The US Under-17 national team have included 15 players with MLS academy ties on their roster for the prestigious International Friendlies event, which kicks off this week in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
One member of the squad, New York City FC Homegrown Joe Scally (pictured above), has already signed an MLS contract. NYCFC, FC Dallas, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders all send multiple players to this year’s roster, while Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps are also represented. This roster is composed of players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, the age cohort which will compete in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru next fall.
A key occasion for introducing the United States’ rising young talent to broader audiences since it debuted in 2001, the tournament features Brazil, Portugal and Turkey as well as the host nation and kicks off on Wednesday, with all matches streamed live on ussoccer.com and the federation's Facebook and YouTube pages.
Held in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, the International Friendlies were founded to provide high-level competition for the US U-17s and over the years have served as a stage for top prospects like Christian Pulisic, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams and Josh Sargent – not to mention future international stars like Brazil’s Phillipe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo, and England’s Jadon Sancho.
The US kick things off against Portugal on Wednesday (6:30 pm ET), then take on Turkey on Friday (6:30 pm ET) and wrap up vs. Brazil on Sunday (5:30 pm ET). All matches take place as doubleheaders, with the home side playing the second game of each day.
“The reality of the national team is that the player pool is constantly being evaluated," said acting Us U-17s head coach Shaun Tsakiris in a federation release. "High-level games like these provide an invaluable opportunity to see the progress of our players and for them to show us that they deserve to be a part of our group moving forward.”
Full US U-17 roster (club; hometown; caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Trace Alphin (North Carolina FC; Raleigh, N.C.; 0/0), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 11/0), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta; 3/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 12/0), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 8/0), Sebastian Falsone (Virginia Development Academy; Warrenton, Va.; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (FC Dallas; Keller, Texas; 0/0), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 7/0), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 11/1), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.; 10/0), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 11/1)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Masango Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Minneapolis, Minn.; 0/0), Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; Madrid, Spain; 0/0), William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.; 2/0), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 5/1), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 14/1), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.; 12/0)
FORWARDS (7): Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.; 0/0), Ruben Hernandez (Club Leon/MEX; Manteca, Calif.; 0/0), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 12/5), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 3/0), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.; 5/0), Alex Villanueva (Seattle Sounders FC; Maple Valley, Wash.; 0/0), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 3/2)
Full 2018 International Friendlies Schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Turkey vs. Brazil, 3:30 pm ET
USA vs. Portugal, 6:30 pm ET
Friday, Nov. 30
Portugal vs. Brazil, 3:30 pm ET
USA vs. Turkey, 6:30 pm ET
Sunday, Dec. 2
Portugal vs. Turkey, 2:30 pm ET
USA vs. Brazil, 5:30 pm ET