[NIKE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Playing its first international match on home soil since the beginning of its new cycle, the U.S. under-17 national team played to a 2-2 tie with France in its opening match of the Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The USA got an excellent opening goal from DeAndre Robinson and a stoppage-time equalizer from Wesley Wade, both MLS academy players. For more on the game and video highlights ...
Brazil defeated Turkey 1-0 in the earlier match at the the Premier Sports Campus.
The USA will face Turkey next on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, while Brazil takes on France at 3 p.m. ET. The U.S. match will be live on Fox Soccer.
“It’s an excellent game for the boys to experience against one of the top teams around the world,” said U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera. “France is an excellent team with great players, technically very good, strong, and athletic. We tried to face them at the same level, and I think it was an exciting game. We never gave up, and that is a quality that the American teams always have. We tried to play soccer and find a way to tie, and to win. Obviously we need to improve a lot of things, but to have a reference point like a team like France is important for us. Our team needs to see that we can compete with a team like this.”
The Americans certainly had their chances. They got on the board in the 25th minute after Junior Mejia-Flores fed Robinson (D.C. United), who curled the ball into the near right corner of the net.
Minutes later, defender Shaquell Moore surged forward and launched a dipping shot off the crossbar.
But France's Bleuets came to life and equalized on a goal by Michel Araai and took the lead with an own goal by U.S. defender Tyler Turner.
In the third minute of stoppage time, a ball was played into the penalty area, where Wade (New York Red Bulls) buried his shot past French keeper Dorian Grange.
Nov. 30 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
USA 2 France 2. Goals: Robinson 25, Wade 93+; Araai 43, own goal 75.
USA -- Christensen, Moore, Donovan, Turner, Requejo (Amaya, 85), Kabala (Echevarria,76), Rubin, Heredia (Baird, 78), Mejia-Flores, Wade, Robinson (Yomba, 84).
France -- Grange, Bamba, Coulibaly, Diallo (Batubinsika, 64), Senzemba, Coman, Ntcham, Doumbia, Cornet (Dembele, 46), Araai (Mayard, 64), Maupay (Maulun, 75).
Referee: Mark Declouet (USA).