[CASPIAN CUP]The U.S. under-16 men's national team opened play at the 2013 Caspian Cup in Azerbaijan with an 11-0 win against Kyrgyzstan. Real Salt Lake AZ players Sebastian Saucedoand Brooks Lennon had first-half hat tricks as the USA raced out to a 7-0 lead after only 32 minutes.
The U.S. team is made up entirely of players born in 1997 and is being led by U.S. U-17 MNT assistant coach Jim Rooney. Eight players on the roster recently finished the spring semester at the U.S. under-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla. The roster includes Tommy Redding, who played for the USA in Concacaf U-17 qualifying.
Lennon finished off a pass from Collin Fernandez in the first minute. Seven minutes later, Amirgy Pineda connected with Sebastian Saucedo for the second goal of the game. Pablo Pelaez set up DJ Villegas for a goal in the 11th minute and Fernandez dished out his second assist of the game, once again to Lennon in the 21st minute.
Saucedo scored back-to-back goals, finishing off a rebound in the 22nd minute and scoring off a free kick in the 29th minute. Lennon completed a hat trick of his own in the 32nd minute.
Villegas scored from the corner of the 18-yard box after intermission. Peter Schropp scored five minutes later with a 25-yard blast to the back post. Alejandro Vergara scored in the 61st minute, and Mukwelle Akale finished off the scoring with a goal in the 69th minute.
The U.S. next faces host Azerbaijan on Saturday. There will then be two placement matches, one June 2 or 3 and one June 4 or 5.
U.S. U-16 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2):Jake Gelnovatch (Richmond Strikers; Earlysville, Va.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7):Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake Academy; Tucson, Ariz.), David Godinez-Chavez (Juventus Sport Club; Redwood City, Calif.), Malcolm Jones (Chivas USA; Chino Hills, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summitt, Mo.), Pablo Palaez (Albion SC; San Diego, Calif.), Tommy Redding (FC America Premier; Oviedo, Fla.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (5):Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire Academy; Downers Grove, Ill.), Abuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic; Gotha, Fla.), Amirgy Pineda (Fullerton Rangers; Santa Ana, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Alejandro Vergara (Chivas USA, Long Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4):Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake Academy; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake Academy; Casa Grande, Ariz.), DJ Villegas (Davis Legacy; Sacramento Calif.)