The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opened the 2012 Nike International Friendlies with a 4-4 draw against Brazil’s U-17 MNT on Wednesday at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Midfielder Rubio Rubin factored into the USA scoring column from start to finish with two goals and two assists, including a back heel pass to Corey Baird and a setup of Ahinga Selemani’s second-half goal.
Portugal has taken the early lead in the Nike International Friendlies with three points and a 4-3 victory against Turkey earlier on Wednesday.
The USA faces Turkey on Friday, Nov. 30, followed by Portugal on Sunday, Dec. 2. The matches kick off at 5 p.m. ET at Premier Sports Campus.
After orchestrating several scoring chances early on, Brazil got the upper hand against the U.S. when Robert’s shot from 18 yards out dipped underneath the crossbar and was partially deflected by U.S. goalkeeper Paul Christensen and into the right side of the net for a 1-0 Brazil lead.
The U-17 MNT attacked down the left flank on multiple occasions in the opening minutes and found an equalizer from 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year and ussoccer.com Man of the Match Rubin. The Beaverton, Ore., native got his first goal in the 29th minute and tied the score at 1-1 as Christopher Lema crossed the ball from the left side and Rubin eluded Brazil goalkeeper Marcos at the near post.
The U.S. maintained its momentum shortly before halftime as Rubin dazzled the fans in attendance with a back-heel assist to Alan Winn in the 43rd minute for a 2-1 lead.
Rubin then gave the USA its largest lead at 3-1 in the 57th minute as Corey Baird slipped a pass from the right side of the box to the middle and Rubin beat Marcos from close range for his second tally of the match.
Brazil fought back, however, with the help of second-half sub Boschilia, who replaced an injured Robert in the 54th minute due to leg cramps. Boschilia cut the USA lead to 3-2 with a 67th-minute well-taken strike from the top of the box and then was credited with a 79th-minute equalizer when his corner kick from the right side deflected off of Christensen and went into the goal when he tried to bat the ball away.
The U.S. responded just two minutes later when second-half sub Ahinga Selemani gave the USA a 4-3 lead on Rubin’s second assist. Marcos pushed off of his line to try and intercept the ball from Rubin, but the pass got through to Selemani on the left and he slotted the shot into the net.
Brazil wrapped up the high-scoring match with a game-tying header from Murilo off of an Indio free kick assist in the 84th minute as both teams came away with one point to open the Nike International Friendlies.
Brazil and the USA were even in shots on goal at seven apiece while Brazil held a slight 11-10 shots advantage overall.
U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Nov. 28, 2012
Competition: 2012 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 67 degrees, partly sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
BRA 1 3 4
BRA - Robert (Indio) 21st minute
USA – Rubio Rubin (Christopher Lema) 29
USA – Alan Winn (Rubio Rubin) 43
USA – Rubio Rubin (Corey Baird) 57
BRA – Boschilia 67
BRA – Boschilia 79
USA – Ahinga Selemani (Rubio Rubin) 81
BRA – Murilo (Indio) 84
USA: 1-Paul Christensen; 2-Elijah Martin, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Shaquell Moore (capt.), 5-Conor Donovan, 7-Junior Flores (19-Mukwelle Akale, 78), 8-Christopher Lema (6-Cameron Lindley, 70), 10-Corey Baird (20-Emerson Hyndman, 84), 16-Ben Swanson; 11-Rubio Rubin, 17-Alan Winn (9-Ahinga Selemani, 70)
Subs not used: 12-Evan Louro; 15-Jordan Cano, 13-Peter Schropp; 18-Rolando Muñoz, 14-Sebastian Elney
Head Coach: Richie Williams
BRA: 1-Marcos; 2-Álef, 3-Lucas, 4-Lincoln, 5-Sávio (15-Gustavo Aguiar, 78), 6-Abner, 8-Robert (16-Boschilia, 54), 9-Kenedy, 10-Indio, 11-Caio (18-Murilo, 78)
Subs not used: 12-Thiago; 13-Raul, 14-Eriks; 7-Danilo, 17-Alisson
Head Coach: Emerson Avila
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 7
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 2
Offside: 0 / 2
BRA – Danilo (caution) 32nd minute
USA – Corey Baird (caution) 45
BRA – Lincoln (caution) 59
USA – Elijah Martin (caution) 83
USA – Shaquell Moore (caution) 85
BRA – Danilo (caution) 32
Referee: Elie Aguilar (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Apolinar Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
Fourth Barton: Richonne Clark (USA)