U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams released his final roster selections for the upcoming 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and California will be represented with nine out of twenty-one players on the roster.
Players hailing from the San Diego area are Joe Gallardo (C.F. Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham F.C. San Diego, Calif.), and Alexis Velela (New York Cosmos; San Diego, Calif.). Players from the Los Angeles area are Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), and Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy II; Westminster, Calif.),
These talented young players will be representing the United States for the first time in a major international tournament against the best competition the world has to offer, which will be held in Chile from October 17th to November 8th.
The U-17 MNT was drawn into Group A with host nation Chile, Croatia, and Nigeria. The U.S. will open group play against Nigeria on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. ET in Santiago. The team will then square off against Croatia on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. ET in Vina Del Mar and will close out group play against Chile on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. ET in Vina Del Mar.
The World Cup will be played in eight cities in Chile: Chillan, Concepcion, Coquimbo, La Serena, Puerto Montt, Santiago/Nunoa, Talca, and Vina Del Mar. The championship match and third-place match will be held Sunday, Nov. 8, at the 24,000-capacity Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar.
“I think it’s a pretty well-rounded roster,” said Williams. “When you look over the two-plus years we’ve been together, we’ve had the ability to push forward and score goals with a lot of talented attacking players, but also on the defensive end we’ve had a lot of great games where we’ve defended well. We were able to play a good amount of international matches and domestic matches, and we hope through all of those experiences we have a really balanced team of 21 players that comes together and gets positive results.”
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy II; Westminster, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (8): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Penn.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Academy; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union Academy; Media, Pa.), Alexis Velela (New York Cosmos; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham F.C. San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; Hershey, Pa.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; El Paso, Tex.)
FORWARDS (5): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC Academy; Port Chester, N.Y.), Joe Gallardo (C.F. Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.)