The Ghana Connection continues: Osman is national boys player of the year

By Mike Woitalla

For the third time in six years, the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year is a Ghana product who came to the USA via the Right to Dream Academy, which seeks opportunities abroad for promising young talent from West Africa.

The 2017 winner, Umar Farouk Osman, scored 19 goals and had nine assists in his senior year at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he arrived as a freshman from Tamale, Ghana.

Umar Farouk Osman

Previous winners Abu Danladi (2014) and Ema Boateng (2012) had moved from Ghana to Southern California, where Danladi attended the Dunn School and Boateng the Cate School.

Danladi, who played three seasons at UCLA, was the 2017 No. 1 MLS SuperDraft pick and so far in his rookie season for Minnesota United has made 11 MLS appearances (four starts, one goal, two assists).

Boateng, who spent a season at UC Santa Barbara, in 2016 joined the Los Angeles Galaxy after a stint with Swedish club Helsingborg and has made 40 MLS appearances.

Osman was presented with the Gatorade POY trophy by 2015 winner Jack Harrison, an England product who attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts. Harrison, the 2016 No. 1 MLS SuperDraft pick who is currently starring with NYCFC, faced off against Osman when Hotchkiss played Berkshire in 2013.

Jack Harrison (right) showed up at Osman's host family's home to present the trophy.

The 2016 winner, Virginian Lucas Mendes, played at the Unversity of Virginia last season.

Osman is headed to the University of Michigan, whose star is Francis Atuahene, another Right to Dream product.

Gatorade National Boys Soccer Players of the Year
2017 Umar Farouk Osman 2016 Lucas Mendez 2015 Jack Harrison. 2014 Abu Danladi. 2013 Cristian Roldan. 2012 Ema Boateng. 2011 Luis Rendon. 2010 Soony Saad. 2009 Dillon Powers. 2008 Chris Agorsor. 2007 Brayan Martinez. 2006 Eric Alexander. 2005 Lee Nguyen. 2004 Patrick Phelan. 2003 Greg Dalby. 2002 Jordan Harvey. 2001 Ned Grabavoy. 2000 Alecko Eskandarian. 1999 Kyle Martino. 1998 Nick Downing. 1997 Nick Garcia. 1996 Andy Kirk. 1995 Pierre Venditti. 1994 Andriy Shapowal. 1993 Mike Fisher. 1992 Matt McKeon. 1991 Claudio Reyna. 1990 Todd Haskins. 1989 Chris Henderson. 1988 Lyle Yorks. 1987 John Gwin. 1986 Kevin Hundelt.

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U.S. Soccer: Tracey Kevins named U-15 girls coach

Tracey Kevins, most recently assistant coach of the NWSL's Seattle Reign, has been named head coach of the U.S. U-15 girls national team. Her appointment ups to seven the number of full-time head coaches in the U.S. youth women’s and girls national team program.

2017 U.S. Youth National Team Coaches
U-20: Jitka Klimkova
U-19: Keri Sarver
U-18: Jaime Frias
U-17: Mark Carr
U-16: Kacey White
U-15: Tracey Kevins
U-14: April Kater

Kevins, who has been coaching at U.S. Soccer Training Centers since 2013, coached the L.A. Blues to a 15-0-0 record and 2014 USL W-League title. She served as assistant and head coach for various youth national nationals in her native England from 2004 to 2013. Her club coaching career includes the FA Women’s Premier League Cup title in 2011 with Barnet FC Ladies.

Tracey Kevins

As a player, she captained Barnet FC in 1989-2003 and began coaching its reserve team upon retiring. She also coached boys teams at Wealdstone FC.

“Tracey has a wealth of domestic and international experience that identified her as the best candidate to lead our U-15 girls national team,” said April Heinrichs, U.S. Soccer's Youth Women's National Team Director. “She has a great understanding of how to teach 13-, 14-, and 15 years-olds and how to send them home with doses of inspiration so they are improving every day, not just when we have them in national team camp.”

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U.S. U-18 boys beat Portugal in Lisbon

After opening the 23rd Lisbon International U-18 Tournament with losses to Japan (2-0) and Norway (2-1), the U.S. U-18 men's national team, coached by Omid Namazi, beat host Portugal, 2-1, on goals by Faris Abdi (IMG) and Andrew Paoli  (San Jose Earthquakes).

Abdi’s strike in the 86th minute equalized Portugal’s 76th-minute goal by Joao Oliveira and Paoli hit the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.

Portugal was still crowned champion of the four-team round-robin tournament, having beaten Japan, 3-1, and Norway, 3-0, edging Norway on goal difference.

USA Lineup vs. Portugal — Muse; Real, Mckenzie (Stanley, 59), Vom Steeg, (Maher, 62), Paoli, Servania, Carranza (del Rosario, 78), Cappis (Abdi, 78), Perez, Rennicks, Dorsey (Carr, 78).

U-18 men’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders; Tukwila, Wash.) Gabe Rosario (Reading FC; Charlotte, N.C.).
DEFENDERS (7): Gideon Davis (CE Europa; Barcelona, Spain.) Jack Maher (Scott Gallagher; Caseyville, Ill.), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC; Columbia, Ill.), Christian Takaki (PA Classics; Dover, Pa.), Carson Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Faris Abdi (IMG; Bradenton, Fla.), Raul Aguilera (Orlando City SC; Sanford, Fla.), Christian Cappis (Texans SC Houston; West Chicago, Ill.), Koby Carr (Texas Rush; San Antonio, Texas), Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC; Manassas, Va.) Andrew Paoli (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.) Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.).
FORWARDS (4): Lucas Del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Colo.) Emanuel Perez (CASL; Garner, N.C.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution Academy; Hamilton, Mass.).

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U.S. U-16 boys lose three in Japan

The U.S. U-16 boys national team, coached by Shaun Tsakiris, dropped all three of its games at the 2017 U-16 International Dream Cup in Japan. After a 2-1 loss to Guinea, the Americans fell, 4-2, to host Japan and 5-2 to the Netherlands.

Azriel Gonzalez of the Seattle Sounders scored against Guinea. Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake) and Stefan Stojanovic (Sockers FC) scored against Japan.

NYCFC's Giovanni Reyna, the only 2002-born player on a roster of 2001s, scored against the Dutch, who gifted the USA an own goal in the first minute.

USA-Guinea (full game)
Japan-USA (highlights)
USA-Netherlands (full game)

U-16 boys national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Michael Collodi (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Nicolas Defreitas-Hansen (Weston FC; SW Ranches, Fla.).
DEFENDERS (5): Julian Araujo (Santa Barbara SC; Lompoc, Calif.), Nico Benalcazar (NYCFC; Wilton, Conn.), Luke Hansen (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), John Hilton (LA Galaxy; Long Beach, Calif.), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mario Anaya (San Jose Earthquakes; Livermore, Calif.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake; Eden, Utah), Azriel Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders; Renton, Wash.), Nelson Martinez (DC United; Woodbridge, Va.), Aidan Morris (Weston FC; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Adrian Munoz (FC Dallas; Richardson, Texas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas).
FORWARDS (6): Ulysses Llanez (LA Galaxy; Lynwood, Calif.), Dillon Keane (San Jose Earthquakes; Foster City, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (NYCFC; Bedford, N.Y.), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Jose Rivas (Weston FC; Weston, Fla.), Stefan Stojanovic (Sockers FC; Des Plaines, Ill.).

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Twelve Development Academy games to be streamed live

Twelve games from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs June 20-June 26 will be streamed live on the Development Academy Facebook page and at

See the schedule HERE.

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