Wright scores hat-trick as U.S. U-17s crush Costa Rica in Panama tournament opener

Wright scores hat-trick as U.S. U-17s crush Costa Rica in Panama tournament opener

U.S. Soccer

Wright scores hat-trick as U.S. U-17s crush Costa Rica in Panama tournament opener

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U.S. U17 MNT vs England

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Haji Wright continued his fine form in a U.S. youth national team uniform with another impressive performance on Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicked off the Panama U-17 tournament with a 5-2 rout against Costa Rica. Wright scored a hat trick in the win, adding to his team-high scoring total with both the U-17s and recently the U-18s. Wright has scored 14 goals in 2014, and 20 in total in the U-17 program.

Wright kicked off the scoring in the 18th minute before teammate Josh Perez added the USA’s second goal in the 22nd minute. Costa Rica’s Jonathan Martinez cut the deficit to one with a free-kick goal in the 45th minute, but it was as close as Los Ticos would get the rest of the game.

Following the halftime break, Hugo Arellano scored for the American’s in the 50th minute, and Wright put in his second eight minutes later. The 6-foot-tall Los Angeles native completed his hat trick in the 67th minute to give the U.S. a 5-1 lead. Martinez scored Costa Rica’s second goal in the 69th minute, but the damage was done, and the U.S. held on for the 5-2 victory.

Next up for the U.S. is a match against Canada on Friday.

Here’s a look at the U.S. U-17s lineup against Costa Rica:

U.S. U-17s Starting XI: 1-Kevin Silva; 3-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano, 4-Alexis Velela, 2-Matt Olosunde (20-Keegan Kelly, 89); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (13-Tyler Adams, 83), 8-Luca de la Torre (16-Tommy McCabe, 76), 10-Christian Pulisic (17-McKinze Gaines, 76); 11-Josh Perez, 9-Alejandro Zendejas, 7-Haji Wright

Subs Not Used: 12-William Pulisic, 14-Daniel Barbir, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 18-Pierre Da Silva, 19-Elijah Rice

Head Coach: Richie Williams

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What do you think of this performance? Do you see the U.S. running away with the tournament?

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