U16, U17 rosters out for Nike Friendlies
The 19th annual Nike International Friendlies will be held November 14-18 at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The elite, four-team tournament will welcome back the Netherlands, Turkey to compete against two U.S. squads, the U-16 Boys' National Team and U-17 Men's National Team.
All the matches at the 2019 Nike Friendlies will be streamed on ussoccer.com and U.S. Soccer social media accounts YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (@USYNT).
2019 Nike International Friendlies Schedule
Thursday, Nov. 14
Netherlands vs. U-16 BNT, 3:30 p.m. ET
Turkey vs. U-17 MNT, 6:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 16
Netherlands vs. Turkey, 3:30 p.m. ET
U-16 BNT vs. U-17 MNT, 6:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Nov. 18
U-16 BNT vs. Turkey, 3:30 p.m. ET
U-17 MNT vs. Netherlands, 6:30 p.m. ET
The U.S. U-17 squad is made up of 2002-birth year players who did not represent the USA at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. The other three teams will feature players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003.
For Netherlands and Turkey, the tournament will serve as preparation for the 2020 UEFA U-17 Championship, to be contested by 2003-birth year players from May 21 - June 6, 2020 in Estonia. All four teams will arrive in Florida on Nov. 11 to begin training for the tournament.
DEFENDERS (7): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Antino Lopez (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Bryson Hankins (Seattle Sounders FC; Bakersfield, Calif.), Joshua Ramsey (Solar Soccer Club; Plano, Texas), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich City/ENG; Plano, Texas), Rickson van Hees (NEC Nijmegen/NED; Oss, Netherlands)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Jacob Davis (Sporting Kansas City; Rochester, Mich.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Damian Rivera (New England Revolution; Cranston, R.I.), Pablo Soares (Bourssia Monchengladbach/GER; Krefeld, Germany)
FORWARDS (7): Sagir David Arce (Monarcas Morelia/MEX; Morelia, Mexico), Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Jack Imperato (CD Roda/ESP; San Jose, Calif.), Noah Jones (RB Leipzig/GER; Berlin, Germany), Tucker Lepley (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), Joshua Pynadath (Ajax/NED; Los Altos Hills, Calif.), Bailey Sparks (Solar Soccer Club; Plano, Texas)
DEFENDERS (7): Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Jonathan Gomez (FC Dallas; Keller, Texas), Noah Hall (Columbus Crew SC; Cincinnati, Ohio), Dante Huckaby (Philadelphia Union; Morgantown, W.V.), Eric Kinzner (Seattle Sounders FC; Tacoma, Wash.), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; Lakewood, Calif.), Casey Walls (San Jose Earthquakes; Mill Valley, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Javier Casas (Chicago Fire; Addison, Ill.), Daniel Edelman (Players Development Academy; Warren, N.J.), Sota Kitahara (Seattle Sounders FC; Edmonds, Wash.), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.), Moses Nyeman (D.C. United; Riverdale, Md.)
FORWARDS (6): Patrick Bohui (Philadelphia Union; Harrisburg, Pa.), Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.), Alex Monis (Chicago Fire; Naperville, Ill.), Kevin Paredes (D.C. United; South Riding, Va.), Samuel Sarver (Columbus Crew SC; Beachwood, Ohio), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)
Launched in 2001 before adopting the current format in 2008, the Nike International Friendlies were founded to provided top-level competition for the U-17 MNT and stand as one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Seven players currently in camp with the senior MNT participated in past Nike International Friendlies: Paul Arriola, Corey Baird, Sergiño Dest, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent. The event has also seen international talent like Brazil's Phillipe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo and England's Jadon Sancho grace the field at Premier Sports Campus.
At the 2018 Nike International Friendlies, the U-17 MNT finished as runner-up after going undefeated vs. Portugal, Turkey and Brazil. All three games were tightly contested, as the USA took down Turkey 1-0 while drawing both Portugal and Brazil 1-1. The USA last took home the Nike Friendlies crown in 2016, downing its three opponents by a combined score of 15-2.
Both Portugal and Turkey are frequent opponents for the U.S. at the Nike Friendlies. The two countries have appeared at the tournament five of 11 times international competition has been included, tied for the second-most all-time behind Brazil.
U-17 MNT ROSTER NOTES:
- Four players on the roster represented the USA at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, helping the U.S. qualify to a record 17th FIFA U-17 World Cup: defenders Axel Alejandre and John Tolkin, midfielder Gilbert Fuentes and forward Jack de Vries.
- Alejandre previously appeared at the 2018 and 2017 Nike Friendlies, while Fuentes was a part of the U.S. roster for the 2017 edition.
- Twelve players are based domestically, while eight are on the books abroad at clubs in England, Germany, Netherlands (two each), Mexico and Spain (one each). Two players each come from Seattle Sounders FC, Solar Soccer Club and Sporting Kansas City.
- Eight players on the roster have logged professional minutes in 2019.
- Three players are signed to MLS Homegrown contracts: de Vries, Fuentes and midfielder Damian Rivera, whose signing was announced earlier today.
- Forward Sagir Arce made his Liga MX debut for Monarcas on Sept. 26 at Tijuana.
- Defender Bryson Hankins made his pro debut for the Tacoma Defiance on Oct. 17 at New Mexico.
- Forward Joshua Pynadth has played five matches for Jong Ajax this season as one of seven 17-year-olds to appear for the club's development team this year.
- Defender Jonathan Tomkinson has started all nine matches for Norwich City to start the season in the U-18 Premier League.
- Sixteen of 20 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- Forward Bailey Sparks and defenders Joshua Ramsey and Tomkinson helped Solar Soccer Club win the 2019 Development Academy U-16/17 National Championship. Sparks won the Golden Boot as the postseason's best player.
- Tomkinson was also named to the Academy Central Conference Best XI.
U-16 BNT ROSTER NOTES:
- Two players on the team represented the U.S. at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship: defender Mauricio Cuevas and forward Tyler Freeman.
- Forward Dante Sealy appeared at the 2017 Nike International Friendlies.
- Five players are signed to MLS Homegrown contracts: Freeman and Sealy, goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, midfielder Moses Nyeman and defender Casey Walls. Walls signed with the San Jose Earthquakes earlier this week.
- Slonina became the youngest Homegrown signing in league history when he inked his deal with the Chicago Fire in March.
- Nine of 20 players have logged professional minutes this season.
- Nyeman was the youngest player to score for Loudon United this year.
- All twenty players are based domestically, with all but one player currently playing for an MLS club.
- All twenty players on the roster have spent at least one season in the Development Academy.
- Four players were named to Academy Best XIs at the end of the 2018-19 season: defender Dante Huckaby and forward Kevin Paredes in the East Conference, defender Jonathan Gomez in the Central and Cuevas in the West.
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