U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team head coach Hugo Perez has named an 18-player roster for the upcoming Tournament Delle Nazioni in Gradisca d’Isonzo, Italy, that runs from April 25-May 1.
The U.S., which will play a friendly match against a to-be-determined opponent on April 23, is in Group C and opens tournament play against Slovenia on Friday, April 25. The team then plays Mexico on Saturday before concluding group play against China PR on Sunday.
The tournament fields two other four-team groups consisting of Brazil, Israel, Italy and Zambia in Group A, and Azerbaijan, Chile, Croatia and Japan in Group B. The three group winners and best second-placed team of the three groups advance to the tournament semifinals where the Group A winner meets the Group B winner, and the Group C winner faces the best second-placed qualifier on April 29. The tournament final will be played on May 1.
The roster is comprised of a familiar group of players as 14 of the 18 have participated in both the U-15 BNT’s trip to the United Arab Emirates in January and its domestic training camp in Carson, Calif., in March. Club Tijuana defender Angel Uribe is the only player on the roster not to have taken part in either 2014 event; however, he did participate in the U-15 BNT’s first camp of the current cycle back in October of 2013.
NOTE – Gabe was invited to the initial camp but was unable to attend when he broke his leg in an Academy game with SLSG Metro. He did attend the most recent camp held March 22-30. He’s obviously recovered!
Twelve of the players on the roster are currently registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, while a further two, Jose Alfaro Jr. (Monarcas Morelia) and Kyle Gruno (Leicester City) formerly played with Development Academy teams.
Additionally, former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola will accompany the U-15 BNT to Italy to serve as the team’s Goalkeeper Coach. The 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee previously served in a similar capacity for the team’s March training camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center.
U.S. U-15 BNT SCHEDULE:
April 23 – U-15 BNT vs. TBD
April 25; 11:30 a.m. ET – U-15 BNT vs. Slovenia; Bilje, Slovenia
April 26; 11:30 a.m. ET – U-15 BNT vs. Mexico; Vipolze, Slovenia
April 27; 11:30 a.m. ET – U-15 BNT vs. China PR; Vipolze, Slovenia
April 29 – Tournament Delle Nazioni Semifinals
May 1 – Tournament Delle Nazioni Final
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Erik Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Jose Alfaro, Jr. (Monarcas Morelia; West Chicago, Ill.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Leicester City; Saddle River, N.J.), Gabe Kash (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro; Marshall, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; Tijuana, Mexico), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Raul Aguilera, Jr. (Orlando City; Sanford, Fla.), Jose Carranza (D.C. United; Manassas, Va.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Juan Pablo Torres (Georgia United; Lilburn, Ga.)
FORWARDS (6): Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy; Durham, N.C.), Jeanpaul Marin (New York Red Bulls; Rego Park, N.Y.), Leonardo Marquez (Odyssey South; Visalia, Calif.), Marty Raygoza (FC Golden State; South El Monte, Calif.) Adolfo Trujillo (De Anza Force; Livermore, Calif.), Hanif Wright (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)