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U.S. U17 in Paris - Spotlight on Surf's Corey Baird
U.S. U17 in Paris - Spotlight on Surf's Corey Baird | US Soccer, Men's National Team, U-17, Corey Baird (San Diego Surf;

Youth Soccer News: U.S. U-17 Team visits Spain, France


The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team arrived in Paris on Sunday, October 23, to prepare for their second international tournament in the past month. The team will face France, Peru and the Netherlands in the Val-de-Marne Tournament from October 25 through 29. The U17 squad recently competed in the Albir Garden Sports (AGS) Cup in L’Alfas del Pi, Spain, going undefeated. The Spanish tournament was the team’s first international competition. Corey Baird of San Diego Surf is one of the 32 players selected for the U-17 Residency Program.

In the AGS Cup, the United States opened with a 1-1 draw with Mexico on the strength of a goal by Chris Lema on a penalty kick in the 78th minute of play. The goal followed an opening score by Mexico’s David Navarro in the 64th minute. The American’s second outing was another 1-1 tie, this time against United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the scoring provided by Herber Mejia-Flores with an assist by Tyler Turner. The team got into the win column in their third match, downing Russia 2-0 on two first-half goals by Wesley Wade. The final match was a solid 5-0 trouncing of Spain that saw two more goals by Wade and singles by Angel Heredia, Conor Donovan and Rubio Rubin. Mejia-Flores and Donovan were named to the 11-player all-tournament team for their play.

The 32 members of the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program are training in Bradenton, Florida, under the direction of head coach Wilmer Cabrera. The two-year program will culminate in the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 championships, with the goal of qualifying for the 2013 U-17 World Cup in the UAE. The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2011 event in Mexico and is the only country to have qualified for all 14 U-17 World Cup competitions. Twenty-five of the team members were part of the U-15 BNT camp in July and ten of them traveled to Zagreb, Croatia, in May.

As part of the residency program, players train in the morning under Cabrera and assistant coaches Paul Grafer and Erik Imler and then attend classes in the afternoon. All training takes place at the IMG Academies campus and the boys have access to a wide range of facilities there. Since its beginning, the residency program has seen over 300 players, with over 100 moving on to play in the MLS or Europe, and 24 have earned at least one cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Corey Baird from Surf Soccer Club on SoccerNation News
Corey Baird from Surf Soccer Club on SoccerNation News

One of the players selected for the U.S. U17 team is Corey Baird who plays for San Diego Surf Soccer Club and was coached by Mike Nicholson and Montele Graves as well as Paul Currie.  Baird team last year won the Surf Cup BU15 title.

Colin Chesters, Director Of Coaching at Surf Soccer Club says, "Corey Baird is an extremely talented player. Like all the best players, he can be a game winner by creating something out of nothing. We miss him and part of me wishes he was here helping his teammates to make a push for the academy playoffs. But the big picture always prevails with us here at Surf and nothing would make us all prouder than to see Corey represent the USA in the U17 World Cup. He has the talent and we are all wishing him well."

Montéle Graves says, "Corey is an exceptional player with a great instinct for the game. He is very versatile and can play a variety of positions and contribute at any level. I've seen him literally take over games with his talents and its a testament to his work rate at practice. Unlike many kids his age, he doesn't come to practice to play, he comes to train. This professional mentality and his love for the game is what makes him a special player and I am sure that he will continue to succeed throughout his soccer career."

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position 

GOALKEEPERS (4): Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders FC; Woodinville, Wash.), Alek Gogic (New York Red Bulls; Fort Lee, N.J.) Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls; South River, N.J.), Nedin Tucakovic (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.) 

DEFENDERS (9): Vernon Bailey (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Matt Nance (Vardar SC Freiburg; Washington, Mich.), Kevin Politz (New York Red Bulls; Morganville, N.J.), John Requejo (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Bruno Scodari (Olney Boys and Girls Club; Silver Springs, Md.), Brandon Tetro (New York Red Bulls; Colts Neck, N.J.), Thomas Ziemer (Atletico Santa Rosa; Glen Allen, Calif.) 

MIDFIELDERS (11): Adonis Amaya (Chivas USA; Westminster, Calif.), Jorge Calix (D.C. United; Alexandria, Va.), Steven Echevarria (New York Red Bulls; Slate Hill, N.Y.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Guyllian Kabala (New England Revolution; Manchester, N.H.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Declan McCabe (New England Revolution; Weston, Mass.), Herber Mejia-Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Shaquell Moore (Cobb FC; Powder Springs Ga.), Dean Rutherford (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.) 

FORWARDS (8): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (Chivas USA; Los Angeles, Calif.), Danya Kafai (Juventus Sports Club; Redwood City, Calif.), DeAndre Robinson (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.), Rubio Rubin (Westside Metros; Beaverton, Ore.), Alejandro Segovia (Westside Metros; Beaverton, Ore.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire Academy; Lithonia, Ga.)

National Team Staff 
Head Coach: Wilmer Cabrera (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) 
Assistant Coach: Paul Grafer (Sarasota, Fla.) 
Assistant Coach: Erik Imler (Bradenton, Fla.) 
Program Manager: Tim Ryder (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) 
Program Coordinator: Sam Pugsley (Bradenton, Fla.) 
Equipment Coordinator: Jason Peters (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 
Athletic Trainer: James Spinale (Sarasota, Fla.) 
Athletic Trainer: Rory Blevins (Bradenton, Fla.)

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