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U.S. U-17s set for whirlwind tournament in Costa Rica

Williams (ISIphotos)

The U.S. senior men's national team is coming off what Jurgen Klinsmann called a five-game tournament, with three friendlies and two World Cup qualifiers in a rather brief time testing the durability of his squad. The U.S. U-17s are about to embark on a whirlwind, five-match adventure of their own.

The U-17s, led by new coach Richie Williams, will play five games in five days in Estadio Saprissa in Costa Rica at the Copa Saprissa Internacional starting with a match against Costa Rican club Linafa's U-17 side on Saturday. The following days include matches against the Honduras U-17s, Costa Rica's U-17s and another Costa Rican club (Chorillo FC) before concluding against Mexico's U-17 side, one that captured the FIFA U-17 World Cup during the previous cycle but fell to the United States during last month's Mondial Minimes Tournament in France. Depending on results, two playoff matches could be in the offing as well.

Williams' roster includes playmaker Junior Flores, midfielder Rubio Rubin, defender Tyler Turner and forward Wesley Wade, the standouts from this past winter's Nike International Friendlies tournament, during which the United States won the title by defeating Brazil. Wade is one of four New York Red Bulls academy players on the roster, the most any one team contributed. Here is the full 24-man roster for the upcoming matches:


GOALKEEPERS: Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders Academy; Woodinville, Wash.), Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls Academy; South River, N.J.) 

DEFENDERS: Adonis Amaya (Chivas USA Academy; Westminster, Calif.), Jordan Cano (FC Dallas Academy; Richardson, Texas), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (Real So Cal; Van Nuys, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Cobb FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Kevin Politz (New York Red Bulls Academy; Morganville, N.J.), John Requejo, Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Gonzalo Rolon (Central California Blues; Bakersfield, Calif.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.) 

MIDFIELDERS: Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls Academy; Ridgefield, N.J.), Cameron Lindley (Indiana United Academy; Carmel, Ind.), Aaron Meyer (FC Dallas Academy; Carrollton, Tex.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy Academy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Westside Metros; Beaverton, Ore.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC; Garland, Texas) 

FORWARDS: Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (Chivas USA Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls Academy; South Orange, N.J.


  1. In the Nike highlights I watched, Junior Flores made the Brazil players look very average. I hope it wasn’t a fluke.

  2. the ChivasUSA Academy has really made some great inroads with Orange County players. The Goats will be a good feeder system for the USMNT for years to come.

  3. Its a large roster I’m sure Williams will alternate players. The academy teams will be playing much less games starting this season. The Academy league will have a 30-game schedule and players can no longer play high school.

  4. Agree with Benny. I played for the Red Bulls but at tournament level (below Academy) and we always play around 2-4 games in 2 days.

    Also look at the schedule of the Red Bulls Academy on there website. Most of the time they have game on Saturday and Sunday and most of the time when that happens they have a lot of travel in between games.

  5. And back in the US, their former teammates are playing 5 games in two days in two day tournaments. Having only one day a game at 15 or 16 (some of these kids are still 15) is pretty relaxed.

  6. It will be interesting to see how many of these players opt for College and how many will sign with professional clubs. The more who go the professional route, the better.

  7. You’re assuming that these players will go back to Red Bull Academy after the Bradenton Residency is over. Some players sign with European teams. In fairness to Backe he’s been playing more Americans recently. Ryan Meara, Brandon Barklage, Conor Lade(formerly of Red Bull Academy), Dax McCarty, Juan Agudelo(formerly of Red Bull Academy) got some playing time before being traded and. If you look at other MLS teams you’ll see homegrown players have gotten very little playing time overall.

  8. Of course, we all know Backe doesn’t play academy players…ever. So this is the only place we can see them. Will the revolution be televised?

  9. Is that a typo? 5 games in 5 days? Wasn’t the federation upset with the focus on games at the youth level development when it needs more training? what changed?


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