Ten players from MLS or MLS-affiliated academies are included in the roster of young players set to take part in the 2014 Spring Semester of the US Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday.
US Under-17 national team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players in all, 21 of whom are returnees from the 2013 Fall Semester Residency group. Twenty-two U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs are represented in Bradenton this semester, with the FC Dallas and LA Galaxy Academies leading the way with two players apiece.
Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union academies are also represented, as is Revolution Empire, the New England Revolution's partner club in Rochester, N.Y.
In 2015, the US 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,” Williams said in a statement. “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 live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, training in the morning and attending afternoon classes at nearby St. Stephen’s Episcopal School.
Founded in 1999, the Residency Program has given promising US players the opportunity to kick-start an elite professional career. Past products include current USMNT stars Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson.
US U-17 Men’s National Team Roster
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.), A.J. Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego)
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), Jaret Townsend (Real Colorado; Highlands Park, Colo.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio), 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)