U.S. U-17’s drop first two matches at Nordic Tournament

Head Coach: Richie Williams


The U.S. U-17 National Team has had a rough go at the Open Nordic Tournament thus far.

Manager Richie William’s squad dropped its second match in as many days, losing 4-1 to Norway Tuesday after being shutout by Denmark 2-0 the day before.

Norway struck early, tallying goals in the 8th and 20th minute respectively. The U.S. did well to respond with a goal of their own from forward Elijah Rice moments before the halftime whistle, but it would be the last celebration for the U-17 USMNT.

The Norwegians scored two second-half goals over a 20 minute span to distance themselves from the U.S. before the final whistle blew in a 4-1 defeat for the U.S. side.

Monday’s match against Denmark featured a similar narrative, at least in the first half, as the U.S. conceded two first-half goals in a 2-0 result for the Danish.

The half-strength U.S. squad will play its final group stage match on Thursday against the Faroe Islands before playing in either the 5th/6th or 7th/8th consolation match. 

The other half of the split U-17’s will participate in the Copa Mexico de Naciones, with the the opening game scheduled for Aug. 2 against China PR in Mexico City. 


What do you make of the U-17’s performance in Denmark? Should the results be overlooked due to the split squad?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to U.S. U-17’s drop first two matches at Nordic Tournament

  1. Tim F. says:

    Hope the US can look at other U-17 players.

    • Joe A says:

      Or other US-17 coaches for that matter

      • Tommy Mac says:

        Joe, we think we know what the “A” stands for….where were your comments about this coaching staff when the U17s won 3 international championships in the past year, including over Brazil (Nike) and Turkey (Aegean Cup in Turkey). It must be easy to blow in the wind. Go USA

    • DCU fan in Socal says:

      Hope they look at international experienced coaches, period!

      USSF need to develop and expose these players to the international game… not the MLS game.

  2. Mike R says:

    What ? You put one of the least technical players to play for the US (an only played cause of his connection to the Arena tree, which needs to be chainsawed down) an put him in charge of our young players who need technical development and then they bomb?
    Who could have seen this coming? Oh yea anyone

    • Phillypride says:

      The technical playing abilities of the manager/coach have nothing to do with how they coach. Do you think his lack of smooth first touch or dribbling abilities will magically transfer to the players? What matters is how good he is at evaluating talent, understanding and adjusting tactics, managing players emotionally/psychologically, organizing effective training sessions, and communicating with his staff.

  3. bryan says:

    well, they had to hit bump at some point. of the two tournaments, i’d prefer it to happen at this one. hopefully they can bounce back in the last game.

  4. Brian I says:

    I may be wrong, but in my opinion (looking at the rosters announced) this is the weaker of the two U-17 teams.

    • SingularityCup says:

      No you’re not wrong. The article should probably mention that this team is the “B” U-17 team. The “A” U-17 team will be participating in the Copa Mexico de Naciones

      Most of these players haven’t been apart of the “A” U-17 team at all.

      Still it’s disappointing to see how big of a drop in quality there is between the two squads.

  5. arnold says:

    Richie Williams has shown himself to be a lackluster coach. He fails to qualify for the U-17 WC and now this. Seems a change needs to be made.

    • bogie8 says:

      Yes, we should certainly penalize a coach who has had some recent success when he fails with a “half-strength” squad. Or, did you not bother to read the article and just spout some rhetoric?

  6. Adver says:

    ….and considering wining is the most important thing about this tournaments (according to Williams) this has been a royal waste of time. They could’ve used these games to develop players.

    • bogie8 says:

      He took a lot of previously unseen players. I guess you didn’t read the article either. It is a half strength squad. Half the team that is there normally wouldn’t be there. Isn’t that developing players??

  7. SingularityCup says:

    People need to take a step back and chill. This was a “B” U17 team. The ‘A” team is prepign for the Copa Mexico de Naciones.

  8. David M says:

    Nothing to worry about. We can always find some players in Germany.

  9. H.M. says:

    Seriously yo. Everyone just put their soccer balls on ice for a moment ;). This team is composed of mainly non-brandenton guys who have played little together. A few are a year younger. They were playing against very solid European u17 squads. When the real tourney starts in Mexico in a few days, PULISIC, DE LA TORRE, haji, gallardo, calvillo, barbir, velela, zendejas, perez will be trucking.

  10. dude1 says:

    The last article listed a long litany of U17 victories, and had Willaims quoted as wanting his teams to win. Suddenly, everyone hated him for making results matter more than anything, and not developing his players. Now he goes to play with a lesser squad, doesn’t win, and now he MUST GO.

    You guys are hilarious.

    • Eurosnob says:

      I don’t think that his critics simply fault him for getting results on the scoreboard. Their main point is that he fails to develop players, which is the primary function of youth teams.

      • dude1 says:

        And what I wrote in the last section: It’s not the job of the US national teams to develop players. That’s the job of the PDL and other academies. These camps are about bringing together talented players to play, gel, and win. It’s ridiculous to think that Williams should be developing players when they get together for brief periods to compete in tournaments. Not his job.

        • Eurosnob says:

          You are making a good point that the bulk of the player development occurs at the club level. But it does not mean that the youth national teams do not play an important role in developing players. The German federation, for example, has all their youth teams play a particular style of play, which IS a part of player development. Spain and Holland do the same. By the time they reach the senior team level, they have mastered the style of play and their role. In contrast, if a youth team plays a style that is similar to what Williams played as a player, no development occurs. It is absolutely William’s job to develop these players tactically to play in a particular style that the national team strives to play. They won’t learn it at the clubs, because their clubs play different styles.

          • don Lamb says:

            Who said they are playing a similar style to the way Williams played as a player? Did you watch these games?

            • Eurosnob says:

              I did not see their blowout loss to Norway, but in their 1-0 win by their A team against Croatia they played some pretty ugly soccer with primary reliance on size and athleticism. There was very little creativity/skill/tactical savvy. Rather they mostly tried to whip crosses in and win the headers. Not that different from what you see at many college games.

  11. Shawn says:

    this is a team with experimental players, Copa mexico is what we need to watch

  12. Birgit Calhoun says:

    It shows once again that those European countries have a better program for preparing young soccer players. The coaching could be better, too. I don’t know much about the individual US players. But maybe they need to be chosen by people who are truly knowledgeable about soccer talent. It does not go that wealthy parents pay somebody to include second rate youngsters.

  13. Joamiq says:

    The conclusions being drawn here based off of two games no one saw with players no one knows are hilarious.

  14. JP says:

    Good news!

    The Faroe Islands is just what any soccer team needs to rebuild its confidence! :-)

  15. soccer12 says:

    My biggest concern would be that we supposably have the best 36 players in this country at the residency program, and it consists of all these players you guys are calling the “B” team. I’m quite sure that if the scouting is done properly like other countries there wouldn’t be such a drop off in talent from the “A” team to the “B” team. Let’s look closely at all the good talent that we have in this country and not just pick players because of who they know or who is pushing them through the system.