60 responses

  1. Goalscorer24
    January 20, 2014

    Nice to see that we have some players of size out there. Usually at the U17 level our team is undersized comparatively. Hopefully the team can keep it up and play well consistently because at the U17 level there seems to be such a parody of play from one game to the next.

    • slowleftarm
      January 20, 2014

      Whatever the problems with our youth development are, undervaluing size is not one of them.

      • Goalscorer24
        January 20, 2014

        No, but compare our last U20 team to the France U20′s that won the U20 World Cup. It is just nice to see some different sized athletes joining US soccer instead of just the smaller players.

      • slowleftarm
        January 20, 2014

        I think if anything there is an over emphasis on size, speed and athleticism and an under emphasis on technique, tactical awareness etc. I think it’s getting better but the problem is still there.

      • Thor
        January 20, 2014

        Paul Pogba was just a beast in the last U -20 tournament for France and left a lasting impression with his size and speed.

      • Fredo
        January 20, 2014

        I agree with slowleftarm.

      • writing on wall
        January 21, 2014

        The US has overemphasized size, speed and athleticism in the past but now that Germany has caught on, the rest of Europe, like France and Belgium is catching on too

    • Dave
      January 20, 2014

      Do you mean parody (games are so different from each other to be a joke) or parity (gaves are very even) Unfortunately, both make sense in the sentence so I can’t be sure.

    • BBB
      January 20, 2014

      The main reason we were always undersized when I played in U16 and U18 international tournament was that the average age of our opponents was 23. Let’s just say, Hawaii isn’t the only place in the world that has birth certificate issues…

      • JMan
        January 21, 2014

        Nice one BBB

  2. TomG
    January 20, 2014

    Man, every time we see Haji, he looks like a man among boy, dominated with his pace and strength. It’s important for these kinds of physical marvels to keep challenging themselves and keep learning new skills as they develop and not just rely on their tools and running past people. I’d imagine he’ll acquire a ton of European interest. I hope he gets in a good system.

    • David K
      January 20, 2014

      How often have u17 players gone straight to Europe and made it to the first teams? Not too many. I hope he goes the route of Bradley, Altidore, and others by playing in MLS for a few years before crossing the pond.

      • Joe+G
        January 20, 2014

        Without an EU passport, it’s hard to get there before age 18. Some players have moved with their families, but it’s tough for most (even Ben Lederman’s dad can’t find work because of the passport issue).

      • TomG
        January 20, 2014

        First teams as a u17? That’s crazy talk. Lots of guys go to Hoffenheim, etc and go through their development systems, though. I see Haji is listed as being in LA Galaxy’s academy. Does that mean they have his rights?

      • David K
        January 20, 2014

        The reality is that MLS teams can’t really hang on to their players from their academy’s if they get an offer from abroad. They don’t sign contracts to preserve their amature status for college so if someone wanted to swoop in once he turns 18 there is nothing the Galaxy can do to keep him here if the offer is too big to match/beat.

      • David K
        January 20, 2014

        Also I know lots of guys go to Hoffenheim etc. but who has broken out yet? Joe Gyau had lots of promise, but I don’t think he’s cracked the 1st team yet. Others have not done well there either. I wonder what these guys could do if they came back to MLS and played some 1st team ball. The track record for young Americans developing in MLS is much better than in Europe

      • beto
        January 20, 2014

        +1

      • TomG
        January 20, 2014

        Landon went through Leverkeusen’s system, I think, JOB came through Ajax. Pelosi is coming through Liverpool, Spector Man U. Obviously all our Germericans came through Euro academies. Been a while since a big name American came out of a Euro academy. I think it’s a tough adjustment and not for every kid.

      • David K
        January 20, 2014

        All of the American guys you mentioned didn’t really stick with the first team except O’Brian. I really hope these guys see the trend and change it.

      • bryan
        January 21, 2014
      • radu
        January 21, 2014

        totally agreed…sign with the Galaxy Haji…don’t get greedy! plenty of time for that!

    • David
      January 20, 2014

      If he is the guy wearing #7 in the video, this was his own highlight show. Fantastic running at and by defenders.

      • TomG
        January 20, 2014

        Yeah

    • Jason
      January 20, 2014

      Wright is in the LA Galaxy academy, which means he’s at least training with MLS level coaches and could sign as a homegrown player. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t sign with a European club though.

      • Elber Galarga
        January 20, 2014

        Bruce better sign him up to homegrown contract. If haji continues to show well in the tourney, he could be snatched up by a euro team. This way the galaxy can get something in return.

      • TomG
        January 20, 2014

        I get your point, but I do think a spell early on in a European academy might be good for a guy with such great tools. I worry he will become too used to just pushing the ball ahead and running to catch it.

    • Thor
      January 20, 2014

      and the word is that his little brother is even better.

      • MLSsnob
        January 20, 2014

        I’m cautious abou the little brother comment, remember they said the same about Manning, Vick, claussen, etc.

      • Thor
        January 20, 2014

        I always think about Richard Williams telling everyone that Venus’s little sister is the one to watch out or. I guess there are enough examples to prove either side.

      • drew11
        January 20, 2014

        It was also said acurately about Jamar Beasley.

      • slowleftarm
        January 20, 2014

        To be fair, Eli Manning has won two super bowls so he’s not exactly a bust.

      • tony and cupcake
        January 20, 2014

        and his parents were seen leaving a hotel room together near the stadium, I heard the latest offspring of the clan will be the best!
        (my point is, give me a break claiming the new soccer savior even before he plays)

      • Thor
        January 21, 2014

        No one claimed he or anyone was the new savior. The reality is the best players in many sports are identified at very young ages. It’s what professional scouts and people paid to identify future players do.

        Yea I think it is a bad thing to hype young players, and the reality is that a very small few will make it, but youth tournaments draw interest from fans and people who enjoy watching the development of teams and countries.

  3. SirJonesy
    January 20, 2014

    I’d love to see guys like Haji, Guido, and Gallardo getting called into the senior team post World Cup. And imagine if Klinsman was able to talk a zelalem into declaring for the US. the possibilities are very bright.

    • slowleftarm
      January 20, 2014

      I think you are vastly underestimating the gap between this level and senior level.

    • Strider257
      January 20, 2014

      This is the U16 team. I’m thrilled at what they have done, but let’s have a bit more perspective than to think these kids even belong on the field with the senior USMNT.

      • Thor
        January 20, 2014

        Well it could be far worse, we could be playing 8 or 9 guys behind the ball, waiting to counter and even worse playing an English style of football.
        Instead we are now down playing success at the youth level following wins against traditional powers while playing attacking soccer. If nothing else it’s progress.

    • James
      January 20, 2014

      Putting several carts in front of several horses.

      1. These are kids still. Promising for sure, but 16 years old, and are not all that close to being on an MLS field, much less the national squad. Sometimes stars emerge and continue form this age group (a la Donovan), but most don’t.

      2. There’s more to Zelalem playing for the US than Klinsi talking him into it. From what I’ve read, he’s not all that close to US citizenship.

      • Jovins
        January 21, 2014

        Isn’t his dad (who still lives in the US) trying to get citizenship? I thought I heard that somewhere.

      • Paul
        January 21, 2014

        yeah…I read that a while ago.

    • beto
      January 20, 2014

      ya, very impressive performances this winter but this is not professional level soccer. if these kids can keep moving at the pace they are at MLS & 2016 Olympics should be their goals.

  4. Dinho
    January 20, 2014

    Impressive. Thought Wright was very selfish early on in the highlights but made good on the assist to Gallardo, great build-up.

    Awful PK from France. Wow.

    And, calm/cool from Pulisic.

    I like it.

  5. beto
    January 20, 2014

    France looked terrible!

    Another great win for the Jrs.

    is this Richie Williams’ team?

  6. Dave-O
    January 20, 2014

    It seems like this current crop of U-17′s might be the one takes the entire USMNT program forward a step. They seem to be fearless and unintimidated by the mystique of footballing powerhouse countries.

    • tony and cupcake
      January 20, 2014

      And I heard the U-13 group is even better!!!!! We are set for the next two world cups!!!

      • fischy
        January 21, 2014

        You gotta see the U-9s…

      • TomG
        January 21, 2014

        The U-5′s all have a six legs, three heads, and a turbo fart to blow past defenders.

      • timothy
        January 21, 2014

        I hear the U-1′s have all kicked holes out of their mother’s wombs, while juggling at least 1,000 times with their own umbilical cords that were rolled up into balls

      • usaalltheway
        January 21, 2014

        Post of the century!

        HAHAHAHA

  7. Yusef
    January 20, 2014

    Is the USA U17 team playing in a U16 tournament?

    • Casey
      January 20, 2014

      U17 for next cycle so U15s and U16s.

  8. shawn
    January 20, 2014

    Nicholas Taitague is very good believe me hope he makes u-17 world cup squad

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker
      January 20, 2014

      Ok I believe you. If u say so.

    • Thor
      January 21, 2014

      He has been under the watchful eye of Man U for sometime. I believe he is a year younger than the guys in this group, but he has been doing well.

  9. bryan
    January 21, 2014

    FYI, Wright hired an agent to try and get him signed in Europe after his performance in the Nike tournament:

    link to lagalaxy.com

  10. Dan
    January 21, 2014

    The kid can play link to youtube.com

  11. paul
    January 21, 2014

    A friend in Turkey tells me that our boys are giving the Norwgians a sound whooping. Anybody have news or deets?

    • Drewbles
      January 21, 2014

      US won 5-2. Not sure about any specifics.

      • Joe+G
        January 21, 2014

        From USSF:

        Elijah Rice, McKinzie Gaines & Nick Taitague scored their 1st international goals for U17 #USMNT. Christian Pulisic added his 2nd of the Cup

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