Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
For the second time in two months, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team have won a tournament title.
Facing host nation Turkey in the final of the Aegean Cup, the U.S. U-17s put in another strong performance to take home the title, defeating Turkey 2-1 behind goals from Joe Gallardo and Haji Wright. Gallardo finished as the tournament’s top scorer with three goals and goalkeeper William Pulisic was awarded the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper in the tournament.
As they’ve proved throughout the last two months, the U-17s are most dangerous on the counter attack. Though the first half finished scoreless, midfielder Luca de la Torre threaded the needle on a beautiful through ball to Gallardo, though the Monterrey product put his effort high over the bar.
In the 53rd minute, Gallardo was fed a cross in the box and took a touch to evade one defender, another touch to pass another defender, before firing a strike in for the one-goal lead. Two minutes later, the U.S. doubled their lead when Christian Pulisic played a terrific pass into space to Wright. The LA Galaxy academy member’s shot was saved by Turkey goalkeeper Mehmet Aşcı, but the rebound fell at Wright’s feet and he finished on the second opportunity.
Turkey bounced back quickly in the 57th minute when Ibrahim Demirbag scored from close range but the U.S., behind the strong gloves of Pulisic in goal, kept Turkey from scoring again.
Here are the match highlights:
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