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Joe Gallardo, Haji Wright score as U.S. U-17s hold off Trinidad and Tobago

JoeGallardoUSU17MNT1-TrinidadandTobago (Mexsport)


The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team didn’t dominate proceedings like it did three days earlier, but still managed to come away with another victory.

Forward Joe Gallardo scored his fourth goal of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and Haji Wright scored his first as the U.S. U-17s took down Trinidad and Tobago U-17s, 2-0. The win puts the U.S. at the top of Group A with six points, following the opening day 5-0 victory against Cuba.

In an overall uninspiring performance, the U.S. was lifted by a couple of moments of brilliance.

Attacking midfielder Alejandro Zendejas drew a free kick at the edge of the area in the 30th minute. A minute later, Gallardo stepped up and placed a free kick low and hard towards the far post. Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Levi Fernandez was leaning to the right, but was unable to dive to the other way and fully keep the ball out.

In the 71st minute, Wright finally finished off one of the many chances he had created all evening. Wright used a burst of speed to break free of a pair of defenders, took a couple of touches, and fired a low strike just inside the post with his left foot to put the U.S. up 2-0, and effectively put Trinidad and Tobago away.

It made up for an early Wright chance that was headed towards goal but saved off the line by a Trinidadian defender.

In the 87th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Will Pulisic pulled off a tremendous double-save to keep the cleansheet from getting spoiled. The first strike, a long-range shot from outside of the box, was parried by Pulisic to his left.

T&T substitute Kishon Hacksaw was the quickest to react to the loose ball and fired a shot on goal. But Pulisic managed to get his body in the way and deflect it to safety.

Here’s a look at the USA lineup:

USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 16-Thomas McCabe, 8-Luca de la Torre (13-McKinze Gaines, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic (18-Tyler Adams, 83); 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo (19-Brandon Vazquez, 90+1), 20-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 4-Alexis Velela, 6-Eric Calvillo, 11-Josh Perez, 12-Kevin Silva, 15-Daniel Barbir, 17-Pierre da Silva
Head coach: Richie Williams

Here are the game highlights:


What did you think of this result? Which players impressed you? Where does the U.S. need to make improvements?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ugly game, I think bad coaching on this one. High expectations with a few young players. Wright scored but turns it over so much, I see another altidore coming and I’m not saying that in a bad way, i like altidore but we really need someone who can finish

    • if there is one thing you can say about Haji is that he can finish. his goal yesterday as proof. as well as his other 26 goals for the U-17s. to me, his game lacks outside of finishing. i think once he is 18 and can sign a pro contract, and then get real games, it will help him take the next step.

  2. Marco
    Actually the US GK started too deep, came way too late and did not call off his defender.

    No this is not taught in the academy but our GK coaches spend all of their time working the keepers on playing with their feet. Nothing wrong with that but the objective of the position is to keep the ball out of the net. We do a poor job training keepers in this country and they develop inspite of our coaches.

  3. I only saw parts, result was excellent, play was so/so. Long tournament, perhaps kids are pacing themselves. The USA #7 had a beautiful goal, but he is a turnover machine. Six straight times he lost the ball on mild challenges and only once did he try to win it back. Also saw the USA goalie try to catch a high 30 yard free kick at his waste, while being challenged? Is this being taught at the academy? Bill Hamid made a similar play in Olympic qualifiers a while back. In midfield the USA looks to have a lot of talent. Team spacing is probably hurting their combining and accuracy. Why are the lines so far apart? My TV pan showed about 35/40 yards constantly, yet never once did I see more than six US players in the shot. Richie you’re making it too hard on the deep players to connect.

      • But this “USA #7” hasn’t looked so great in these first two games, or in the previous set of games. Is he a target forward not a winger? Is he reading his own press clippings? Is he suffering from signing with Schalke when he can’t play actual games for them for another year? Why are we not calling Haji Wright by his name?

      • Sorry, but Marco’s right on about Haji’s play yesterday.There was a stretch in the first half where I thought he was going to single-handedly give up a goal with his non-chalant back passes to nobody. The goal was well taken, but it was a pretty bad day for him overall. He was much better against Cuba playing as the CF in the front three.

    • Haji Wright is way over hyped thus far. Lot’s of long passes but some good dribblers. This team could be good! The #10 was very good. On another note: commentators were truly awful.


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