SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 2, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team scored a goal in each half to defeat Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship at Estadio Francisco Morazán.
Joe Gallardo scored his tournament-leading fourth goal from of a free kick in the 31st minute and Haji Wright tallied his first goal in qualifying in the 71st minute.
The U.S. is atop Group A with a 2-0-0 record and plus-7 goal differential, while Trinidad & Tobago falls to 0-2-0 and a minus-5 goal differential.
The USA next faces Guatemala at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, at Estadio Francisco Morazán (FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes). Trinidad will face host Honduras.
Earlier Monday in Group A action, Jamaica defeated Guatemala 2-1. Guatemala falls to 1-1-0 with a plus-2 goal differential and Jamaica improves to 1-1-0 with a minus-1 goal differential. Cuba (0-1-0, minus-5) and Honduras (1-0-0, plus-2) face each other in Monday night’s last Group A game.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Joe Gallardo, 31st minute: Gallardo drew a foul just above the box, and the USA forward took the subsequent free kick with confidence. Gallardo shot low to the right of Trinidad & Tobago’s seven-man wall and past diving goalkeeper Levi Fernandez, into the right of the frame for the lead. USA 1, TRI 0
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic), 71st minute: Pulisic played a long ball from midfield to Wright down the left side. Wright had a couple steps on Trinidad & Tobago defender Tekay Hoyce and shot left-footed to the inside of the far right post, past Levi Fernandez, for the two-goal lead. Wright now has 27 goals in 31 games during his U-17 MNT tenure. USA 2, TRI 0 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
TRI – Noah Powder and Tekay Hoyce, 9th minute: The USA had back-to-back scoring chances shortly after a set piece. After Christian Pulisic’s corner kick from the left side bounced through traffic, Alejandro Zendejas crossed the ball back in from the right. Haji Wright headed it toward the left side of the frame and Powder made a key goal line clearance. Joe Gallardo kept things alive with a shot at the near left post and Hoyce deflected it out for a USA corner kick.
USA – Hugo Arellano, 35th minute: Trinidad & Tobago did not create too many clear-cut chances, but a lofted cross by Kareem Riley caused some concern for the USA. Goalkeeper Will Pulisic was unable to cleanly deflect the ball away, but his center back and team captain was up to the task with the clearance near the six-yard box.
TRI – Levi Fernandez, 49th minute: USA right back Matthew Olosunde was effective when he pushed up, and provided a dangerous cross in the middle of the box. Fernandez read it well and made a diving punch for the clearance with U.S. attackers lurking.
USA – Will Pulisic, 87th minute: Pulisic had yet to face a shot on goal, but he was tested twice in succession down the stretch and came up big on both occasions. Kerron Mason ripped a right-footed shot from well outside the box and Pulisic dove to his left for the save. The rebound popped out to Noah Powder from seven yards out at the near right post, and Pulisic again thwarted the Trinidad & Tobago offense with a well-positioned save.
The U-17 MNT is now 5-1-0 in international play this year. The USA moved to 5-1-3 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago in this tournament’s history.
Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup featured three changes from the USA’s 5-0 victory against Cuba on Friday.
Goalkeeper Will Pulisic returned in net, and three of the four defenders also started in their second straight match: left back John Nelson, right back Matthew Olosunde and center back and team captain Hugo Arellano. Tanner Dieterich earned his first start of qualifying as the other center back.
The midfield of the 4-3-3 formation included another start for Christian Pulisic in an attacking role, while Luca de la Torre and Tommy McCabe garnered their first starts in the tournament. It marked McCabe’s first appearance in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
The front line featured returning starters Haji Wright on the right and Joe Gallardo in the middle. Alejandro Zendejas, who started in the midfield against Cuba, was pushed up to forward on the left side.
Christian Pulisic and Wright lead the team with 31 international caps in this cycle dating back to 2013.
The USA made its first sub in the 64th minute when McKinze Gaines replaced de la Torre. Gaines leads the USA with appearances in all six international games in 2015.
Tyler Adams made his second straight appearance off the bench, replacing Christian Pulisic in the 83rd minute.
In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Richie Williams utilized his final substitution with Brandon Vazquez entering for Gallardo. It was Vazquez’s first appearance of the tournament.
Trinidad & Tobago played without Shirwin Noel, who served a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in the 39th minute of the team’s opening 4-1 loss to Guatemala on Feb. 27.
- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: March 2, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazán; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Weather: 81 degrees; Mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Joe Gallardo 31st minute
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic) 71st
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 16-Thomas McCabe, 8-Luca de la Torre (13-McKinze Gaines, 64), 10-Christian Pulisic (18-Tyler Adams, 83); 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo (19-Brandon Vazquez, 90+1), 20-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 4-Alexis Velela, 6-Eric Calvillo, 11-Josh Perez, 12-Kevin Silva, 15-Daniel Barbir, 17-Pierre da Silva
Head coach: Richie Williams
TRI: 1-Levi Fernandez; 3-Keston Julien, 4-Tekay Hoyce, 6-Kareem Riley, 7-Shakeem Patrick; 8-Joshua Burnett (17-Jeankeon Alexander, 84), 10-Morgan Bruce, 11-Jarren Nixon (9-Chaz Burnett, 60), 12-Kierron Mason; 14-Isaiah Hudson (13-Kishon Hacksaw, 82), 19-Noah Powder (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 2-Isaiah Garcia, 15-Darnell Hospedales, 16-Shobai Celestin, 18-Jean-Paul Rochford, 20-Tyrek James
Head coach: Shawn Cooper
Video: - Trinidad & Tobago vs USA Highlights
Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 12 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 11
Offside: 1 / 3
USA – Thomas McCabe (caution) 74th minute
TRI – Joshua Burnett (caution) 78
USA – Matthew Olosunde (caution) 85
Referee: Adrian Skeete (BRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Ake (BLZ)
Fourth Official: Kimbell Ward (SKT)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Hugo Arellano
U.S. tops Trinidad for second straight CU17 win
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – The United States (2-0-0, 6 points) struck for a goal in each half to defeat Trinidad & Tobago (0-0-2, 0 points) 2-0 in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship on Monday at the Estadio Francisco Morazan.
It was the Americans’ second straight shutout to open the competition, while Trinidad has yet to register a point after two games. Honduras will square off against Cuba later in the evening to conclude the Group A tripleheader, which kicked off with Jamaica posting a 2-1 win over Guatemala.
Joe Gallardo’s dream start to the competition continued in the 32nd minute, when his free kick gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. The forward, who plays in the Monterrey youth system, was fouled on the edge of the box. He stepped up to take the subsequent kick himself, shooting around the wall and beyond goalkeeper Levi Fernandez into the right side of the net.
Three minutes later, Trinidad nearly equalized. Kareem Riley delivered a ball into the U.S. box that goalkeeper Will Pulisic tried to punch away. The ball spun back towards the goal, where captain Hugo Arellano was present to clear from the six-yard box.
Lucas de la Torre could have given the North Americans a two-goal cushion minutes before the break, but his effort from eight-yards out flashed just wise of the left post.
That second goal, though, would come in the 71st minute through Haji Wright.
The outstanding Christian Pulisic, Will’s cousin, delivered a pass to the left side for the imposing forward, who went on an unimpeded run towards the net. With a pair of defenders closing in, Wright pulled the trigger on a left-footed shot from eight yards that snuck inside the right post.
Will Pulisic preserved the clean sheet with two quick-fire saves near the final whistle. First, he got down to save Kierron Mason’s right-footed attempt from distance. Then, on the follow-up, the 16-year-old kept himself large to deny Noah Powder from seven-yards out at the right post.
The U.S. will return to action on Thursday against Guatemala, while Trinidad will face host Honduras.