US Under 17s making strong showing

Published Monday, January 27, 2014 4:48 AM by Shane Barrow
US Under 17s making strong showing

The current group of US Under 17s have put together a very impressive run of results over the last two months winning titles at the Nike Friendlies and the Aegean Cup beating the likes of France, England and Brazil along the way.  Coach Richie Williams has the squad playing and beating top talent from around the globe.  Could this be the best crop of U17s to come along since the famed Landon Donovan, Beckerman, Beasley group?

Last month the US Under 17s impressively ran to the title at the Nike Friendlies in Florida.  There the Americans blasted the Brazil U17s 4-1 behind a pair of goals from Haji Wright.  Before the emphatic win over Brazil the U17s blasted the England U17s by a score of 5-1.  Impressive results!

Now last week the boys took the title at the Aegean Cup in Turkey.  The Americans opened the tournament with a tough test as they faced off against defending champions France.  They were not intimidated though as they upset the French 2-1.  The confidence flowed into the second match where the US blasted an overmatched Norway squad 5-2.  Only a draw was needed in the final group game against Scotland and that is exactly what we got as a second half Scotland goal earned them a 1-1 tie.

The Aegean Cup final held the home side Turkey and a stiff test.  Once again the US U17s rose to the occasion beating Turkey 2-1.  Top prospects Haji Wright and Joe Gallardo both scored the goals in the thrilling final.

Sixteen of these players have ties to the American residency program, with four coming in from outside clubs. Gallardo and de la Torre joined the group from Monterrey, and Fulham. Two other foreign based players were unavailable for this tournament, Danny Barbir, Manchester City and Josh Perez (Fiorentina).