Top Stories

Hyndman, Rubin headline U.S. U-17 squad for Nike Friendlies

U.S. Under-17 national team head coach Richie Williams revealed a 20-player roster he will use to take part in the upcoming Nike Friendlies, which kick off on Wednesday in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Fulham FC academy’s Emerson Hyndman, the grandson of FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman headlines a talent group of players that also features Portland Timbers academy product Rubio Rubin and recent Borussia Dortmund signing Junior Flores.

Here is the full squad:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders Academy; Woodinville, Wash.), Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls Academy; South River, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (6): Jordan Cano (FC Dallas Academy; Richardson, Texas), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Minneapolis, Minn.), Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC Academy; Canton, Texas), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls Academy; Ridgefield, N.J.), Cameron Lindley (Indiana Fire Academy; Carmel, Ind.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy Academy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Lake Worth, Fla.), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers Academy; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)

The U.S. U-17 team opens the Nike Friendlies on Wednesday against Brazil, then takes on Turkey on Friday before concluding with a match against Portugal on Sunday. The Americans won the tournament last year.

What do you think of the squad? Which players are you interested to see play?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Hi praise indeed: “Fulham beat a number of Europe’s top clubs to the talented youngster’s signature, who has consistently turned heads as a result of his cultured play and sublime range of passing. Hyndman is a player that sees the game differently to most. … Despite his natural ability, the USA youth international has a great attitude and is always amongst the hardest working out on the pitch. In constantly keeping the ball moving, he could become the Under-18′s chief midfield orchestrator.”

  2. Fulham Academy Director Huw Jennings on their recent 6-0 win against Middlesborough…

    While the goalscorers grab the headlines, Huw was quick to praise 16-year-old Hyndman who pulled a lot of the strings in the middle of the park for Fulham on Saturday.

    “Emerson Hyndman was terrific today,” Jennings said. “He sat in centre midfield and controlled the game.”

  3. Bradenton will continue to have a role to play for players who cannot get attached to a professional team close to home (NC, IN, etc. even SanDiego, CA have no real professional clubs close enough that a 15 or 16 year-old could get daily training. Providing a place a kid can actually live while completing high school and getting high level training and competition that player would not have access to otherwise is valuable.

    The biggest problem with Bradenton is that it is impossible to pick players at 14 or 15 and know which will actually turn out. Professional clubs all over the world are looking for that formula; mostly we only hear about their relatively few successes, not all the players they took on who did not pan out after a few years. A single place like Bradenton cannot possibly cast a wide enough net to capture all those who would benefit from such an experience, but it can and does do fairly well at helping out those who get selected and accept.

    • Until such time as there are either True Feeder programs to MLS (USL) or Multiple incarnations of Brandenton across the country where there is either too much area for MLS to cover or No MLS presence at all (Florida, Texas, Cali, Pac NW, St Louis, Ill, etc) it will be hard for a single entity to identify and then train enough players to get that Deep pool that other countries have.
      Maybe someday in my lifetime we’ll actually see the leap in development that will take the USMNT into a consistent top 10 country.

  4. Why all these Cali base players? Youth coaches need to do better at scouting talent. I know great players have came out of Cali, but still give everyone a even chance.

    • can’t say i know too much about any of these guys but 4 players out of CA and 14 states overall represented is pretty good. I feel like in the past a good 50% of the player pool came from either NJ or CA and now there are players from all over, especially MLS academies.

      That said USSF really should arrange a couple of state games with youth and pro’s. Id love to see a California vs. Texas, Maryland vs. Virginia, Oregon vs Washington, New Jersey vs. Florida, etc. games with a mix of MLS, European and youth players..

      • At the ODP level you do already have these sort of state team games as both recognition of making state ODP and as a means of identifying regional/ national level players. You also have the youth club championships where state champions progress up to regional and national tournaments, where good teams advance up into compact tournaments that can be scouted. And then there’s also super youth leagues where the good clubs are in with the academies in regional leagues. So I don’t think it’s for lack of showcases.

        IMO it reflects selection biases, as a Texan I notice a lot of Dallas Premier League players and nobody from South Texas, even though history reflects that the South produces as many players like Holden or Shea as the North does players like Dempsey.

        I also think you have to factor in that the ODP system may still be pay to play like it was in my day in which case you have to be able to afford the training and the travel on top of ordinary club costs, which can distort the player pool towards players with parents of means.

  5. What 2tone said. Fox Soccer carried at least the Brazil game last year, if not all of them? Are we gonna be completely in the dark this time TV-wise? (this is the part, btw, where y’all say I’m from Alabama and am completely in the dark all the time… go ahead lol)

    • Fox clearly has sooooo much other soccer to show now. They have Champions League and…. um MLS? No, they lost that. UUUuummm. Oh, they have EPL…. but they’re losing that, too. They haaaaavvve…………… Huh, not sure why they’re not showing it. They should be begging to show anything they can.

      • Seriously, what do they have? Is GOL TV a subsidiary of FOX, because if they are they still have the Bundesliga, though they might be losing that to beIN if I’m not mistaking.

  6. I wonder why Tyler Turner has fallen out of favor. Anyways good to see Hyndman called in. Thats why I lile Williams he has called in players that aren’t apart of Bradenton. He called in Lindley and Cano as well who are both not at Bradenton.

    • Turner is recovering from an injury suffered a few months ago. He’ll continue to be a core part of this team assuming he comes back in good form.

    • I think you’d see a lot more Americans capable of doing this but I think FIFA forbids a player from going abroad to sign a full pro contract before 18 (without their parents, something like that). I don’t know if that covers Academy play but I think then you are covering a lot of your own expenses. Even Renken and Gyau started at Vancouver before Hoffenheim. And half the point to Adu and Altidore signing here before moving there was waiting for the passage of the 18 year old rule, in their home country where they could turn pro before 18. There were also the issues with Salgado trying to move from Chivas to the US since he wasn’t supposed to be transferring at that age. There has to be some wealth or citizenship quirk where Hyndman can play in England. So I think players like this will be outliers, and the rules basically force domestic U-18 development of players.

      • Hyndman’s grandparents are European so he can get a passport from those countries, that’s how he (and a few others) are able to avoid all the European regulations about foriegners and Fifa’s own rules about under 18 year old moving abroad.

      • Like I was saying, citizenship quirk. To the extent the initial poster was wishing we had more players taking opportunities like this, I think the reality under the FIFA U-18 rule is it’s unlikely if not illegal for most American kids. More American senior players could transfer abroad (like say Agudelo), but pre-18 we’re basically stuck with our domestic development system. We can’t send most kids to Arsenal academy to fix that, and it’s our own problem if we lack those sorts of true academies (I mean, they actually have secondary schools and residencies, as well as daily training, hence the name), and if Bradenton is currently a weak imitation of something like France’s Clairefontaine.

  7. I don’t know anything about Rubin, but Flores and Hyndman may revive our youth program. If we can get them on the pitch at the same time, they will be the most exciting tandem since Donovan and Beasley…what Renken and Gyau might have been if Renken had better luck.

    • Rubin played last year at the Nike Friendlies I think. He, Wesley Wade, and Tyler Turner all scored in the same match against Turkey. I could be thinking about the wrong tournament but it was definitely at the U-17 level.

      • You are correct that he played last year in the Nike friendlies, but it was the game against Brazil in which all three scored. A game that they absolutely controlled, hopefully this year will be the same.

      • where are those two? they both showed a lot of potential in that tournament, and rubin could use a few alliteration allies.

      • I think i saw that game… was Jimmy Conrad in the broadcast booth for that? I like him but not sure if he should be in the booth or is better in the halftime show.

    • Love to watch these kids and it’s exciting to see young guys with skills like Flores, Rubio & Hyndman, but I’m trying not to place expectations on them. The chances of any kid this young becoming the real deal is extremely slim. These kids are babies and will require outstanding focus, dedication, effort, and drive to keep developing, to rise to the top and fulfill their potential. Not only that, but they’ll need some luck to stay relatively injury free. It’s so easy for kids this young to lose focus.


Leave a Comment