year
- U.S. U-17 MNT Soars Past England on First Day of Nike Internationals Friendlies
- U-17 MNT’s Wright, Pulisic Among Nominees for Young Male Athlete of the Year
- Christian Pulisic, U-17 MNT Riding Yearlong Wave of Success (video)
IN FOCUS: Australia
Football Federation Australia
FIFA affiliation: 1963
Head Coach: Tony Vidmar
AUSTRALIA U-17 ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Brandon Osipov (FFA Centre of Excellence), 18-James Delianov (FFA Centre of Excellence)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Malcom Ward (FFA Centre of Excellence), 3-Henry Davis (FFA Centre of Excellence), 5-Zac Steph (FFA Centre of Excellence), 13-Christian Verbi (FFA Centre of Excellence), 14-Solomon Monahan-Vaiika (FFA Centre of Excellence), 15-Jackson Bandiera (FFA Centre of Excellence), 16-Danny Kim (FFA Centre of Excellence), 17-Nicholas Panetta (FFA Centre of Excellence), 20-Perry Fotakopoulos (FFA Centre of Excellence)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Joe Caletti (FFA Centre of Excellence), 7-Daniel Maskin (FFA Centre of Excellence), 8-Daniel Arzani (FFA Centre of Excellence), 9-Panos Armenakas (Udinese Calcio S.p.A. (Italy), 10-Jamie Dimitroff (FFA Centre of Excellence)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Peter Kekeris (FFA Centre of Excellence), Cameron Joice (FFA Centre of Excellence), Kosta Petratos (FFA Centre of Excellence), Marc Tokich (FFA Centre of Excellence)
AUSTRALIA U-17 ROSTER NOTES:
- Australia is looking to rebound after falling to Brazil 4-0 in its opening match of the 2014 Nike International Friendlies.
- During the match, Australia goalkeeper James Delianov made 12 saves, with eight coming in the second half.
- Defender Henry Davies will be serving a one-game suspension and will be out against the USA. Davies was ejected from the Brazil game after accumulating two yellow cards during the match.
- The Joeys have already qualified for next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile after downing Malaysia 2-1 in a quarterfinal at the AFC U-16 Championships in Thailand in September.
- The two authors of the goals against Malaysia that booked the Australian’s ticket were forward Cameron Joice and midfielder Daniel Maskin, both members of the Australian side currently in Lakewood Ranch set to face the USA on Nov. 30.