Written by Will Parchman

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There is little question among those who’ve watched American flanks break down in chaos time after time that outside back has been something of a bugaboo in USMNT history. The position is scarce to begin with, but the reality is magnified in the halls of American soccer. The list of truly transcendent fullbacks who’ve pulled on a USMNT jersey is notoriously small.

There may be help on the way in the coming decade. And you need look no further than the looming U17 MNT cycle for proof.

The U.S. U15 BNT just wrapped up a successful run through the U15 CONCACAF Championship, which ended just shy of the title in the finale against Mexico. There were plenty of reasons for optimism, not least of which the level of individual technical ability on display. It’s clear the U.S. is beginning to produce more truly versatile operators all along the formation, and the game’s creeping globalization here was plainly evident.

That was perhaps no more clear than it was at fullback.

NYCFC right back Joseph Scally and Atlanta United left back George Bello both enjoyed tremendous tournament performances, both on an individual basis and as part of the collective. Scally’s one of the quieter up-and-comers with NYCFC, but he should probably be NYCFC’s first defensive Homegrown signing. Bello, meanwhile, is a year older and was signed to a Homegrown deal earlier this summer. Both Scally (2021) and Bello (2020) will be firmly in the reckoning for the 2019 U17 World Cup once the cycle resets in November.

For now, let’s take a gander at this TDS Scouting video compiled by our J.R. Eskilson to see just why both these dudes are on such encouraging fast tracks.

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Written by Will Parchman

u15

If you’re looking for a pinnacle non-World Cup cycle YNT tournament, you could do a lot worse than picking the Torneo Delle Nazionale. And the U.S. U15 BNT just won the thing.

The Torneo Delle Nazione is a 14-year-old youth tourney originally founded as a boys-only U15 event. Two years ago it expanded to the women’s game as a U16 event, but the boys tournament continues to draw some of the bigger names in the game. The U.S. has made this tournament part of its routine attendance pillars in each U15 cycle by virtue of its highly competitive nature, and for good reason. The 2017 edition featured Portugal, currently considered one of the developmental capitals of the world, England (which is, erm, England), Japan, Italy, Mexico, Croatia, Russia. To put it mildly, this is a Big Tournament in developmental terms.

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Written by Will Parchman

The U15 BNT was recently in Uruguay to compete in the International Festival of Futbol, and it went very well. So well, in fact, that the U15s dropped the hosts 2-0 in the final to bring home the championship. The goals – LAG’s Efrain Alvarez and NYCFC/Claudio Reyna offspring Giovanni Reyna – were both nice things.

The U.S. YNT system is having itself quite the start to 2016. A month ago, the U17s scored a massive upset by beating France in the final of its own tournament. Now, the U15s drop Uruguay on its own soil to win another. Perhaps even more proof better days than these are ahead. Let’s hope, anyway.

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Written by Will Parchman

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The U15 BNT just wrapped a tour at the Tournament Della Nazioni in Gradisca d’Isonzo, a relatively isolated Italian town of 6,000 near the Slovenian border. The U15s opened with a 4-0 loss to Slovenia, followed by a 2-1 loss against Mexico and finally a 3-2 win over China. All three games were against U16 sides.

Despite the losing record, there were some positives. Namely the strong game-to-game performance from Lucas Del Rosario, who’s begun to carve out a niche for himself in the U.S. YNT scene. Here’s a lovely lofted effort against Mexico in the second game to level terms at 1-1.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

 

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