KARLSTAD, Sweden (Aug. 7, 2015) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team dropped its third and final group game in the Open Nordic Cup, 2-1, to host Sweden.
The U.S. struck for the first goal of the game when Andrew Carleton converted a penalty kick in the 35th minute, giving the MNT the lead.
In the second frame, Sweden came out on the attack and earned a corner kick in the 50th minute. Henrik Bellman reached the set-piece cross with a header, which he put off the crossbar. Swedish defenseman Hugo Andersson was the first to the rebound and promptly finished to level the game. Two minutes later Sweden would take the lead, with Teddy Bergqvist scoring a counter attack, a goal which proved to be the game-winner.
The U-18’s pressured for the match’s remaining 28 minutes, looking for an equalizer, but the tying goal never came. The MNT finished group play with a 1-2-0 record and will play Finland in a fifth place playoff on Sunday, Aug. 9.
-U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-18 MNT vs. Sweden U-17 MNT
Date: Friday, Aug. 7, 2015
Competition: 2015 Open Nordic Cup; Group Play
Venue: Tingsvalla; Karlstad, Sweden
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET)
Weather: 69 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
SWE 0 2 2
USA - Andrew Carleton (Penalty Kick) 35th minute
SWE - Hugo Anderson 50
SWE - Teddy Bergqvist (Joel Joshoghene Asoro) 52
USA: 1-Eric Lopez; 4-Jordi Avila, 17-Carson Vom Steeg, 3-Aedan Stanley (capt.); 16-Danny Jones, 8-Jonathan Gonzalez, 6-Juan Torres (21-Raul Aguilera, Jr., 63), 14-Griffin Dorsey (10-Nick Taitague, 63); 20-Andrew Carleton, 7-Aristotle Zarris (23-Jose Carranza, 76), 9-Justin Rennicks (11-Lucas Del Rosario, 63)
Subs not used: 2-Callum Stretch, 5-Calvin Aroh, 13-Gabriel Paniagua, 15-Wilson Harris, 22-Brady Scott
Head Coach: Javier Perez
SWE: 12-Maite Pahlsson; 2-Johan Stenmark (3-Emre Erdogdu, 64), 14-Filip Ornblom, 5-Hugo Andersson, 19-York Rafael (4-Oscar Krusnell, 36); 11-Mattias Svanberg (20-Alexander Isak, 60), 9-Mirad Garza (6-Lukas Browning Lagerfeldt, 40), 7-Joseph Colley (capt.) (13-Anel Ahmedhodzic, 74), 8-Henrik Bellman (17-Oscar Petersson, 59); 10-Max Olsson (15-Joel Joshoghene Asoro, 40), 16-Teddy Bergqvist
Subs not used: 1-Pontus Dahlberg
Head Coach: Magnus Wikman
Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 7 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 9
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 3 / 1
USA - Raul Aguilera, Jr. (Caution) 70th minute
Referee: Mikael Jonasson
Referee 1: Porour Arnar Arnason
Referee 2: Dan Hojgaard
Fourth Official: Alex Troleis
**PLEASE NOTE – Game was 80 minutes**Read more
The U-18 Men’s National Team and head coach Javier Perez are in Sweden for the Open Nordic Cup. Perez talked with ussoccer.com to discuss the team and the new players which open a new cycle with this tournament.
ussoccer.com: What’s it like to be back at it with a new group of players for a brand new U-18 MNT cycle?
Javier Perez: “Every time we start a new cycle it’s very exciting. Especially for us coaches. We just finished two years of work with the ’97 group and we feel that’s a very strong pool for coach Tab Ramos and the new U-20 Men’s National Team. We have 87 players in that pool, from all over the world, from Europe and from MLS, and many of them, which is different than previous cycles, are already professionals and many have already logged minutes with their first teams, which is great. I think that pool is really strong. As we start with this new group, the ‘99’s, this is a very good group because we can start all over again and we have two years ahead of us.
“We’ll start in a different way than we have in the previous cycles. [In the past], we started with a domestic camp where we invite 36 players and we take a look at them. In this case, I’ve had the chance to attend different events and I’ve already been looking at these players for six months now. In April, I was with the U-16 National Team, which is a part of this group, for a tournament that they played in Holland. After that, I was at the DA Cup in Dallas, and after that I was at the Showcase and finally I was at the Academy Finals; so, I’ve had a good six months to make a proper evaluation and prepare this team for the first camp, which is going to be a little different because we are going to a tournament. We want to throw players into the cold water right away and see how they respond to the competition.”
ussoccer.com: This is a young group, but an experienced one that has played in the Academy and at the U-15, and U-16 levels. What will they bring to the table?
“We are in a country where we have a lot of resources and we are a country in progress in soccer. We are hungry. We’re hungry to know more about the game, we’re hungry to be one of the leading nations in soccer and all the changes that have been made in the last three or four years have been changes that have gone in the direction of creating a leading program.
JP: “One of the things, for instance, in the Academy was a goal of making the Academy bigger to add more players and reach more age groups. That was accomplished with the Academy extending its age group to U-14’s, which is really good for us because it gives us an opportunity to see players at a younger age and make a proper identification. Then we bring them into the program with the U-14 National Team and the U-15 National Team with John Hackworth and then on to the U-16 and U-18 groups.
“Right now we are making an earlier identification of the players and we provide them with more experience at an earlier age, which is beneficial for them to build the knowledge and the background that they need to compete against the top players in the world.”
ussocccer.com: What do you hope to accomplish at the upcoming Open Nordic Cup in Sweden?
JP: “This is the first camp for us, so I think the most important aspect for us as a coaching staff is to get to know the group and to provide experience to the players and then go there like we always go with the mentality to just compete, with a mentality to play with our style of play and with a mentality of course to win games. Every game we go on the field we go with the mentality that we are going to win. We want to do things right.
“I want to give opportunity not only to players that have lots of experience but also to some new ones that did well in the Academy and in the Showcase in Indianapolis. Right now they have the opportunity to show that they belong at the next level.”Read more
CHICAGO (July 28, 2015) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez has named a 20-man roster that will head to Sweden for the 2015 Open Nordic Cup Tournament from July 30-Aug. 10.
The U-18 MNT will begin play on Tuesday, Aug. 4, when its faces Faroe Islands in Mallbaken. It will then travel to Karlstad to continue its run one day later against Iceland on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and will look to wrap up group play on Friday, Aug. 7 against Sweden. The opponent for a final placement game to be played on Sunday, Aug. 9, will be determined following the conclusion of the three group matches.
The trip will kick off a new cycle for this crop of players at the U-18 age group. The players on the roster had been previously competing with the U-15 and U-16 National Teams.
The roster includes players from 11 states. California has the most representatives with five on the squad. Eighteen of the 19 players have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif; Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Jordi Avila (Kendall SC; Hialeah Gardens, Fla.), Calvin Aroh (New England Revolution; Glastonbury, Conn.), Daniel Jones (New England Revolution; West Hartford, Conn.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; Columbia, Ill.), Callum Stretch (Unattached; Encino, Calif.), Carson Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Raul Aguilera, Jr. (Orlando City; Sanford, Fla.), Jose Carranza (DC United; Manassas, Va.), Jonathan Gonzalez (C.F. Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif), Gabriel Paniagua (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Juan Torres (Georgia United; Lilburn, Ga.)
FORWARDS (6): Andrew Carleton (Georgia United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Lucas Del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Griffin Dorsey (Colorado Rush; Evergreen, Col.), Wilson Harris (Real So Cal; Encino, Calif.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; Boston, Mass.), Aristotle Zarris (RSL Arizona; Casa Grande, Az.)