U.S. Youth National Teams

Rubin, Flores and Moore headline U.S. Under-17 roster for CONCACAF qualifying

Starting 11


U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team manager Richie Williams announced on Tuesday a 20-man roster for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, set to take place from April 6-19 in Panama. The last four teams remaining in the competition qualify for the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates this October.

Junior Flores, Rubio Rubin and Shaquell More headline a list of of 20 players on the team, with 18 being members of the U.S. U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Florida. The lone outsider is Joel Soñora, who plays in the Boca Juniors academy in Buenos Aires. Soñora is the son of former MLS player Diego Soñora, who played with the Dallas Burn, Metrostars, D.C. United, and the Tampa Bay Mutiny between 1996-2001.

“We’ve brought a lot of guys in through Residency and a lot of guys have done really well,” Williams said to USSoccer.com. “It’s been a long process, but we feel like we’ve narrowed it down to the 20 players for the roster. It’s never easy.”

Here is the full roster:

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team CONCACAF Qualifying Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (North Carolina Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls; South River, N.J.)

DEFENDERS (6): Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tommy Redding (FC America Premier; Oviedo, Fla.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Junior Flores (Unattached; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Elijah Martin (Unattached; Fresno, Calif.), Joel Soñora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.)

FORWARDS (5): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Lake Worth, Fla.), Rubio Rubin (Unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)


The squad features players born in 1996 and 1997, three of which come from MLS developmental academies. Midfielder Angel Heredia plays with the San Jose Earthquakes academy, and both midfielder Christopher Lema and goalkeeper Evan Louro are part of the New York Red Bulls academy.

The residency group went on a ten-day tour in February in Panama, playing their Panamanian and Mexican counterparts during the trip. The U.S. team lost 4-0 to Mexico and three days later played Panama to a 1-1 draw, but Williams said the results on the field weren’t as important as the experience.

“We wanted to get down to Panama for about seven to 10 days to get three matches, to get acclimated,” Williams said. “To see what Panama’s all about and make sure it wasn’t the first time our guys had seen everything – what the hotel was like, what the fields were like, the training fields, the stadiums that we possibly could play in, to see what the weather was like, what the food was like, and we thought that was a great experience for our guys.

“It’s only going to help us this week when we travel down to qualifying.”

The U.S. are the defending CONCACAF U-17 Champions, defeating Canada 3-0 with all goals coming after extra time in the 2011 final. They open up the 2013 tournament with matches against Haiti and Guatemala, before the start of the knockout round.

“We feel like we’ve got a great group of guys that have been able to gain great experience at an international level,” Williams said. “Now it comes down to the most important international tournament, and that’s the qualifying. Either you move on to the World Cup or you come back home. We feel like they’re ready and we’ll go out there and do our best.”

    • Joe+G

      From US Soccer:

      The USA’s group matches will be broadcast on FOX Soccer, with live coverage for the April 7 game and a tape delay when the USA faces Guatemala on April 11 (6:30 p.m. ET kickoff; 7 p.m. ET coverage). Fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

      FOX Soccer also will broadcast the knockout round matches that include the April 13 and 14 quarterfinals, the April 17 semifinals and the April 19 third-place and championship games.


  • sly

    Redbulls represent. Can’t say I know any of these players but looking at the under 20s I would trade our whole academy for Villareal or Luis Gill. Even Joya I’d house in like 5 mins.

    I wonder when they’ll move on to a bigger better league (yeah I said it). I need them for the Nats need them playing at the highest level.


    • Bobb

      Every US fan should at least familiarize themselves with Junior Flores and Rubio Rubin. Check out the highlights from the past two Nike invitationals on the ussoccer YouTube page.


  • bob

    Rubin and Flores are beasts I hope they continue to develop and don’t fail or stall like so many promising youth players.


    • Alex

      Might not have been released for the qualifying tournament. However, if the USA qualify for the WC, I am sure he’d be there.


      • Bobb

        It’s U-17s it’s not like he’s anywhere close to Fulham’s first team (Liverpool’s lousy excuse with Pelosi and the U-20s), I’m pretty sure they would send him just for the experience and to build goodwill (with the player not US soccer)… I’m guessing Hyndman was simply not called in by Williams. In fact I seem to remember that when he was with the U-17s at some other set of games, he was only used sparingly.


  • Officer George Green

    How are players selected for these youth teams? How do they compare a player from Omaha FC to a player from FC America Premier (Florida)? Are there show case tournaments or is it based on word of mouth?

    Also I thought Rubio Rubin was with the Portland Timbers academy?


    • Haddo

      Is Omaha FC a joke? I am dead serious, i never played soccer at all, but i lived with a couple guys during college who played for Prep and i never heard any mention of such a team. Im not being sarcastic, does an Omaha FC team exist?


      • B1879

        Yes. It’s the best place for soccer development in Nebraska.


    • Bobb

      Maybe Rubin is preparing to sign with a big European club after impressing everyone at the Nike friendlies, like Flores and Dortmund the previous year (note he’s also listed as unattached due to his age). Bad news for the Timbers.


  • TomG

    Have seen a bit of Rubio and Flores and come away very impressed. Haven’t seen Moore yet. These games should be fun to watch.


    • Jacknut

      Interesting note: This will be the first U-17 team for whom MLS has always been in existence. Kind of neat, in its own way.


    • Shane

      Surprised also, but it is almost all residency players so maybe that explains it.


  • fc america

    Tommy Redding -The player from FC America is playing a year up and starting at center back. He started for the Nike ID2 International team, the U14 national team, the U15 national team and was one of three 97’s chosen 2 years ago to (Lindley, Akale, Redding) residency. He is being looked at by Bayern Munich, Celtics and Westham. He is considered the #1 under 18 defensive prospect in the USA. He had surgery on his knee last July and missed a lot of games and has been flying under the radar from most fans but a lot european clubs saw him play with the Nike Id2 international team and the us u15 national team that defeated Ajax, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich top Academy teams. He has just recently returned to play and moved right into the starting role, the only 97 born player to start for the US. Redding has made and started for every national team he’s ever been a part of including the u17 team when he was 14 years old. FC America also produced Graham Zusi and Dax Macarty. Redding is rated higher than both players at this point in their careers. The players are “encouraged” to join an academy when they make national teams but if you look at the players clubs prior to making the us roster most players are from non academy teams.


  • robo johnson

    i’ll skip this.. u-20 is one thing, but these are high school kids, 1/2 the team will probably become accountants or deli store owners or something.


    • Jay

      Yeah I agree. And it’s just not soccer, half of the top basketball and football prospects in high school never amount to anything at the pro level either. Too many unknowns and variables to get invested in high school age kids unless you see a clear cut phenom like Lebron James or Messi.


  • DC Josh

    Is it too much to ask that these kids be in MLS academies? I know DC United has 18,16,15,14,13 aged academies. Doesn’t every MLS club have similar groups?

    I mean, these are the “best” U-17 players in the country, and some of them aren’t even affiliated with a club. Only 3 are part of academies. That is pretty embarrassing.


  • Mike

    Flores hasn’t been starting for this squad for sometime now. Williams has mentioned his inconsistent play so it will be interesting to see if he gets back in the first 11. Also they are similar to the U-20 group in that they are solid in MF and upfront but their back four is suspect.


  • Turd Bradley

    Lets not get this twisted half of these kids will not be pro, its just the way it works

    half of the kids at residency in Bradenton probably don’t deserve to be there off of merit but use the coaches network and their coaches connections to get called in.

    Michael Bradley back in the day had no business being there but look at him now


  • Chief Diversity Officer, US Soccer Federation

    You know Mukwelle Akale wasn’t on the original roster but thanks to your truly, I managed to get him and Ahinga Selemani on. We want this team to be truly gloriously diverse and resemble the most recent US U-23 team. Celebrate Diversity!


    • Josh D

      Where are the Asians? And Middle Easterns? We should have at least one Native American! I demand proper diversity!


      • Chief Diversity Officer, US Soccer Federation

        I’m sorry but this is the United States. Over here, diversity only pertains to one particular racial and ethnic group. You should know that.


  • Chief Diversity Officer, US Soccer Federation

    And it’s wonderful to Mukwelle Akale, a player of Ethiopian decent, on the roster. After all, Ethiopia is renowned for producing some of the best players in the world.


    • chris

      He scored 4 goals and assited one in the last game. Its funny how little people know about youth soccer in this country. No wonder most of the fans are so out of touch


    • Firerev

      Mukwelle’s father is actually Cameroonian. His mother Caucasian American. No Ethiopian. But there have been one or two decent players from Cameroon, no?


  • Derrick

    Pretty sure eto’o and song are terrible I mean marvel wynne caught eto’o from behind it just screams of awfulness lol


  • Queen of the perturbed, mother of national team player

    It’s incredible how far off most of you are. Clearly, you don’t follow U.S. youth soccer and are full of pure speculation and snarky cynicism. FC America is the only poster who states facts. You might want to follow the youth, attend some of their games, yes, a lot of them are public and stop looking for one “saviour” of a soccer player. If you know anything about soccer, or sports in general, Lebrons and Messis are an anomaly and are surrounded in their sport by other great athletes that do it the old fashioned way, “development”. Being a 16/17 y/o player for the national team is part of that development, no one wants their player to “peak” at 16/17!
    Sit back, relax and enjoy the show…and let’s chat again when they are 22/23, because that’s when people like Zidane, Terry, Henry, Totti, Ronaldinho, etc. began their “shine”…


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer


A busy week for the USL kicks off Friday night in Kansas City with last year’s western conference champions, Swope Park Rangers, taking on current leaders, San Antonio FC. Reno 1868 FC’s match (…)