U.S. Youth National Teams

U-18 USMNT defeats Czech Republic to move to tournament final

U.S. Soccer crest


The Under-18 U.S. Men’s National Team will be playing for some hardware this weekend.

A day after rallying to pick up a 3-1 win over Hungary, the Americans reached the final of the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek with a 3-2 victory against the Czech Republic.

Collin Fernandez, Sebastian Saucedo and Haji Wright each found the back of the net for the U.S., but it was Wright’s strike that stood as the game-winner after the tournament hosts┬áscored their second on the final kick of the match.

Finishing atop Group A, Javier Perez’s side will now play in the tournament final on Saturday. The U.S. will take on the winner of Group B, which includes Ukraine, Slovakia and Japan.

What do you think of the U-18 USMNT defeating Czech Republic? Do you see them winning the tournament final this weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

    • ConradB

      The Czech Republic game was live streamed on youtube. I’m assuming they will do the same with the final.


      • Weston John

        Haji and his younger brother are supposedly about to sign with Schalke,,,


      • bostonredsoccer

        It will be a while before his brother can sign with Schalke. Even Haji isn’t old enough yet.


      • bryan

        yeah, they know they can’t sign a real contract. it would have to be like Rubin and Flores, which was basically a pre-contract. yet they are both still pushing for it over LA.


      • AP

        I don’t think the kid will be happy there.

        Why? … In this day and age how is it possible that a team like Schalke standing, have only 1 (ONE) African-diaspora member in their squad of U-17’s, and he is not even official?

        I understand that this is a German side, but there are African descended peoples in Germany? aren’t there?


      • Mikey K

        Race is superficial, no one cares about the demographics of the squad. As long as he gets to train and play.


      • Gary Page

        The Galaxy youth academy is doing well. Zardes is a product and another product just played recently at 17 years old and had an assist. Sorry, but his name escapes me. And, of course, they had Arriola who got tired of waiting and signed with Tijuana.


  • argh

    what is the key to success for our young guns?

    A national training manual so that we can legitimately prepare them for a European career? or

    loaning them/sending them to European clubs when they’re 15/16 to prepare?


    • kevino

      (1) If you were familiar with the UEFA rules, no player without a EURO passport can go to Europe before 18 years of age.

      (2) Euro teams don’t have the best record (as of yet) of developing native born Americans. MLS has done a much better job thus far.


      • Del Griffin

        Yes thats why the non native americans are so much better than the natives and we dont need dual nationals for the MNT.


      • travis

        @ Del
        Either I’m not understanding what you’re saying or you misunderstood Kevino’s point. On the whole, young Americans that have gone over to Europe in their early teens have typically not developed into quality players. I think Bedoya is the only player from the WC to grow up in the US and not get his start in MLS. We’re not talking about Germericans.


      • Josh D

        Disagree with number 2.

        The sample pool of young American going to European academies is far too small to determine anything.

        Secondly, those who have go on to European academies and failed tend to be the players who get there in their late teens. Not the guys who are there when they’re pre-teens and able to truly develop with their group.

        We finally have young kids developing in proper academies (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Dortmund) who’ll be the real testing grounds. And if those players fail, I’d blame the players more than the environment. Those European clubs have 100 years of training the best players in the world. It’s not their fault our players can’t compete – yet.

        Finally, one day we need our academies to offer the same level of training and competitiveness as European academies. You rarely see very young Brazilians moving to Europe because even if their leagues are weaker, their academies still produce some of the best. That’s the model we need.


      • travis

        Reall hard to disgaree with #2 outside of down the road potential. So as Kevino said “as of yet” it hasn’t worked outside of a very small number of examples. Bedoya. Spector? More might be coming and no one is denying that but MLS has done more to this point.


  • Benjamin C.

    U-18s taking those Habsburg lands by storm! Nice job, guys, some well taken goals from what I saw today.


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