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US Soccer

U-17 MNT Battles Portugal to 1-1 Draw in 2018 Nike International Friendlies Opener

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2018)—The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Portugal 1-1 in its first match of the 2018 Nike International Friendlies. A back-and-forth affair for 90 minutes, opportunistic play from Griffin Yow on the high press gave the U.S. the lead in the 36th minute, but a field-stretching service and perfect final pass from Portugal equalized the game late. The teams are now tied for second at the Friendlies behind Brazil, who won the day’s first game 1-0 over Turkey.

The USA took the initiative in the early-going, pressuring Portugal high, but the Europeans proved dangerous in transition. While the U.S. held most of the possession and showcased some strong build-up at the start, Portugal fired off the first dangerous chances and goalkeeper Damian Las and the U.S. back line were called into action to keep the game scoreless. Defender Adam Armour was forced to make a goal-line clearance in just the sixth minute as Rafael Brito fed a number of balls into the box and the Portuguese threatened on several set-pieces.

As the half wore on, Portugal stepped up its own pressure, but Las and the defense held strong. The tide turned in the 36th minute, when Daniel Rodrigues put too much on a pass back to the Portuguese back line and forward Griffin Yow jumped on the mistake, slotting it home for the game’s opening goal. Yow continued to be dangerous as the half wore on, quick to pressure the Portuguese defense and creating chances in the box.

The end-to-end action continued in the second half. Midfielder Giovanni Reyna pulled off some impressive dribbles to spark the U.S. attack, but the U-17s were unable to extend their lead as the game wore on. While the USA defense held strong for most of the half, a flood of Portuguese subs provided fresh legs and helped find the breakthrough in the 81st minute. Beating his man down the left wing, Gerson Sousa played a perfect ball in to Tiago Tomas near the goal line and he slid to send the ball to the back of the net and equalize.

The USA had a last-gasp effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when a long ball from Las bounced past the Portugal defense and found Reyna on the run. He ripped at goal, but Portuguese goalkeeper Samuel Soares saved it and the U.S. wasn’t able to put a follow-up attempt on-frame.

Up next, the U-17s continue the Nike International Friendlies on Fri., Nov. 30 against Turkey at 6:30 p.m. ET (ussoccer.comFacebookYouTube). Portugal will take on Brazil in the first game of the day at 3:30 p.m. ET.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Standings

Team

W

L

D

GD

Pts.

Brazil

1

0

0

1

3

Portugal

0

0

1

0

1

USA

0

0

1

0

1

Turkey

0

1

0

-1

0

Goal Scoring Rundown 

USA - Griffin Yow, 36th minute:
As Portugal attempted to build-out possession after stopping a U.S. attack, Daniel Rodrigues played back to the defense to restart things. But the midfielder was too hard with his ball to Tomas Araujo, whose first touch went awry. Yow pounced on the mistake. As the Portugal goalkeeper rushed towards the ball, Yow slotted it one-time to the left post to give the USA the opening lead. USA 1, POR 0

POR - Tiago Tomas, (Gerson Sousa), 81st minute
Portugal’s left center back launched a long ball downfield, and Gerson Sousa beat his marking defender by a few steps on the left wing to control the service. He took a few dribbles in towards the box, and dropped a perfectly-placed pass near the goal line, where Tiago Tomas rushed in and slid to drive the ball to the back of the net, knotting things up at one. USA 1, POR 1

Key Defensive Stops 

Damian Las and Adam Armour, 6th minute
Portugal threatened early when Daniel Rodrigues got his head on a nice ball into the box and put it on-frame. Las got in front of the attempt, but his save bounced to the feet of Bruno Tavares. Armour did well to recover quickly and clear away Tavares’ attempt from the goal line.

Damian Las, 52nd minute
Bruno Tavares sent a well-placed free kick to the far corner of the six-yard-box, where Rafael Brito dove to get his head on the ball and push it to the near post. Las held his position and dove to his right, saving the attempt.    

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U-17 MNT Nov 28, 2018

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Portugal
Date: November 28, 2018
Competition: 2018 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Attendance: TBD
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 53 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary:           1             2             F
USA                                      1             0             1
POR                                     0             1             1

USA – Griffin Yow                                          36th minute
POR – Tiago Tomás (Gerson Sousa)           81

Lineups:
USA: 1-Damian Las, 2-Joe Scally, 3-Adam Armour, 4-Axel Aleandre, 5-Kobe Hernandez, 6-Tayvon Gray, 8-Adam Saldana (18-Peter Stroud, 80), 9-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (19-Ricardo Pepi, 64), 10-Giovanni Reyna (capt.), 11-Griffin Yow (17-Cameron Dunbar, 90), 16-William Reilly
Substitutes not used: 7-André Luiz Costa, 12-Chituru Odunze, 14-Mason Judge, 15-Sebastian Falsone, 20-Daniel Robles, 21-Gianluca Busio
Head Coach: Shaun Tsakiris

POR: 1-Samuel Soares, 2-Rafael Rodrigues (15-Leonardo Buta, 84), 3-Tomás Araújo, 4-Eduardo Quaresma (capt.) (14-Felipe Cruz, 70), 5-Rafael Brito, 6-Joáo Daniel, 7-Henrique Pereira (9-Francisco Conceicão, 70), 10-Paulo Bernardo, 16-Bruno Tavares (17-Gerson Sousa, 55), 18-Tiago Tomás, 20-Daniel Rodrigues (19-Gonçalo Batalha, 70)
Substitutes not used: 8-Tiago Ribeiro, 11-Pedro Silva, 12-Sérgio Dutra, 13-Rodrigo Rêgo,
Head coach: Emilio Peixe

Stats Summary: USA / POR
Shots: X / X
Shots on Goal: X / X
Saves: X / X
Corner Kicks: X / X
Fouls: X / X
Offside: X / X

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Adam Armour (caution)    32nd minute
USA – William Reilly (caution)     51
USA – Joe Scally (caution)             87

Officials:
Referee: Elijio Arreguín (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cephas Quartson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Rodman (USA)
4th Official: Charles Murphy (USA)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: TBD

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US Soccer

U-17 MNT Battles Portugal to 1-1 Draw in 2018 Nike International Friendlies Opener

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2018)—The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Portugal 1-1 in its first match of the 2018 Nike International Friendlies. A back-and-forth affair for 90 minutes, opportunistic play from Griffin Yow on the high press gave the U.S. the lead in the 36th minute, but a field-stretching service and perfect final pass from Portugal equalized the game late. The teams are now tied for second at the Friendlies behind Brazil, who won the day’s first game 1-0 over Turkey.

The USA took the initiative in the early-going, pressuring Portugal high, but the Europeans proved dangerous in transition. While the U.S. held most of the possession and showcased some strong build-up at the start, Portugal fired off the first dangerous chances and goalkeeper Damian Las and the U.S. back line were called into action to keep the game scoreless. Defender Adam Armour was forced to make a goal-line clearance in just the sixth minute as Rafael Brito fed a number of balls into the box and the Portuguese threatened on several set-pieces.

As the half wore on, Portugal stepped up its own pressure, but Las and the defense held strong. The tide turned in the 36th minute, when Daniel Rodrigues put too much on a pass back to the Portuguese back line and forward Griffin Yow jumped on the mistake, slotting it home for the game’s opening goal. Yow continued to be dangerous as the half wore on, quick to pressure the Portuguese defense and creating chances in the box.

The end-to-end action continued in the second half. Midfielder Giovanni Reyna pulled off some impressive dribbles to spark the U.S. attack, but the U-17s were unable to extend their lead as the game wore on. While the USA defense held strong for most of the half, a flood of Portuguese subs provided fresh legs and helped find the breakthrough in the 81st minute. Beating his man down the left wing, Gerson Sousa played a perfect ball in to Tiago Tomas near the goal line and he slid to send the ball to the back of the net and equalize.

The USA had a last-gasp effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when a long ball from Las bounced past the Portugal defense and found Reyna on the run. He ripped at goal, but Portuguese goalkeeper Samuel Soares saved it and the U.S. wasn’t able to put a follow-up attempt on-frame.

Up next, the U-17s continue the Nike International Friendlies on Fri., Nov. 30 against Turkey at 6:30 p.m. ET (ussoccer.comFacebookYouTube). Portugal will take on Brazil in the first game of the day at 3:30 p.m. ET.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Standings

Team

W

L

D

GD

Pts.

Brazil

1

0

0

1

3

Portugal

0

0

1

0

1

USA

0

0

1

0

1

Turkey

0

1

0

-1

0

Goal Scoring Rundown 

USA - Griffin Yow, 36th minute:
As Portugal attempted to build-out possession after stopping a U.S. attack, Daniel Rodrigues played back to the defense to restart things. But the midfielder was too hard with his ball to Tomas Araujo, whose first touch went awry. Yow pounced on the mistake. As the Portugal goalkeeper rushed towards the ball, Yow slotted it one-time to the left post to give the USA the opening lead. USA 1, POR 0

POR - Tiago Tomas, (Gerson Sousa), 81st minute
Portugal’s left center back launched a long ball downfield, and Gerson Sousa beat his marking defender by a few steps on the left wing to control the service. He took a few dribbles in towards the box, and dropped a perfectly-placed pass near the goal line, where Tiago Tomas rushed in and slid to drive the ball to the back of the net, knotting things up at one. USA 1, POR 1

Key Defensive Stops 

Damian Las and Adam Armour, 6th minute
Portugal threatened early when Daniel Rodrigues got his head on a nice ball into the box and put it on-frame. Las got in front of the attempt, but his save bounced to the feet of Bruno Tavares. Armour did well to recover quickly and clear away Tavares’ attempt from the goal line.

Damian Las, 52nd minute
Bruno Tavares sent a well-placed free kick to the far corner of the six-yard-box, where Rafael Brito dove to get his head on the ball and push it to the near post. Las held his position and dove to his right, saving the attempt.    

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U-17 MNT Nov 28, 2018
US Soccer

U-17 MNT Set to Kick Off 2018 Nike International Friendlies Against Portugal

USA READY FOR 18TH ANNUAL NIKE FRIENDLIES: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will close out 2018 with one of youth soccer’s premier annual events: the Nike International Friendlies. After compiling an 8-4-2 record so far this year, the USA will take on three strong international squads in Portugal, Turkey and Brazil at the Premier Sports Campus in Bradenton, Fla. All four teams are preparing to qualify for next fall’s 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru. The U.S. kicks things off against Portugal on Wed., Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET (ussoccer.com, Facebook, YouTube).

TSAKIRIS NAMES FINAL TOURNAMENT ROSTER: As the Nike International Friendlies begin, acting U-17 MNT head coach Shaun Tsakiris has named his final 20-player roster for the tournament.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 11/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta; 3/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 12/0), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 8/0), 15-Sebastian Falsone (Virginia Development Academy; Warrenton, Va.; 0/0), 6-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 7/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 11/1), 14-Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.; 10/0), 2-Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 11/1)
MIDFIELDERS (5):  7-Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; Madrid, Spain; 0/0), 16-William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.; 2/0), 10-Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 5/1), 8-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 14/1), 18-Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.; 12/0)
FORWARDS (6): 21-Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC; Greensboro, N.C.; 6/1), 17-Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.; 0/0), 9-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 12/5), 19-Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 3/0), 20-Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.; 5/0), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 3/2)

Forward Gianluca Busio joins the squad in Bradenton, while goalkeeper Trace Alphin, defender Jonathan Gomez, midfielder Masango Akale and forwards Ruben Hernandez and Alex Villanueva will return to their clubs and compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, running concurrently with the Friendlies in Bradenton.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Schedule 

Date

Match-up

Time (ET)

Nov. 28

Brazil vs. Turkey

3:30 p.m.

Nov. 28

USA vs. Portugal

6:30 p.m.

Nov. 30

Brazil vs. Portugal

3:30 p.m.

Nov. 30

USA vs. Turkey

6:30 p.m.

Dec. 2

Portugal vs. Turkey

2:30 p.m.

Dec. 2

USA vs. Brazil

5:30 p.m.

HOW TO FOLLOW: The 2018 Nike International Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, Facebook, and YouTube. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram.

THIS YEAR FOR THE USA: The U.S. U-17s have already played 14 international games in 2018, putting together an 8-4-2 record as they prepare for next spring’s 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. The USA kicked off the year at April’s Sportchain Cup in Benicassim, Spain, where four straight victories over India and Norway propelled the U.S. to the tournament title. Midfielder Giovanni Reyna scored the game-winner in stoppage time of the final game against Norway to clinch first place. Over the summer, the U-17 MNT went 2-1-1 in a four-game set played in Costa Rica against Los Ticos and Mexico. October saw the USA compete in back-to-back international tournaments. At Mexico’s 4 Nations Tournament, the U-17s faced off with the hosts, Argentina and Chile, while England’s U17 International Youth Tournament featured showdowns against the Three Lions, Nike Friendlies opponent Brazil and Russia. Two late comeback wins in the final two games clinched second place for the USA in England.

FAMILIAR FOES: This year’s Friendlies field is filled with familiar foes. Brazil has appeared at every installment of the Nike Friendlies since it assumed its current format in 2008, and also sent teams to earlier editions in 2006 and 2007. Portugal and Turkey have appeared at the competition four of ten times since 2008, tied with England for second-most all-time.

REPPING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE: Tsakiris has selected a mix of newcomers and players experienced at the U-17 level for his Friendlies roster. Sixteen players have been capped with this age group, led by midfielder Adam Saldana with 14, while four will hope to make their first appearance in their first U-17 call-up. Seattle Sounders FC forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez enters the Friendlies as the U-17s’ leading scorer, with five career goals.

Sixteen clubs are represented on the roster, with the most players, three, coming from LA Galaxy. Eighteen of the 20 players on the final roster have spent time playing in the Development Academy, and the team features four players that took home national championships in the Academy last summer: Reyna and Joseph Scally with New York City FC U-18/19 as well as Ocampo-Chavez and Robles with Seattle Sounders FC U-16/17.

ONE YEAR LATER: Eight players return from last winter’s Nike International Friendlies: goalkeeper Damian Las, defenders Axel Alejandre, Mason Judge and Joseph Scally, midfielders Adam Saldana and Peter Stroud and forwards Gianluca Busio and Alfonso Ocampo Chavez. Last year, the USA fell 1-0 in its opener to the reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup champion England, despite a stand-out performance from goalkeeper Damian Las. After a shake-up in the starting XI, the U.S. fell 5-1 to the Netherlands but finished on a high note with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Brazil.

FRIENDLIES HISTORY: Founded in 2001 to challenge the U-17 Men’s National Team against elite competition, the tournament has grown tremendously as the 18th annual edition kicks off. Originally, the U-17s would face high-quality club teams with an international opponent sprinkled in, but the event assumed its current format in 2008. Last year, Brazil took home the tournament title, and the South Americans are historically the most-successful team at the Friendlies, with five championships. 

Nike International Friendlies Champions

Brazil

2008, 2009, 2014, 2017

USA

2011, 2013, 2016

England

2015

Portugal

2012

Turkey

2010

The Friendlies have proven to be a prime platform for players bound for the full international level. Seven players on the latest MNT roster competed at the Friendlies: Kellyn Acosta (2010), Tyler Adams (2014), Shaq Moore (2011, 2012), Christian Pulisic (2014), Josh Sargent (2015, 2016), Luca de la Torre (2013, 2014) and Tim Weah (2016).

Many current international stars have also passed through the Premier Sports Campus for the Nike International Friendlies. Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo all played at the tournament, as well as the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay and England’s Jadon Sancho, among others. Thirteen players from England’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup championship run participated in the 2015 event, Sancho included.

ROSTER NOTES

  • The U.S. roster is made up of 19 players born in 2002 and one born in 2003.
  • Forty-three players have appeared for the U-17 MNT in 2018, and three more have the opportunity to earn first caps at the Friendlies, their first U-17 call-up: Andre Luiz Costa, Cameron Dunbar and Sebastian Falsone.
  • Sixteen clubs are represented on the roster, with the most players, three, coming from LA Galaxy. Two players each come from New York City FC and Seattle Sounders FC.
  • Eighteen of 20 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
  • Eight players earned Conference Best XI honors after the 2017-18 Academy season: Alejandre (Central), Kobe Hernandez (West), Judge (East), Las (Central), Giovanni Reyna (East), Saldana (West), Scally (East), Yow (East).
  • Reyna was named Eastern Conference Player of the Year at the U-16/17 level after helping lead New York City FC U-18/19 to the Academy Championship.
  • Scally also played a key role in New York City FC’s run to the U-18/19 Development Academy Championship in 2018. He’s the only player on the roster currently signed as an MLS Homegrown player.  
  • Ocampo-Chavez and Daniel Robles helped lead Seattle Sounders FC to the U-16/17 Academy Championship last summer.
  • The pair both appeared for Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the United Soccer League this season. Kobe Hernandez and Saldana have also logged professional minutes with LA Galaxy II in the USL.
  • Four players currently play for clubs abroad: Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP), Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN), Stroud (West Ham United/ENG), though Odunze and the Whitecaps compete in the Development Academy.
  • With 14 caps, Saldana enters the Friendlies as the roster’s most-experienced player. Alejandre, Stroud and Ocampo Chavez rank second with 12 caps each.
  • Alejandre, Las and Saldana have appeared in all eight U-17 training camps/events this cycle, while Judge and Stroud have appeared in seven of eight.
  • Ocampo-Chavez enters the Friendlies as the team’s leading scorer this cycle with five goals. Forward Griffin Yow has tallied twice in his first three U-17 appearances.
  • Nine players return from the USA’s first appearance at the Concacaf U-15 Boys’ Championship in 2017: Alejandre, Busio, Judge, Las, Ocampo Chavez, Reyna, Saldana, Scally and Stroud.
  • Eleven states are represented on the roster, with the most players (four) coming from California. Three players come from New York, while two players were born internationally (Canada and Spain).
USA VS. PORTUGAL
  • The USA is 1-3-0 all-time against Portugal at the Nike Friendlies.
  • Most recently, the USA downed Portugal in dominant fashion, 7-1, in the opener of the 2016 Friendlies. Sargent netted a hat trick in the game, while Andrew Carleton also added two goals.
  • In 2013, the USA dropped a hard-fought loss to Portugal 2-1, after the Europeans found the game-winner in the first minute of stoppage time. Recent Bundesliga debutante Haji Wright got the U.S. on the board first with a 13th-minute goal.
  • A wild 4-3 win for Portugal in 2012 clinched them their first and only Nike Friendlies title against a U.S. team captained by current MNT defender Shaq Moore.

USA vs. Portugal at the Nike International Friendlies

Date

Result

U.S. Goal Scorers

Dec. 4, 2009

L 2-1

Gijon

Dec. 2, 2012

L 4-3

Selemani, Schropp, Winn

Dec. 9, 2013

L 2-1

Wright

Nov. 30, 2016

W 7-1

Carleton (2), Sargent (3), Akinola, McGann

  • Portugal has qualified for three U-17 World Cups and put together its best performance in 1989, finishing third.
  • Portugal has advanced from the first of two qualifying rounds for the 2019 UEFA U-17 Championship, the UEFA qualifying tournament for the U-17 World Cup.
  • In October, Portugal hosted qualifying Group 11 and went undefeated, downing Kazakhstan 10-0, Belarus 3-0 and Wales 5-1.
  • All 20 players on Portugal’s roster were born in 2002, the cut-off year for the 2019 U-17 World Cup.
  • Portugal’s roster comes from six clubs, with the most, nine, coming from perennial Portuguese power Benfica. Seven more come from Benfica’s Lisbon-based rival Sporting CP.
  • Midfielder Tiago Ribeiro is the only foreign-based player on the roster, currently at AS Monaco.
  • The U-17 MNT is 3-3-0 against European teams in the 2018-19 cycle so far.
  • Head coach Emilio Peixe has worked with the Portuguese federation since 2008. As a player, he won the Golden Boot as Portugal took home the 1991 U-20 World Cup on home soil and went on to play for all three of Portugal’s “big three” clubs, Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP.

Portugal - 2018 Nike International Friendlies Roster (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Sergio Dutra (Vitoria SC), 1-Samuel Soares (Benfica)
DEFENDERS (7): 3-Tomas Araujo (Benfica), 5-Rafael Brito (Benfica), 15-Leonardo Buta (SC Braga), 14-Filipe Cruz (Benfica), 2-Rafael Rodrigues (Benfica), 4-Eduardo Quaresma (Sporting CP), 13-Rodrigo Rêgo (Sporting CP)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 19-Gonçalo Batalha (Sporting CP), 10-Paulo Bernardo (Benfica), 6-João Daniel (Sporting CP), 8-Tiago Ribeiro (AS Monaco/FRA), 20-Daniel Rodrigues (Sporting CP)
FORWARDS (6): 11-Pedro Silva (Benfica), 7-Henrique Pereira (Benfica), 9-Francisco Conceição (FC Porto), 17-Gerson Sousa (Benfica), 16-Bruno Tavares (Sporting CP), 18-Tiago Tomas (Sporting CP)



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U-17 MNT Nov 28, 2018
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About the 2018 Men's Nike International Friendlies

The 2018 Men’s Nike International Friendlies kick off on Wed., Nov. 28 at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., as the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team closes out a very busy 2018. The final event of the year serves as preparation for this spring’s Concacaf Under-17 Championship, where the USA will attempt to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in Peru next October.

Here are five things you should know about one of the U.S. U-17 MNT’s premier annual events:

EVENT HISTORY

The Nike International Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide elite competition for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, and the tournament has evolved into one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar.

Originally, the U-17 MNT would face mainly club teams with an international team sprinkled in. That changed in 2008, when the competition adopted its current format that features the USA taking on three international invitees. The 2018 tournament will see the USA face off against Portugal on Nov. 28 (6:30 p.m. ET), Turkey on Nov. 30 (6:30 p.m. ET) and three-time U-17 World Cup champion Brazil on Dec. 2 (5:30 p.m. ET).

All three opponents are familiar foes at this tournament. The same three teams competed at the 2016 Nike Friendlies.

Brazil has participated in every tournament since 2008. Before converting to an exclusively-international competition, Brazil also played in the 2003, 2006 and 2007 Nike Friendlies.

Portugal (winners in 2012) and Turkey (winners in 2010) are both making their fourth appearances at the event, tied for second all-time alongside England.  

In 2008, the competition joined forces with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, which features every Development Academy club from across the country. The Friendlies act as the event’s centerpiece, and the combination highlights the cohesion between the U.S. Youth National Teams and the Development Academy.

131213 NIF USA Champions.JPG
The USA, guided by Chrisitan Pulisic (center right), won the 2013 Nike Friendlies. 

RECENT RESULTS

The 2017 field featured some of the world’s best teams at this age group as the U-17 MNT took the first steps of its new cycle. The USA fell 1-0 in its opener to the reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup champion England, despite a stand-out performance from goalkeeper Damian Las. After a shake-up in the starting XI, the U.S. fell 5-1 to the Netherlands but finished on a high note with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Brazil.

Facing the same field as this year, the USA ran the table in 2016, outscoring its opponents 15-2. The U-17 MNT opened the competition with a strong 7-1 victory over Portugal, took down Turkey 5-1 and wrapped up the tournament with a 3-0 win against Brazil. It marked the USA’s first Friendlies title since 2013, when the U-17s recovered from an opening 2-1 loss to Portugal with 5-1 and 4-1 wins over England and Brazil.

Nike International Friendlies Champions

Brazil

2008, 2009, 2014, 2017

USA

2011, 2013, 2016

England

2015

Portugal

2012

Turkey

2010

FRIENDLIES ALUMNI

A number of senior Men’s National Team players have passed through the Nike International Friendlies. Seven players on the latest MNT roster competed at the Friendlies: Kellyn Acosta (2010), Tyler Adams (2014), Shaq Moore (2011, 2012), Christian Pulisic (2014), Josh Sargent (2015, 2016), Luca de la Torre (2013, 2014) and Tim Weah (2016)

International stars have also passed through the Premier Sports Campus to play in the Nike Friendlies. Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo all played at the Friendlies, as well as the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay and England’s Jadon Sancho, among others. Thirteen players from England’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup championship run participated in the 2015 event, Sancho included.

Nike Friendlies - Jordan Sancho
England's Jordan Sancho at the 2015 Nike Friendlies.

REPRESENTING THE USA

Acting U.S. U-17 MNT head coach Shaun Tsakiris called a mix of newcomers and experienced U-17 players for the 2018 Friendlies. Sixteen of the 24 players have been capped at this level, while eight are participating in their first training camp/event with the U-17s.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Trace Alphin (North Carolina FC; Raleigh, N.C.; 0/0), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 11/0), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta; 3/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 12/0), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 8/0), Sebastian Falsone (Virginia Development Academy; Warrenton, Va.; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (FC Dallas; Keller, Texas; 0/0), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 7/0), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 11/1), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.; 10/0), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 11/1)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Masango Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Minneapolis, Minn.; 0/0), Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; Madrid, Spain; 0/0), William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.; 2/0), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 5/1), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 14/1), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.; 12/0)

FORWARDS (7): Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.; 0/0), Ruben Hernandez (Club Leon/MEX; Manteca, Calif.; 0/0), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 12/4), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 3/0), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.; 5/0), Alex Villanueva (Seattle Sounders FC; Maple Valley, Wash.; 0/0), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 3/2)

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 are eligible for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the roster is composed of 22 players born in 2002 and two born in 2003. With 14 caps, Saldana enters the Friendlies as the roster’s most-experienced player. Alejandre, Stroud and Ocampo Chavez rank second with 12 caps each. Ocampo-Chavez enters as the team’s leading scorer, with four goals.

The 24 players come from 16 different clubs, led by three players each from LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC. Twenty-two of the 24 have spent time in the Development Academy, and eighteen are currently competing in the 2018-19 Academy season.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE FRIENDLIES

The Nike International Friendlies feature three international doubleheaders with the USA playing the second game of each matchday. The U.S. will face Portugal on Wed., Nov. 28, Turkey on Fri., Dec. 30 and, as has become custom, will close out the competition against Brazil on Sun., Dec. 2.

All six matches will be live streamed on U.S. Soccer’s FacebookYouTube, and ussoccer.com.

Date

Match-up

Time (ET)

Nov. 28

Brazil vs. Turkey

3:30 p.m.

Nov. 28

USA vs. Portugal

6:30 p.m.

Nov. 30

Brazil vs. Portugal

3:30 p.m.

Nov. 30

USA vs. Turkey

6:30 p.m.

Dec. 2

Portugal vs. Turkey

2:30 p.m.

Dec. 2

USA vs. Brazil

5:30 p.m.


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U-17 MNT Nov 27, 2018
US Soccer

Twenty-Four Players Called to U-17 MNT for 2018 Nike International Friendlies

CHICAGO (Nov. 26, 2018) — Acting U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Shaun Tsakiris has named a 24-player roster for the annual Nike International Friendlies, to be held at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2. The elite four-team tournament will feature the USA, Brazil, Portugal and Turkey. The USA kicks things off against Portugal on Wednesday, Nov. 28 (6:30 p.m. ET), takes on Turkey on Friday, Nov. 30 (6:30 p.m. ET) and wraps up versus Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 2 (5:30 p.m. ET).

All tournament matches will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, Facebook and YouTube.

“The Nike International Friendlies are another important opportunity to evaluate players who have done well with their clubs,” Tsakiris said. “The reality of the National Team is that the player pool is constantly being evaluated. High-level games like these provide an invaluable opportunity to see the progress of our players and for them to show us that they deserve to be a part of our group moving forward.”

This year’s Nike International Friendlies will feature players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, the age cut-off date for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in Peru in Oct. 2019. It will serve as important preparation as all four nations attempt to qualify for the World Cup next spring.

2018 Nike International Friendlies Roster by Position (Club or College; Hometown; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Trace Alphin (North Carolina FC; Raleigh, N.C.; 0/0), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 11/0), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta; 3/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 12/0), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 8/0), Sebastian Falsone (Virginia Development Academy; Warrenton, Va.; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (FC Dallas; Keller, Texas; 0/0), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 7/0), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 11/1), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.; 10/0), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 11/1)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Masango Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Minneapolis, Minn.; 0/0), Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; Madrid, Spain; 0/0), William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.; 2/0), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 5/1), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 14/1), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.; 12/0)

FORWARDS (7): Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.; 0/0), Ruben Hernandez (Club Leon/MEX; Manteca, Calif.; 0/0), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 12/5), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 3/0), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.; 5/0), Alex Villanueva (Seattle Sounders FC; Maple Valley, Wash.; 0/0), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 3/2)

2018 Nike International Friendlies Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Turkey vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Portugal, 6:30 p.m. ET

Friday, Nov. 30
Portugal vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Turkey, 6:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Dec. 2
Portugal vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 5:30 p.m. ET

Started in 2001, and adopting their current format in 2008, the Nike International Friendlies were founded to provided top-level competition for the U-17 MNT and stand as one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Seven players on the latest senior Men’s National Team roster competed at the Nike International Friendlies: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Shaq Moore, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Luca de la Torre and Tim Weah, while the event has also seen international talent like Brazil’s Phillipe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo and England’s Jadon Sancho pass through the Premier Sports Campus.

The event is held annually in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, which brings together every Academy club from across the country for a series of highly-competitive matches. Eighteen players called to the U-17 MNT roster are currently competing in the 2018-19 Academy season, while 22 of 24 have spent time playing in the Academy.

The USA will seek its first Nike Friendlies title since 2016, when the USA, featuring current MNT players Sargent and Weah, topped the same three teams that will feature in this year’s competition by a combined score of 15-2. The U.S. finished last year’s tournament 0-2-1 as it kicked off the cycle against England, Netherlands and Brazil, capping off the tournament with a spirited 1-1 draw versus the South Americans.

Tsakiris has called in a mix of experienced players and newcomers for the tournament. Sixteen of the 24 players that will represent the USA in Florida have been capped at this level, while eight are participating in their first training camp/event with the U-17s. Three players: goalkeeper Damian Las, defender Axel Alejandre and midfielder Adam Saldana, have appeared in all eight events of the U-17 cycle thus far.

As the USA prepares for next spring’s 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, the U-17s have played 14 international games in 2018, compiling an 8-4-2 record. Those results include three international tournaments: the 2018 Sportchain Cup, where the U.S. defeated India and Norway twice each to take home the title, Mexico’s Four Nations Tournament, that featured showdowns with the host, Argentina and Chile as well as England’s U-17 International Tournament, where the USA rallied for late wins against Brazil and Russia to claim second place.

All three of the USA’s opponents are frequent foes at the competition. Brazil has appeared at every edition of the tournament since it assumed its current format in 2008, and also sent teams in 2006 and 2007. Portugal and Turkey have appeared at the competition four of ten times since 2008, tied with England for second-most all-time.

Additional Notes

  • The U.S. roster is made up of 22 players born in 2002 and two born in 2003.
  • Forty-three players have appeared for the U-17 MNT in 2018, and eight more have the opportunity to earn first caps at the Friendlies, their first U-17 call-up: Masango Akale, Trace Alphin, Andre Luiz Costa, Cameron Dunbar, Sebastian Falsone, Jonathan Gomez, Ruben Hernandez and Alex Villanueva.
  • Seven players return from last winter’s Nike International Friendlies: goalkeeper Damian Las, defenders Axel Alejandre, Mason Judge and Joseph Scally, midfielders Adam Saldana and Peter Stroud and forward Alfonso Ocampo Chavez.
  • Sixteen clubs are represented on the roster, with three players coming from both LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC as well as two each from FC Dallas, New York City FC and North Carolina FC.
  • Twenty-two of 24 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, and 18 are currently competing in the Academy.
  • Eight players earned Conference Best XI honors after the 2017-18 Academy season: Alejandre (Central), Kobe Hernandez (West), Judge (East), Las (Central), Giovanni Reyna (East), Saldana (West), Scally (East), Yow (East).
  • Reyna was named Eastern Conference Player of the Year at the U-16/17 level after helping lead New York City FC U-18/19 to the Academy Championship.
  • Scally also played a key role in New York City FC’s run to the U-18/19 Development Academy Championship in 2018. He’s the only player on the roster currently signed as an MLS Homegrown player.  
  • Ocampo-Chavez and Daniel Robles helped lead Seattle Sounders FC to the U-16/17 Academy Championship last summer.
  • The pair both appeared for Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the United Soccer League this season. Kobe Hernandez and Saldana have also logged professional minutes with LA Galaxy II in the USL.
  • Five players currently play for clubs abroad: Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP), Ruben Hernandez (Club Leon/MEX), Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN), Stroud (West Ham United/ENG), though Odunze and the Whitecaps compete in the Development Academy.
  • Defender George Bello (Atlanta United FC) and midfielder Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC) were unavailable for this tournament as they continued to compete with their clubs’ first teams in the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • With 14 caps, Saldana enters the Friendlies as the roster’s most-experienced player. Alejandre, Stroud and Ocampo Chavez rank second with 12 caps each.
  • Alejandre, Las and Saldana have appeared in all eight U-17 training camps/events this cycle, while Judge and Stroud have appeared in seven of eight.
  • Ocampo-Chavez enters the Friendlies as the team’s leading scorer with five goals. Forward Griffin Yow has tallied twice in his first three U-17 appearances.
  • Eight players return from the USA’s first appearance at the Concacaf U-15 Boys’ Championship in 2017: Alejandre, Judge, Las, Ocampo Chavez, Reyna, Saldana, Scally and Stroud.
  • Twelve states are represented on the roster, with the most players (four) coming from California. Three players each come from New York and Washington, while two players were born internationally (Canada and Spain).
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U-17 MNT Nov 26, 2018

2018 Nike International Friendlies

U-17 MNT November 28, 2018 - December 2, 2018
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