U.S. Youth National Teams

U.S. U-18s top U-17s in scrimmage

Mukwelle Akale

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


At the end of their January camp, Javier Perez’s U.S. Under-18 squad took on Richie Williams’s U-17s in a friendly scrimmage in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Though the U-17s took an early lead, the older and more experienced U-18s showed over the course of the match that they were the better side. The highlight of the match was likely Mukwelle Akale’s goal for the U-18s in the 59th minute.

Akale stole the ball away from his marker before gliding past two defenders and scoring on a looping strike to give his side the lead. Christian Pulisic’s opening diving header deserves recognition as well.

Here’s a video of the scrimmage (after the jump):

  • Dinho

    Really? They beat them? No scoreline? We have to watch for 6 minutes to find out the final score, who scored, etc.


  • anthony

    end score
    U18: 3
    57′ Elney
    59′ Akale
    82′ Saucedo

    U17: 2
    5′ Pulisic
    85′ Swanson (OG)


  • Goalscorer24

    U17’s overall looked better then the U18’s. The U17’s could have easily had 2 more goals.


  • Randall

    Looks like my son’s High School game, maybe even slower that a high school game in Katy Texas.


      • MyHSKidsarebetterjustsayin'

        What part of HS is offered everywhere and Dev. Academy is not don’t you understand “YoYo”. You can not provide arguments (valid points– 4 to be exact) without a leveling field. USSF works in a strategic way. Holding kids hostages is not the way to go. Also, claiming that kids are only playing for the “high school experience” is down-right ignorant. Dev. Academy is a business. HS is a “rite of passage” in American HS Sports. And just to be certain, Tennessee has no DA whatsoever and some HS Players are better and more well-rounded then your DA counterparts. When this DA service is offered [in] every major city in the U.S. then we can talk, until then continue playing with your YoYo.


      • slowleftarm

        Not sure what you are responding to but high school soccer is a wasteland and our best players should be held out of it and play in competitions appropriate to their abilities. It may be a “rite of passage” but sometime you need to change things in order to compete on a global stage.


      • righthook

        What is the difference in ODP (Cost) and DA (No Cost): 30 Years Later a new pyramid level has developed. Float like a butterfly and sting like Bernie Made0ff. HS Sports is the American Way. There’s a reason you can’t get your best Athletes to stay in Soccer. MLS Academies are one thing but the rest of the populated US? Come on, you re going to ignore that many kids for the sake of the $–go ahead. But please, don’t sell me on your continue development of Soccer in the US and how HS is a wasteland. Talk to me when you can convince the NFL, MLB, and NBA to differ to your model and not the HS model.


    • Andrew

      I’m from Katy, TX. At least when I was in high school, the high school teams there all played on Astroturf. Games were played at ridiculous speeds because of that surface, but that didn’t mean quality at all.


      • Rory

        Not to mention the quality of opposition plays a big role.

        Two mediocre defending squads can usually make for a very good looking game!

        I’m sure there are undiscovered stars sitting out there on a high school team, but I’m also sure that the national youth program is full of more talented players on average. Source: reality.


      • MyStory

        “I’m sure there are undiscovered stars sitting out there on a high school team” That statement alone tells you The USSF Scouts or “whoever (wink, wink)”are missing the obvious. just me though.


      • tony and cupcake

        National Youth Development Program? Do you believe there is some wise, all knowing group out there with pure motivation identifying and developing players for the greater good of US soccer?

        The problem with the Academies and other “development” paths is that they have limited exposure, identify players way too early to the exclusion of other possible “late bloomers” and their motivations are suspect.

        A High School / College system allows more exposure and time for development and the cream to rise to the top. It is clear from the major US sports that this is the best way to go.

        The reason the “wise and all knowing” don’t like school based development is they can’t control it.


  • justthemessenger

    Whitfield Co. is home to the best U17 Soccer Players in GA. Not the “most” but the “best”–meaning better than the rest. Atlanta and its surroundings have an immense “number” of Talent but not the “best”. Sorry fellas, this is true. DA coaches can talk all they want and keep on about their program. The small city of Dalton has an age group between U16 and U17 that can’t be match (on the boys side). Defenders, Midfielders, and Strikers. Goalkeepers (No) This should be common knowledge.


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