10 California Natives Lead U-19 MNT To 2016 Slovakia Cup Championship Match

10 California Natives Lead U-19 MNT To 2016 Slovakia Cup Championship Match

Led by 10 California natives,  the U-19 Men’s National Team has advanced to the championship match of the 2016 Slovakia Cup. They will face Russia on Friday at Myjava Stadium.

The 10 California natives make up half the roster as 20 players were named to the roster by head coach and former U.S. Men’s National team goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

The opening match of the tournament against Georgia was when the California made their mark. Chula Vista native and Club Tijuana forward Brandon Vincent assisted on the opening goal and converted a penalty in the 38th minute of a 5-1 victory.  Vincent’s teammate at Tijuana and San Diego native Ernesto Espinoza scored the final goal for the U.S. in the 74th minute. Norwalk native and LA Galaxy defender Hugo Arellano assisted on the U-20’s fourth goal.

The next two matches were a tad quieter for the California natives in terms of performance as the U.S. faced stiffer competition in a 2-1 win over Ukraine and a 3-1 loss to Slovakia. The win over Ukraine propelled the U.S. to the championship match on Friday.

Benn Diaz, GK, Queretaro (Los Angeles) 
Tournament Stats: Games 1, Saves 1, Goals Allowed 3

Hugo Arellano, D, LA Galaxy (Norwalk)
Tournament Stats: Games 3, Goals, Assists 1

Nabilai Kibunguchy, D, Sacramento Republic (Sacramento)
Tournament Stats: Games 2, Goals, Assists

Alexis Velela, D, New York Cosmos (San Diego)
Tournament Stats: Games 2, Goals, Assists

Eric Calvillo, M, New York Cosmos (Palmdale)
Tournament Stats: Games 1, Goals, Assists

Luca De La Torre, M, Fulham FC (San Diego)
Tournament Stats: Games 3, Goals, Assists

Sebastien Des Pres, M, Real Salt Lake Arizona (San Diego)
Tournament Stats: Games 2, Goals, Assists

Ernesto Espinoza, F, Club Tijuana (San Diego)
Tournament Stats: Games 2, Goals 1, Assists

Joe Gallardo, F, Unattached (San Diego)
Tournament Stats: Games 3, Goals, Assists

Brandon Vazquez, F, Club Tijuana (Chula Vista)
Tournament Stats: Games 3, Goals 1, Assists 1

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