U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players to the 2014 Spring Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.
Twenty-one players return from the 2013 Fall Semester Residency roster and are joined by new additions in McKenzie Gaines, Eric Matzelevich, AJ Palazzolo, Raheem Taylor-Parkes and Jaret Townsend, as well as U-15 Boys’ National Team midfielder Jose Carranza and goalkeeper Eric Lopez.
In 2015, the U.S. will be participating in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the CONCACAF region.
“We are very excited about the group of players that we brought in this semester,” said Williams. “We feel very confident in this group that will provide us with 20 players to go on to World Cup qualifying and hopefully through a successful World Cup qualifying campaign to lead us to next year’s World Cup.”
The players in Bradenton represent 22 U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs. FC Dallas Academy, LA Galaxy Academy, Players Development Academy and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri lead the way with two players apiece.
Fifteen players were part of the U-17 MNT that took first place at the recent Nike International Friendlies, including tournament MVP Christian Pulisic, Golden Boot winner Haji Wright and Golden Glove award winner Kevin Silva.
The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academies in Bradenton and train in the morning under the guidance of Williams and his coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School.
While in the full-time Residency Program, the U.S. team not only trains daily, but also has access to the IMG Academies facilities. The team regularly uses the state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as brand new dormitories and meal rooms.
Beginning in 1999, the Residency Program has given players the opportunity to move up the ladder in the world of soccer where many have become professionals in Major League Soccer or with some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Players such as Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson have gone on to carve out careers with the full U.S. Men’s National Team. The program in Bradenton provides players with an environment where they can prosper as individual players and come together as a team ahead of regional and world competition.
U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), Will Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (8): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Jose Carranza (D.C. United Academy; Manassas, Va.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Jaret Townsend (Real Colorado; Highlands Park, Colo.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (7): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), McKenzie Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington; D.C.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Raheem Taylor-Parkes (Philadelphia Union Academy; Wesley Chapel, Fla.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)