USA youth teams are on a roll

By Mike Woitalla

In March, the Tab Ramos-coached USA won the Concacaf U-20 Championship for the first time while qualifying for the 2017 U-20 World Cup. En route to the regional title, it celebrated a 1-0 win over three-time defending Concacaf champion Mexico that marked the USA’s first U-20 win over El Tri at the Concacaf level since 1986.

The John Hackworth-coached U.S. U-17 boys are in the midst of their qualifying campaign for the 2017 U-17 World Cup and their three first-round wins also included a win over Mexico. The 4-3 victory marked the first ever over Mexico in U-17 World Cup qualifying and ended Mexico’s 25-game unbeaten streak in Concacaf U-17 Championship play.

In the last three U-17 World Cups, Mexico finished fourth (2015), second (2013) and first (2011). Its semifinal loss in 2015 and its final loss in 2013 both came against Nigeria, winner of three of the last five U-17 World Cups.

To qualify for the U-17 World Cup, the USA must finish in the top two of its qualification group with Honduras and Cuba. Honduras, which opened with a 7-1 win over Cuba, faces the USA on Wednesday (4:30 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes/Concacaf YouTube). The USA faces Cuba on Friday (6:30 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes/Concacaf YouTube).

New U.S. U-17 girls national team coach Mark Carr got off to a winning start as his team won the Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni, co-hosted by Slovenia and Italy, with a 6-0 final win over Italy last Saturday.

The U-15 boys national team also competed in Slovenia and Italy and Coach Dave Van Den Bergh's team won the Torneo Delle Nazioni with a 2-1 win over Italy.

The U-18 men’s national team, coached by Omid Namazi, finished runner-up at the Slovakia Cup, falling 3-1 to Russia in the final last Friday.

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U.S. U-17s perfect so far in World Cup qualifying

With a 1-0 win over El Salvador, the USA finished first-round group play at the boys Concacaf U-17 Championship in Panama with a 3-0-0 record. The USA now faces Honduras and Cuba in a three-team classification group from which the top two finishers qualify for the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India. Wins over Jamaica (5-0) and Mexico (4-3) meant the USA had already clinched first place in Group C when they faced El Salvador on Saturday.

Zyen Jones scored off a low cross from Bryan Reynolds in the 52nd minute against El Salvador.

“Nine points is a good way to go into the classification round,” said U.S. coach John Hackworth. “We have a few things to work on, but it’s not bad. I think this was a tough group. The Jamaica game was difficult until we opened it up late. A Mexico game is always going to be a major rival. [The El Salvador game] was a fantastic opportunity for us to get some players starts and minutes in the tournament. …

“We’ve started all 20 players on the roster. So everyone has a start and some significant minutes, and that’s going to bode well for the future of this tournament.”

U.S. coach John Hackworth

The USA faces Honduras on Wednesday and Cuba on Friday

The other classification group is comprised of two-time defending Concacaf champion Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica.

Results & Schedule: Concacaf U-17 World Cup Qualifying

“So far, it’s going well,” said Hackworth. “We all regroup now and move on. This is the most important part coming up. All six teams that are in this phase of the tournament, the objective is to get to the World Cup. We take it one game at a time from there and see if we can continue our good run of form.”

April 29 in Panama City
USA 1 El Salvador 0. Goal: Jones (Reynolds) 52.
USA -- Dos Santos; Watts, Sands, Durkin, Vassilev; Villegas, 16- Booth, Acosta (Goslin, 71); Weah, Jones (Carleton, 62), Reynolds.
El Salvador -- Guardado; Menjivar, Chevez, Guzman (Villalta, 75), Cruz, Cerritos, Garcia, Lopez, Alas, Gomez (Santamaria, 71), Guatemala (Saravia, 15).
Referee: Michele Rodriguez (Cuba)

Stats: USA/El Salvador
Shots: 18/14
Shots on target: 7/3
Saves: 3/6
Corner kicks: 6/3
Fouls: 13/23
Offside: 2/0
Yellow cards: USA -- Vassilev 57, Booth 86; El Salvador -- Lopez 53.

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Reyna shines in U.S. U-15 boys' Torneo Delle Nazioni title win

Giovanni Reyna, the son of U.S. Hall of Famer Claudio Reyna, scored the gamewinner for the U.S. U-15 boys national team in a 2-1 final victory over England to lift the Torneo Delle Nazioni title in Italy. Coach Dave Van Den Bergh’s U.S. team beat Portugal, 4-2, in the semifinals.

The final was a rematch of the USA’s 3-2 loss to England in group play after it clinched a semifinal spot with wins over Slovenia, 4-0, and Russia, 2-1 (highlights).

Reyna, who plays for NYCFC’s Development Academy team, also scored against Slovenia and Russia. He sat out the England group game.

England took a 69th-minute lead in the 80-minute final, but Joseph Scally, also an NYCFC player, equalized two minutes later. Reyna hit the winner on breakaway in the 77th minute. Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders) scored twice in the semifinal win over Portugal.

Torneo Delle Nazioni final highlights:

Torneo Delle Nazioni, Final
May 1 in Gradisca d'Isonzo, Italy
USA 2 England 1. Goals: Scally 69, Reyna 77; Rogers 66.
USA — Las, Alejandre, Bello, Busio, Fuentes, Gaines, Nielsen, Reyna, Saldana, Scally, Stroud (Atencio).
England — Moulden, Robinson (Bellis), Hodge (Pendlebury), Pennant (Madueke), Rogers, Livramento (Simeu), Osorio (Palmer), Mighten (Gelhardt), Dorsett (Cover), Gordon, Musah.

U.S. U-15 boys national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Kashope Oladapo (Portland Timbers; Happy Valley, Ore.).
DEFENDERS (7): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Sebastian Anderson (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), George Bello (Atlanta United; Douglasville, Ga.), Brandon Farmelo (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club; Tampa, Fla.), Kenny Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Scally (NYCFC; Lake Grove, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julian Anderson (Philadelphia Union; Ocean, N.J.), Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (NYRB; Chester, N.J.).
FORWARDS (6): Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC; Greensboro, N.C.), Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Texas), Diego Lopez (FC Golden State; Chino, Calif.), Daniel Mangarov (Atlanta United; Duluth, Ga.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders; Fresno, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (NYCFC; Bedford, N.Y.).

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U.S. U-17 girls rout Italy in tourney win

The U.S. U-17 girls national team won the Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni with a 6-0 win the final over host Italy after beating England, 2-0, to finish first in its group. The USA, in its first tournament since the appointment of Mark Carr as U-17 head coach, opened with a 1-1 tie with co-host Slovenia and a 4-0 win over Mexico.

U.S. Scorers Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni
3 goals: Maya Doms (Davis Legacy/Calif.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm/Fla.).
2: Jordan Canniff (Richmond United/Va.).
1: Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire/Ga.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass.), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Eclipse Select/Ill.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers/Calif.).

Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni, final
April 29 in Gradisca, Italy
Italy 0 USA 6.
Goals: Fishel (Van Zanten) 16, Doms (Van Zanten) 25, Doms 28, Van Zanten (Linnehan) 46, Bethune (Wheeler) 65, Godfrey 67.
Italy — Forcinella (Beretta, 77); Bolgioni (Orlando, 80), Pucci (Imprezzabile, 77), De Biase, Tamborini, Bellucci, Forcinella, Corrada (Quazzico, 74), Ripamonti, Tomaselli, Bragonzi, Landa.
USA — Romig (Jones, 69), Wiesner, Scarpelli, Wesley, DellaPeruta (Wheeler, 41), Fontes (Godfrey, 52), Doms (Bethune, 54), Torres (Hansen, 41), Fishel (Mercado, 68), Linnehan, Van Zanten (Canniff, 63).
Att.: 350.

Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni, semifinal
April 28 in Nova Gorica, Slovenia
USA 2 England 0.
Goals: Linnehan (Wheeler) 30, Canniff 35.
USA — Romig (Jones, 61), Wiesner (Scarpelli, 61), Wesley, Hansen, Morris, Linnehan, (Van Zanten, 36), Bethune (Mercado, 46), Wheeler, DellaPeruta (Fontes, 36), Fishel (Doms, 56), Canniff.
England — Bentley; Everett, Hartley (Park, 36), Roberts, Smith, Pike, Salmon, James, Ale, Woolley (Brown, 36), Rendell.
Att.: 70

U.S. U-17 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ruth Jones (Charlotte SA; Charlotte, N.C.), Lindsey Romig (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.).
DEFENDERS (6): Sunshine Fontes (Honolulu Bulls SC; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Tori Hansen (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Kennedy Wesley (SoCal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Maya Dems (Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Astrid Wheeler (Concorde Fire SC; Atlanta, Ga.).
FORWARDS (7): Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Talia DellaPeruta (Tophat SC; Cumming, Ga.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass; Douglas, Mass.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Dallas, Texas), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Eclipse Select SC; Buffalo Grove, Ill.).

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U.S. U-18 men finish runner-up at Slovakia Cup

The U.S. U-18 men’s national team, coached by Omid Namazi, finished runner-up at the 2017 Slovakia Cup, falling, 3-1, to Russia in the final. In group play, the Americans tied Hungary (1-1), beat Belarus (2-1) and tied Slovakia (1-1).

USA-Russia highlights:

Slovakia Cup, final
April 28 in Trnava, Slovakia
USA 1 Russia 3. Goals: Brewer 80; Glusenkov 4, Glusenkov 68, Utkin 79.
USA starting XI — Scott, Jones, Gruno, Uribe, McKenzie, Dorsey, Carranza, Rennicks, Gonzalez, E. Perez, Servania.

Slovakia Cup, U.S. Group B results
April 27 in Trnava, Slovakia
USA 1 Slovakia 1.

April 25 in Trnava, Slovakia
USA 2 Belarus 1. Goals: Pomykal 69, Gonzalez (pen.) 75; Khlebasolau 8.
USA — Muse; Maher (McKenzie, 71), Esparza (Carranza, 60), Gruno, Stanley, Servania, Belloni (Pomykal, 41), E.Perez, Brewer (Dorsey, 60), Inalien (Rennicks, 41), B.Perez (Gonzalez, 71).
Belarus — Svirski; Pilipavets, Bylinkin, Biatsenia, Lapun, Shauchenka (Chekhau, 65) (Ksenafontau, 80), Tupalau (Mirayeuski, 65), Svirepa (Juhir, 80), Alshanik, Khlebasolau (Baradzin, 53), Yermakovich (Sen, 53).

April 24 in Trnava, Slovakia
USA 1 Hungary 1Goals: E. Perez (Carranza) 78; Szabo 28.
USA — Scott; Uribe, McKenzie, Jones (Stanley, 69), Del Rosario (E.Perez, 57); Carr (B.Perez, 69), Pomykal, Carranza, Dorsey; Gonzalez, Rennicks (Brewer, 78).
Hungary — Bese; Krebsz, Kiss, Berdo, Kiss (Lustyik, 75), Rabatin, Kilti, Bolla, Bevardi, Szabo (Gajda, 79), Palincsar (Stoiacovici, 57).

U.S. U-18 men’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brandon Austin (Tottenham Spurs; U.S. Virgins Islands) Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders; Tukwila, Wash.), Brady Scott (DeAnza Force; Petaluma, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (8): Jonathan Esparza (Club Tijuana: Chula Vista, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Leicester City; Wyckoff, N.J.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution Academy; West Hartford, Conn.), Jack Maher (Scott Gallagher; Caseyville, Ill.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; Columbia, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Paolo Belloni (Genoa FC; Delray Beach, Fla.), Koby Carr (Texas Rush; San Antonio, Texas), Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC; Manassas, Va.), Brian Perez (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.).
FORWARDS (7): Shaft Brewer (FC Dallas; Sacramento, Calif.), Lucas del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Colo.), Jonathan Gonzalez (FC Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Will Inalien (Portland Timbers; Tamarac, Fla.), Emanuel Perez (CASL; Garner, N.C.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution Academy; Hamilton, Mass.).

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U.S. U-16 girls head to Belgium

New U-16 girls national team head coach Kacey White  takes a 20-player squad to Belgium May 6-17 for a four-team competition in which the USA will play Croatia (May 12), host Belgium (May 14) and Switzerland (May 16).

Previous U-16 coach Jaime Frias, now the U-18 head coach, will also go on the trip during which the USA, whose roster is comprised of players born in 2002, 2003 and 2004, will compete against teams with players born in 2001 and 2002.

This group of players moved up from the U-14 level last year and will spend two years as the U-16 girls national team before moving on to the U-18s. They are all age-eligible for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup, which is for players born in 2001 or later.

U.S. U-16 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Mia Justus (PDA; North Brunswick, N.J.), Stephanie Sparkowski (East Meadow SC; East Meadow, N.Y.).
DEFENDERS (6): Kayla Colbert (Arsenal FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Devi Dudley (Utah Celtic FC; American Fork, Utah), Katie Groff (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), Samar Guidry (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Smith Hunter (Seattle Reign Academy; Seattle, Wash.), Dasia Torbert (Tophat SC; Buford, Ga.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Josephine Aulicino (Michigan Hawks; Northville, Mich.), Aislyn Crowder (Hawaii Rush; Mililani, Hawaii), Tatiana Fung (Arsenal FC; Fullerton, Calif.), Isabel Loza (Arsenal FC; La Mirada, Calif.), Alexis Missimo (Solar Chelsea; Southlake, Texas), Michaela Rosenbaum (Santa Rosa United; Rohnert Park, Calif.).
FORWARDS (6): Michelle Cooper (Michigan Hawks; Clarkston Mich.), Samantha Kroeger (World Class FC; West Milford, N.J.), Trinity Rodman (So Cal Blues; Newport Beach, Calif.), Allyson Sentnor (South Shore Select; Hanson, Mass.), Jillian Shimkin (Albertson SC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Joyelle Washington (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.).

10 comments about "USA youth teams are on a roll ".
  1. Terry Lynch, May 2, 2017 at 10:32 a.m.

    Amazing what a group of new coaches has been able to do. Kids are probably mostly the same. What does that tell you? Might be seeing same effect at the senior mens level. Way to go, US Soccer!

  2. Ric Fonseca, May 2, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.

    Kudos to the teams and hearty congratulations also. However, the processes of nepotism, favoritism, and other "isms" will ever and continue to reign. Has anyone ever done a "study" on the number of offsprings, i.e. sons/daughters of profile-named former players now coaches in high profile programs/teams, are playing, e.g. Reyna, Klinsman, whose names escape me? Now there's a socilogical/historical thesis/dissertation waiting for some one aut there!!! Just wonderin' and sayin'...

  3. Terry Lynch, May 2, 2017 at 1:50 p.m.

    By the way, I got to watch the U17 boys play Mexico (4-3 win in a heavy rain) and they were outstanding. Best US youth performance I've seen in a long while. Some promising talent on that team.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now, May 2, 2017 at 3:57 p.m.

    Great results - looks like progress to me!

  5. The Ghost of Gary Young replied, May 2, 2017 at 5:03 p.m.

    No, no, no. We are going backwards. These results are against teams that are no good. And the way that the US teams play hurts their development. We have not progressed at all because the team isn't completely made up of latino kids from barrios.

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 2, 2017 at 5:09 p.m.

    Yeah good point. Plus, these other teams have coaches so obviously they can't be any good because the only way to develop is to play street soccer until one day you just happen to be playing for Real Madrid and/or the national team. That's how real development works.

  7. Craig Cummings, May 2, 2017 at 10:32 p.m.

    Does anybody know if U 16G player Trinity Rodman is Denis Rodmans daughter? He lives in Newport Beach Ca.

  8. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 3, 2017 at 9:49 a.m.

    Yes, according to Google, she is his daughter. Obviously if a shot bounces off the post, she will be first to the rebound!

  9. Craig Cummings, May 3, 2017 at 10:21 p.m.

    I refereed her high school team in december and I dont remember her. The coach did say to me before the game that he was missing some key players.

  10. Peter Skouras, May 21, 2017 at 4:09 p.m.

    Nepotism Professor Fonseca? We have to look after our own especially family!

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