By FRANCO PANIZO
Richie Williams has invited 28 youngsters to the 2014 spring semester of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, and the majority of them are returning players.
Twenty-one players familiar with the residency program in Bradenton, Fla. have been summoned again by Williams for the spring semester roster, and they are joined by new additions McKenzie Gaines, Eric Matzelevich, AJ Palazzolo, Raheem Taylor-Parkes and Jaret Townsend as well as U-15 Boys’ National Team midfielder Jose Carranza and goalkeeper Eric Lopez.
Fifteen of the 28 were part of the U.S. U-17 side that recently finished in first place at the Nike International Friendlies in December, including tournament MVP Christian Pulisic, Golden Boot winner Haji Wright and Golden Glove winner Kevin Silva.
“We are very excited about the group of players that we brought in this semester,” said Williams. “We feel very confident in this group that will provide us with 20 players to go on to (2015) World Cup qualifying and hopefully through a successful World Cup qualifying campaign to lead us to next year’s World Cup.”
In total, the players represent 22 U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs. FC Dallas Academy, LA Galaxy Academy, Players Development Academy and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri lead the way with two players apiece.
Here is the full 28-player 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.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
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, Mo.), Jaret Townsend (Real Colorado; Highlands Park, Colo.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas), 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, Calif.)
What do you think of the roster? Surprised by any player’s inclusion/omission? Which player are you most keeping an eye on?
Share your thoughts below.