The Nike Friendlies feature the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team and U-17 opponents from Brazil, England and Portugal. The portion of the event begins Monday, Dec. 9, with the USA facing Portugal at 5 p.m. ET. The U.S. U-17 MNT then plays England on Dec. 11 and Brazil on Dec. 13. All six Nike Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, and updates will be provided on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
The Academy Showcase runs from Wednesday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 15. The U-17/18 age group begins play on Dec. 11 and the U-15/16s start on Dec. 12. New for the Showcase field is a National Team element as the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team will compete in the U-15/16 age group and a U.S. U-17 Men's National Team will be fielded for three games in the U-17/18 age group.
ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT: Academy Select Rosters Named for Dec. 12: A highlight of the 2013 Academy Winter Showcase is the competition between two Academy Select U-15/16 teams (1998-99) and two Academy Select U-17/18 (1996-97) squads on Thursday, Dec. 12. The Academy Red Select and Blue Select teams for each age group were announced Thursday, selected by U.S. Soccer technical advisors who will also be coaching the teams. The U-15/16 Select game kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and the U-17/18 game at 8 p.m. ET at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Game updates will be provided on the Academy/YNT Twitter account @ussoccer_ynt. Check for regular Academy Showcase updates with the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.
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ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1):
West Conference: Chivas USA's three age groups posted wins against host San Diego Surf on Sunday, highlighted by Caleb Calvert scoring a game-winning goal in the 89th-minute to lift the U-17/18 team to a 1-0 victory. Chivas USA's U-15/16s overcame an early deficit as Ivan Gutierrez scored twice and Andrew Mendoza added a first-half goal for a 3-1 win. At the U-13/14 age group, Chivas USA's Leonides Cuteno's 41st-minute goal opened up the scoring en route to a 3-0 win.
Central Conference: In the only Central Conference matchup this past weekend, the Dallas Texans U-17/18 team edged Solar Chelsea SC 2-1, while the U-15/16 and U-13/14 squads posted 3-3 and 1-1 draws, respectively. The Dallas Texans U-17/18s rallied with Jason Machado's 71st-minute equalizer and Michael Forbes' 89th-minute winner.
East Conference: Met Oval's U-13/14 team earned a 2-1 victory against NJSA 04 in the only East-based game on Saturday in Holmdel, N.J.
Player of the Week: Jose Hernandez of Real Salt Lake AZ's U-17/18 team was named Academy Player of the Week during the weekend of Nov. 23-24. Hernandez had a bright start during Real Salt Lake AZ's victory against Pateadores by scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes. RSL AZ improved to 6-0-1 on the season heading into the Academy Winter Showcase.
Referee of the Week: Rosendo Mendoza, a 20-year-old Grade 7 referee from southern Texas, was named Academy Referee of the Week for the Nov. 23-24 weekend. Mendoza was recognized for his work during the U-17/18 match between the Texas Rush and Sporting Kansas City. Mendoza has mostly worked as an assistant referee and has worked matches in the older Academy age groups for the past two years.
Note:An Academy Player of the Week and Referee of the Week will not be named for the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 because of the limited number of fixtures.
For all Development Academy results, visit ussda.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
Development Academy Winter Showcase: Dec. 11-15 at Lakewood Ranch, Fla., for U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy teams. The U-15/16 matches take place on Dec. 12, 13 and 15, and the U-17/18 games are Dec. 11, 12 and 14.