Commentary

World Cup-bound U.S. U-17s prep with Czech Republic tourney

By Mike Woitalla

For its first gathering since the draw for the 2015 U-17 World Cup, Coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player squad for the U-17 Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament in the Czech Republic, where the USA faces Russia (Aug. 18), Slovenia (Aug. 19) and Slovakia (Aug. 21) in group play.

A final placement game takes place Aug. 22.

Update: The U-17s fell to Russia, 4-2, on Tuesday after leading 2-1 at the half.

Nineteen of the players chosen were in the 20-player U-17 Concacaf Championship squad that qualified for the World Cup in March with a third-place finish. The newcomer is Pennsylvannia product Auston Trusty. Not in the current squad of the players on the qualifying roster is Texan Mckinze Gaines.

Trusty, who has committed the University of North Carolina, played with the Philadelphia Union’s U-18/17 and U-16/15 Development Academy teams during the 2014-15 season.

At the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile that kicks off in October, the USA faces Nigeria, Croatia and Chile in group play.

U.S. U-17 boys roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.).
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Academy; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union Academy; Media, Pa.), Alexis Velela (New York Cosmos; San Diego, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; Hershey, Pa.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; El Paso, Texas).
FORWARDS (5): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC Academy; Port Chester, N.Y.), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.).

U.S. U-18 women tie and lose to Mexico's U-20s

The U.S. U-18 women’s national team finished its nine-day training camp in Mexico City with two games against Mexico’s U-20 national team. It tied the first game, 1-1, and fell, 2-1, in the second friendly. FC Virginia's Emily Fox, who has committed to the University of North Carolina, scored both U.S. goals.

The squad, coached by Women’s Youth Technical Director April Heinrichs, is in the age group that will aim to qualify for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

In the first game, the USA fell behind on a penalty kick and got the equalizer from Fox, who was assisted by Eclipse SC’s Marissa Bosco.

In the 2-1 loss, Fox equalized three minutes after Mexico went ahead on a fourth-minute goal. Beach FC’s Savannah DeMelo beat two defenders before feeding Fox for a first-time shot into the corner of the goal. But the Mexicans scored in the final minute of play on a 30-yard shot from Nancy Antonio.

Aug. 15 in Mexico City
Mexico U-20 2 USA U-18 1. Goals: Cruz 4, Antonio 90; Fox (DeMelo) 7.
Mexico -- Alvarado; Rodrigues, Mejia, Bernal, Rodriguez (Villarreal); Antonio, Cruz, Vazquez (Flores, 70); Alvarez, Solis, Gonzalez.
USA -- Kouzelos; Doyle, Hiatt, Davidson, Berkely (Gyau, 56); Harr (Jones, 81), Bahr (Morse, 46), DeMelo; Bike (Haley, 75), Bosco (Petredes, 81), Fox.

Aug. 13 in Mexico City
Mexico U-20 1, USA U-18 1. Goals: Bernal (pen.) 34; Fox (Bosco) 54.
Mexico -- A.Martinez; Rodrigues, Mejia, Bernal, Rodriguez; Antonio, Cruz, Vazquez (Flores, 60); 10-K.Martinez, Solis (Gonzalez, 62), Gonzalez.
USA -- Heinsohn; Doyle, Hiatt, Davidson, Berkely (Gyau, 70); Harr, Morse (Bahr, 86), DeMelo; Bike (Bosco, 46), Haley (Petredes, 56), Fox.

In the News ...

... The U.S. U-15 boys national team tied England, 2-2, on Monday. Tim Weah assisted on goals by Adrian Villegas and George Acosta. The John Hackworth-coached U-15s are in the midst of a Aug. 11-20 training camp in England. They have a rematch with England on Wednesday.

... Gedion Zelalem, the 18-year-old American playmaker, scored the gamewinner in Arsenal's opening game of the Barclays U21 Premier League season. Zelalem scored in the 86th minute, after some neat combination play, for a 1-0 win over a Fulham team that fielded Emerson Hyndman, Zelalem's midfield partner at the U-20 World Cup last June, and U.S. U-17 Luca de la Torre. VIDEO

... Sam Golan, a 16-year-old defender from Reston, Va., is joining the U-18 academy team of English second-tier club Brighton & Hove Albion. Golan, who has U.S. and German citizenship, helped Langley High School win its first state championship last spring as a sophomore. With Loudoun Soccer’s 98B Red, coached by Mark Ryan, Golan reached the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships semifinals in 2014 and 2015. He had previously played for McLean Youth Soccer. The offer from Brighton, whose U-18 team plays in the Barclays U18 Premier League, came after a two-week tryout in July – Golan’s sixth trip to Europe for trials.

... Northern California club De Anza Force tweeted that 10-year-old Troy McKee of its 05 Boys Blue team has signed with Aston Villa.

... FOX Carolina reports that Titus Martin Jr., a 16-year-old Greenville, S.C., high school junior, died during the first soccer practice of the year. Martin collapsed on the field during Monday afternoon’s practice at Legacy Charter School. According to FOX Carolina, Martin was the goalkeeper during practice and was standing still when he collapsed. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

1 comment about "World Cup-bound U.S. U-17s prep with Czech Republic tourney".
  1. James Madison, August 25, 2015 at 6:19 p.m.

    Someone should tell Paul Gardner, who regularly pooh-poohs the failure of US Soccer to include Latino players, tht 10 of the 20 on the U-17 team have Spanish surnames.

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