U.S. Soccer has officially announced the latest crop of elite Under-17 players selected for its Bradenton Residency Program in southwest Florida, a group which includes seven members of MLS youth academies.
US Under-17 national team coach and former New York Red Bulls assistant Richie Williams has selected a group of 28 who are seen as the country's best and brightest talents, those expected to provide the foundation of future national teams.
They will spend the fall semester – and in most cases, the better part of the next nine months – immersed in a professional-style environment at the IMG Academies, training twice a day while taking high school classes at a nearby private school.
It's all part of the long-range preparation for the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, with many of the participants likely to graduate on to pro careers, following in the footsteps of predecessors like Landon Donovan, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and many more.
The Fall 2013 crop arrived in Bradenton on Saturday and began training on Monday. The MLS contingent is comprised of New York Red Bulls Academy prospects Matthew Olosunde and Sean Teixeira, Weston McKinnie and Alejandro Zendejas of the FC Dallas Academy, and Hugo Arrellano, Haji Wright and George Braima of the Chivas USA, LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew academies, respectively.
Lower-division pro clubs Orlando City and the San Antonio Scorpions have also sent one player each. In all, 25 of the 28 players hail from member clubs of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
FULL 2013 US U-17 RESIDENCY FALL SEMESTER ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Abraham Romero (Golden State FC; Altadena, Calif.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (10): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dietrich (Tennessee Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), Cristian Martinez (NJSA 04; Mine Hill, N.J.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKinnie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio), Brian Zelaya (Juventus Heat; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Kevin Coleman (FC Richmond; Warrenton, Va.), David Loera (Orlando City Lions; Orlando, Fla.), Jonathan Navarro (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Sean Teixeira (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trumbull, Conn.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles)