The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face Brazil, England and Australia at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase Nov. 28-Dec. 3 at the Premier Sports Campus (PSC) in Lakewood Ranch.
The format of the tournament includes three doubleheaders, with the USA match serving as the marquee second game. The U.S. faces England on Nov. 28, Australia on Nov. 30 and Brazil on Dec. 2.
All six Nike Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, with the first game kicking off at 3 p.m. ET and the USA game at 6 p.m.
“We are excited to be hosting the US Soccer’s Winter Showcase and the Nike International Friendlies once again,” said Antonio Saviano, director of sports for the Premier Sports Campus. “Our facility will host the top youth Academy players from all over the United States and the U17 US Soccer National Team along with International teams such as England, Brazil, and for the first time ever, Australia.”
In conjunction with the Friendlies, the Academy Winter Showcase brings together the U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams in the Academy for a three-game set against teams outside their respective conferences and divisions. On Dec. 1, two Academy Select teams will compete against each other in a match showcasing 1997- and 1998-born players handpicked by U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and Youth National Team staff.
The Winter Showcase schedule runs Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 for the U-17/18 age group and Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 for the U-15/16s. The U.S. U-17s have had a strong spell at the Friendlies, winning the tournament in 2011 and 2013. Last year’s tournament was capped off by the USA’s 4-1 victory against Brazil on Dec. 13.
All matches are held at the 22-field Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch. U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide top-level competition for the U.S. U-17 MNT and is one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Starting in 2008, the event evolved to incorporate U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. This setup provides the opportunity for Academy teams to compete against unique opponents outside of their division. This event also allows the U.S. scouting network to have a presence at every match and evaluate players.
“This event gives our Lakewood Ranch community and the Premier Sports Campus great exposure, but it also helps to showcase Manatee and Sarasota counties,” Saviano said. “The event is free and open to anyone who would like to come out and watch some great soccer.”
The 2014 Nike International Friendlies schedule matches (streamed live on ussoccer.com) are as follows (kickoff times listed ET): Nov. 28 – Australia vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.; USA vs. England, 6 p.m. Nov. 30 – Brazil vs. England, 3 p.m.; USA vs. Australia, 6 p.m. Dec. 2 – England vs. Australia, 3 p.m.; USA vs. Brazil, 6 p.m. For more information visit www.ussoccer.com/stories/2014/09/10/10/06/140910-u17mnt-nike-friendlies.
The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch is a multi-purpose facility that is home to 22 full-sized, mixed-use fields for soccer, lacrosse and other amateur sports, and features Celebration grass and underground irrigation. The complex is used for amateur and professional top-flight and world-class sporting tournaments, events, camps and clinics and is located in Lakewood Ranch – the 17,500-acre, award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. www.lakewoodranch.com.