Commentary

U.S. U-17 boys open new Residency Program with 32 players

By Mike Woitalla

The 32 players attending the U.S. U-17 boys national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, for the cycle leading to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India hail from 18 states.

California is best represented with five players, followed by four Georgia, all from Georgia United.

States represented on 32-player roster:
5 California.
4 Georgia.
3 Florida, Virginia.
2 Illinois, New Jersey, New York.
1 Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Ontario (Canada).

The Californians include Ben Lederman, who joined Barcelona’s youth program in 2011 but was ruled ineligible for competitive play in Spain when FIFA found Barcelona in violation of its ban on the transfer of minors across international borders.

U.S. Soccer launched the U-17 Residency Program in 1999 and the first class included Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Bobby Convey and Oguchi Onyewu, who went on to represent the USA at the senior World Cup. Other notable Bradenton alums include Eddie Johnson, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Juan Agudelo and Omar Gonzalez.

John Hackworth, the U.S. U-17 head coach in 2004-2007, returned to the helm in December, replacing Richie Williams.

The current roster consists of players born in 2000. Hackworth said that 2001-born players are likely to be added in the second semester.

The team’s first international tournament of 2016 is the Aegean Cup in Turkey Jan. 14-24.

U.S. U-17 Residency Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alexander Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Justin Garces (Kendall FC; Miami, Fla.), Quantrell Jones (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Hunter Pinho (PDA; Cranford, N.J.).

DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Asensio (Roswell, Ga.; Georgia United), Michael Edwards (Woodbridge, Va.; D.C. United), Tyler Freitas (North Attleboro, Mass; New England Revolution), Jean-Julian Foe Nuphaus (San Jose, Calif.; San Jose Earthquakes), Christopher Gloster (Montclair, N.J.; New York Red Bulls), Benjamin Huynh (Seattle Sounders; Everett, Wash.), Ian Murphy (Redlands, Calif.; FC Golden State), Tyler Shaver (Riverside, Conn.; Beachside Soccer Club), Chandler Vaughn (D.C. United; Woodbridge, Va.).

MIDFIELDERS (11): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Patrick Ajdukiewicz (Sockers FC; Barrington, Ill.), Isaac Angking (Providence, R.I.; New England Revolution), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Georgia United; Locust Grove, Ga.), Ben Lederman (Barcelona, Spain; IMG Academy), James Sands (New York SC; Rye, N.Y.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.), Akil Watts (Fort Wayne, Ind.; IMG Academy).

FORWARDS (8): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Georgia United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Clarkston, Ga.; Georgia United), Niccolo Lemoine (Livermore, Calif.; De Anza Force), Alejandro Pereira (Oveido, Fla.; Orlando City FC), William Sands (Rye, N.Y.; New York SC), Joshua Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Tonny Temple (IMG Academy; Millville, Pa.).

U.S. U-17 girls host England, Japan and South Korea

For the third consecutive year, U.S. Soccer will host a four-team U-17 women’s international tournament at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. The U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational, a round robin with host USA, England, Japan and South Korea, takes place Feb 11-15.

Feb. 11
Japan vs. Korea Republic
USA vs. England
Feb. 13
England vs. Japan
USA vs. South Korea
Feb. 15
South Korea vs. England
USA vs. Japan

16 comments about "U.S. U-17 boys open new Residency Program with 32 players".
  1. Ric Fonseca, January 15, 2016 at 6:43 p.m.

    OK, I am on roll re: Paul Gardner's article on the dearth of Latino/Hispanic players on national teams, so here we go again folks, ONLY 4 out of 32 are Latino/Hispanic surnamed players at the U17 Residency program in Bradenton. Porwue tan pocos???

  2. Tony Riverplate , January 15, 2016 at 10:40 p.m.

    Sad. My son plays on a u17 team in Maryland that is 80% Hispanic(Riverplate). We out play in skill and possession a lot of the teams we face. Unfortunately we are not looked at enough and most of the time in big games with big name teams we are victims of one sided Referee. 11 vs 12

  3. Ric Fonseca replied, January 15, 2016 at 11:11 p.m.

    Tony R. Yes indeed I agree with you. Please check out Paul Gardner's recent article on the so-called super draft and the lack of Latinos. Muy buena suerte. And if I may and with all respect, have your team play with skill, class, determination and within the Laws of the Game and by all means forget those referees.

  4. Buk Rogers, January 16, 2016 at 8:50 a.m.

    Perhaps the USSF is seeking more moldable types who conform to a certain playing style. Unfortunately, that style has FAIL written all over it, as exemplified in our u17's prior results. I'm sick of it.

    Many stand out players of first/second generation immigrant families (Latino, African, West Indian, Eastern European), are not yet spoiled by the US national system/style and play with more individual skill and a free spirit. How do you think these players get noticed at club level? It's their mentality and energy that's makes them excell. Would the USSF prefer a stable of tame (less dynamic) players? Bradenton sends these guys home rather than revolutionizing its approach to development and training to accommodate them. Most of the best teens in the country will have some fight in them (and/or baggage) the Federation isn't capable of optimizing for the good of the program.

    While it is telling that there are few Latinos being identified and selected at the U17 national level, there's no benifit if a superficial change is made to the faces of the players we see. There are plenty of mediocre Latinos who should remain home. It's a certain sabor we're looking for. Let's stop shunning these types and get coachrs/trainers at the top level who can get the best of of them.

  5. Goal Goal, January 16, 2016 at 4:37 p.m.

    US SOCCER is running into a credibility problem in identifying talent. The regional scouts identify potential national team players by observing them in actual play over a period of time. Based on their observation over a period of time a kid is recommended for a national camp. The kid goes to the camp and in a matter of a couple of scrimmages and a game a decision is made concerning the kids ability based on five days of play. It's redicuĺouw to think a kid could qualify or be eliminated in such a short period of time. Kids have good days and bad days just like everyone else does and a decision made by coaches on such short term observation when a kid has a bad showing eliminates him. Where do the opinions of the scouts come into play. Consistency over a period of time is what counts. The flaws in our system is enormous and you don't have to to be a Messi to see it. Our history and our lack of success is right out there to be seen. When are we going to change it?

  6. James Froehlich, January 16, 2016 at 5:55 p.m.

    Generally agree with the above comments. Unfortunately these comments have continually appeared on blogs such as this forever! Nothing has changed because the underlying structure of US soccer and the coaches that populate it have no desire to change and could care less what is being said on these blogs. These coaches have their status and their income tied to the status quo. That means a playing style firmly tied to England and a dependence on the corresponding type of player, big, fast, and physical! Even more challenging to any chance of improvement is that the fan base shows minimal appreciation for technical skills unless they're immediately lead to a score. How many times have you heard a spontaneous response from a US crowd to a skillful sequence of play by an individual or group!!! Watch a LaLiga game to see how Spanish fans appreciate skill. That should tell you the height of the hill we need to climb in order begin to generate truly skillful players.

  7. Goal Goal replied, January 16, 2016 at 7:24 p.m.

    Respectfully I partially disagree with you. We have a great pool of skilled players in the pool. Especially at the 16 down age groups. The national team coaches have no idea how to handle them. They are so in bread with the idea of the big and strong vs skilled that it should be embarrassing to US SOCCER. THE REGIONAL SCOUTS RECOMMEND SKILLED PLAYERS AND the coaches turn them out because they don't play the cookie cutter soccer that they are used to promoting. Where are those who are in charge of US SOCCER.???

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, January 17, 2016 at 4:07 p.m.

    The problem is one of management, not ignorance. Scouts look for the best players. Coaches don't. They are interested in putting together winning teams. So physical abilities are valued over technical skill, following orders over tactical smarts. Top down USSF and US Fans all want winning teams. Our problem is and has been valuing winning youth matches more than player development.

  9. Ric Fonseca replied, January 17, 2016 at 5 p.m.

    >James, Fanfor and Bob: Gentlemen, you all have excellent points, and I am sure we all agree with one another - with some slight disagreements of course. However, while James says that we've all talked about this for what seems "time immemorial," the question goes unanswered as the so-called powers that be, more than likely do not read these comments or blogs, and if some do, they do not give a mierda and thus, it is ALWAYS the status quo that prevails. So how do we go about trying to institute change? Don't give up, keep on talking about it, and of course ORGANIZE some sort of movement; take a page from the social movements of the '60s to the present by making our collective voices heard. Get the NSCAA involved? By all means, and if you can read the piece written by Paul Kennedy in the most recent NSCAA Journal that addresses the issue of incorporating the collegiate scene with the pro-angle, and IMHO calls out the Gulati-Klinsmann cohorts and their plans for what they consider to be the future of soccer. So "Where are those who are in charge of US SOCCER?(sic)..." is an excellent question, and the answer lies in US Soccer House, located in Chicago, while Gulati can be reached through there, he can also be reached at Columbia Univ, while Klinsmann at the US National Training Center in Carson (where the Carson Galaxy plays) and the rest of the US Board of Directors for US Soccer, can also be reached through Soccer House in Chicago, and the NSCAA in Kansas City, Mo. As always, Just sayin!

  10. Goal Goal, January 17, 2016 at 10:28 p.m.

    Rich excellent idea. What is happening in this country is we now have dads,granddads and others who have experienced this game on many levels from the sandlots all the way to the pro level who are able to realistically recognize the flaws in the system and can't be fooled with the BS that some of these clubs and US SOCCER are trying to force on kids and parents. You don't have to be a Ferguson or Messi to see it ain't working. The proof is in the results of what has happened and appears is going to continue to happen. I just wonder how many kids with ability and great technical skills have been bypassed because of this nonesense?

  11. Xavi Hernandez , January 18, 2016 at 11:47 a.m.

    Hopefully others will reply here. Our small and slight (from 9-15, the critical ID ages) son with world class technical skill was told he was too weak and slow by the English coaches dominating all tiers of US soccer. He spent a summer in Brazil where he wowed the scouts there and was offered a 2 week trial at Gremio after his senior year of HS. He was fed up with soccer and figured he had no future in it b/c he really wanted to go to Europe and to get their you need big time US connections and experience. Anyway he picked up track and at 20 is a top 400/800m runner, excelling at precisely what the English coaches said he lacked.

  12. Scott Johnson replied, January 19, 2016 at 1:22 a.m.

    "Identifying" talent before 13-14, I would say, is a fool's errand. Encouraging and nuturing it, certainly--but this age is probably too young to start putting players on an elite track. (Unless the funnel is wide at this point, the process is open to late-bloomers, and the expectation is that it is just preparation for the actual culling, not a prerequisite; places that do this are shooting themselves in the foot). Some players don't mature physically until later (both in terms of development of motor skills, and in terms of general growth). Puberty can upset the apple cart in either direction, especially for boys. And some kids may simply have family commitments (younger siblings who are babies being a big one) that preclude participation in organized soccer at an early age.

  13. BJ Genovese, January 18, 2016 at 1:09 p.m.

    Rick Ramos, who was head guy in Chicago for US soccer scouting and academy players was canned about six months ago. The new person in charge is working on putting together some new lists to begin a new TC schedule and I was told they are re-evaluating the data base of players. My request at the time was that they bring in past players that went to a TC at 12-13.. may not have made the cut at the time for whatever reason... but to bring them back at 16-17 to see where they are now. Hopefully we will see a little more effort on the scouting front. The problem right now is that if your kid cannot go to a DA he is screwed. Even college coaches are only starting to look at DA kids.

  14. Ric Fonseca replied, January 18, 2016 at 1:43 p.m.

    BJ, It is stories like your and others above that rankle the beejesus out of me, yet another and another and another woeful and narrow-minded, with blinders approach to our sport. But why was Rick Ramos let go? Your idea to bring back players that were "let go" at 12-13 when they reach the 16-17 age level is indeed unique and well worth the effort, for example I know of a young man that I've seen playing at the small-sided center (Goals Soccer Center, South Gate, Ca) for the past five years, followed his playing "career" and suffice to say thet he has excellent skills, he played HS ball, graduated and enrolled at one of the better-for-soccer community colleges in the area (El Camino College) went to try out but was told by the coach, he was just a tad bit too short (5'-4") but to enroll in the soccer class, which he did. Now one year later, was told the same for the spring semester, with no chance of making the team, only to "keep on working" on his skills. A slight on his physical stature? Of course! A slight on his skills, abilities, etc.? Of course! And the coach? Latino/Hispanic. Where is the player now? Gave up trying out, focusing on his courses, and playing on an Latino adult team and enjoying it more, plus he holds down a 30 hour/week job. So your statement that "college coaches are only starting to look at DA kids...(sic)" is spot on as that also helps them reduce the time and travel to look at all players for recruitment purposes. Obviously there's more to this mess.

  15. BJ Genovese, January 18, 2016 at 3:31 p.m.

    Thanks, also... its my opinion from first hand experience that our college coaches need to be reeled in a bit with regards to them allowing these money making college showcases to use there names as being attendees to these tournys. When in fact many of them are not attending at all. Then when the tourney director gets all of these players emails.. they give them to these colleges to get kids to come to ther "I.D.fund raisers. Its sad to see this game taking advantage of families wallets and kids dreams. Only to see many of these coaches in College and Academies simply worried about there own resume's. The fact is many college coaches would not know what to do with a clever player anyway from my experience. Its really disheartening to see.

  16. Goal Goal, January 19, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

    We will see what happens. In the boys area we now are moving to a U14 along with a U15 the new group they are forming as we speak. An U16 along with a U17. Lets see if the skilled players are given an opportunity along with the others.

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