A Joe Gallardo hat trick and a second-half brace by LA Galaxy prospect Haji Wright highlighted the US Under-17 national team’s easy 5-1 victory Wednesday over England in the second of three matches at the Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Gallardo (above), part of the Monterrey youth system, paced the attack early, firing in goals in the 13th and 16th minutes before capping his hat trick off in style in the 85th minute.
In the first of three Nike International Friendlies, the US Under-17 men's national team blew an early 1-0 lead against Portugal, eventually falling in heartbreaking fashion 2-1 when the Portuguese scored in second-half stoppage time at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on Monday.
LA Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright put the US on top in the 13th minute when he received a through ball from FC Dallas Academy midfielder Alejandro Zendejas and slotted a shot in the upper 90 for a 1-0.
5 MLS academy prospects among US Under-17 squad to face Portugal, England, Brazil in Nike friendlies
US Under-17 men’s national team head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster on Sunday for this week's Nike International Friendlies in Florida, and five MLS prospects are among the squad that will face Brazil, England and Portugal.
MLS academies are represented by defender Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA), defender George Braima (Columbus Crew), defender Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls), forward Haji Wright (LA Galaxy) and midfielder Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas).
The US national team will kick off 2014 against a fellow World Cup qualifier: Korea Republic.
U.S. Soccer on Monday announced the match, which will come on the back of annual January camp. The game will be held at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Feb. 1, kicking off at 5 pm ET.
"As a team that has qualified for Brazil, the Korea Republic will be another great benchmark for us," US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. "They bring a different style of play than we have seen in the last two years, and that gives us a chance to grow."
St. Louis has turned heads across the continent this year with several large, passionate crowds for exhibition soccer games, and if early reports are correct, the River City might play host to another massive match in the lead-up to the World Cup.
No wins and no goals from 180 minutes against second-tier European competition, but no big worries in the big picture.
That was the message from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US national team on Tuesday as they pronounced themselves pleased with their 10-day European camp despite a 1-0 loss to Austria in Vienna.
The US national team was philosophical in the wake of its 1-0 loss to Austria in the final match of a record-setting 2013 on Tuesday, a friendly setback head coach Jurgen Klinsmann deemed “no big deal.”
The US national team dropped its final game of 2013 in a spotty performance that belied what has been a fine year, falling 1-0 at Austria in Vienna on Tuesday to take home a wide variety of grades.