Commentary

Most of 2015 U-17 alums already with pro clubs

By Mike Woitalla and Paul Kennedy

The USA may have disappointed at the 2015 U-17 World Cup last October when Coach Richie Williams' U.S. team was the first since 2001 to exit in the first round, and a 5-1 loss host Chile marked its worst loss at the U-17 World Cup in group play since falling, 4-0, to Oman in 1997. But the rate at which team's players are moving into the pros indicates this was a talented group.

This week's signing of defender Hugo Arellano, who captained the USA in Chile, by the USL's LA Galaxy II, takes to 17 the number of players on Williams' 21-player roster now with professional clubs. Arellano, who this year has been part of U.S. U-20 and U-19 national teams, becomes the 10th Galaxy academy product on Galaxy II and the 16th academy alum on LA’s MLS and USL rosters.

Christian Pulisic, who had joined Borussia Dortmund before the tournament, debuted for the first team in January and scored two goals in eight Bundesliga appearances. His cousin, goalkeeper William Pulisic, has joined Dortmund’s U-19 team with plans to keep his amateur status in order to eventually play for Duke University, with which he signed a letter of intent in February. The pair are among the 10 2015 U-17 alums currently abroad -- seven in Europe and three in Mexico.

Auston Trusty graduated from the Philadelphia Union's academy program to USL second team Bethlehem Steel FC, for which he is starting as an amateur, but he plans on enrolling at North Carolina in the fall.

2015 U.S. Under-17 World Cup Team
GOALKEEPERS:
Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy II/USL)
William Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Kevin Silva (UCLA)
DEFENDERS:
Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls/MLS)
Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy II/USL)
Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion/ENG)
Tanner Dieterich (Clemson Univ.)
John Nelson (Internationals SC -- high school)
Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG)
Auston Trusty (Univ. of North Carolina)
Alexis Velela (New York Cosmos/NASL)
MIDFIELDERS:
Eric Calvillo (New York Cosmos/NASL)
Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG)
Thomas McCabe (Notre Dame Univ.)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Alejandro Zendejas (Chivas Guadalajara/MEX)
FORWARDS:
Pierre da Silva (Orlando City B/USL)
Joe Gallardo (Monterrey/MEX)
Josh Perez (Fiorentina/ITA)
Brandon Vazquez (Tijuana/MEX)
Haji Wright (Schalke 04/GER)

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Arellano among first Galaxy school graduates

Hugo Arellano is the class of 11 players who comprise the first graduating class of the Los Angeles Galaxy's Blended Learning Environment program, launched in 2015 for Galaxy academy players to attend school at its training facilities at the StubHub Center. Of the graduating class, Arellano and Ethan Zubak have signed with the Galaxy's USL team, LA Galaxy II, also known as Los Dos. The other nine are headed to college ball, although the Galaxy will maintain their MLS Homegrown rights.

Inaugural Galaxy School Graduates
Player (2016-17 team)
Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy II)
Luis Carbajal (Oxnard College)
Jorge Estrada (Irvine Valley College)
Erick Gallinar (UC Irvine)
Edwyn Gutierrez (Mt. San Antonio College)
Jonathan Hernandez Silva (Mt. San Antonio College)
Brian O’Hara (UC Berkeley)
Christian Onalfo (San Diego State)
Alex Ramos (Mission College)
Alejandro Vergara (San Diego State)
Ethan Zubak (LA Galaxy II)

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FC Dallas academy champions head U.S. U-19 team

Three players from the FC Dallas academy program that swept the Development Academy age-group playoffs -- Hector Montalvo, Weston McKennie and Devin Vega -- were named to the U.S. under-19 men’s national team that will play at the COTIF Tournament, beginning next Tuesday in Valencia, Spain.

Coach Brad Friedel called in 22 players for the 33rd edition of the tournament, set to take place July 20-Aug. 5 in Valencia, Spain. They include four plays based on foreign clubs and three signed by MLS clubs to contracts with their USL second teams.

The USA will face Venezuela, Mauritania, Spain and Bahrain in group play. The U-19s won the Slovakia Cup in April. Ten players return from that team.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brady Scott (De Anza Force), Kevin Silva (PDA), Justin Vom Steeg (Unattached).
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy II), Marlon Fossey (Fulham/ENG), Hector Montalvo (FC Dallas academy), John Nelson (Internationals), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG), Donovan Pines (D.C. United academy), Auston Trusty (Bethlehem Steel).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amir Bashti (Stanford Univ.), Pierre Da Silva (Orlando City SC B), Christian Enriquez (Nomads FC), Nelson Hunsinger (Leg A-Z), Kevin Lankford (Heidenheim/GER), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas academy), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire academy), Devin Vega (FC Dallas academy).
FORWARDS (4): Colby Agu (Capital Area Railhawks), Abdulkadir Haji (Seacoast United) Brandon Vazquez (Tijuana/MEX), Isaiah Young (PDA).

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U.S. U-18 women tie England

The U.S. U-18 women’s national team, coached by April Heinrichs, ended its 10-day training camp at English FA's St. George's Park training center with a 2-2 tie with England.

The Americans, who lost their first game to England, 1-0, got both its goals from Abigail Kim of Pacific Northwest SC. Her first was assisted by Haley Berg of Texas club Solar Chelsea. She scored the second on a breakaway.

Back row (L-R): Haley Berg, Natalie Winters, Amanda Dennis, Kaiya McCullough, Taylor Kornieck, Sunny Dunphy.
Front row: Julie Doyle, Julie Mackin, Samantha Hiatt, Cecilia Gee, Abigail Kim. (Photo courtesy U.S. Soccer)

The squad, comprised of players born in 1998, is in the early stages of preparations to qualify for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France

July 14 in Burton Upon Trent, England
England 2 USA 2. Goals: Stanway 41, Elmore 88; Kim (Berg) 29, Kim 56.
England -- Rogers (Startup, 84); Parker, Allen, Fisk, Pacheco; Finnigan, Peplow, Stanway (Fibey, 51), Russo (Elmore, 51); Kelly, Wellings.
USA -- Dennis (Heinsohn, 46); Doyle (Berkely, 46) (Mitchell, 84), Hiatt, McCullough, Mackin; Berg (Morse, 65), Kornieck (Goins, 46), Winters; Kim, Gee (Athens, 65), Dunphy (Whitley, 46).

1 comment about "Most of 2015 U-17 alums already with pro clubs".
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now, July 20, 2016 at 6:54 p.m.

    Good news. None of our elite players should be wasting any time playing NCAA kickball for three months a year. What a waste of key developmental years!

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