U.S. U-18 Team in Lisbon International Tournament

I’ve written a few posts about youth international club tournaments in the past, today I want to talk about the 2012 Lisbon International Tournament.  The squad that U-18 coach Javier Perez called up for the tournament includes 18 players with Development Academy experience, 12 players who have participated in the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, and several professional players.

The roster by position is (players with professional clubs in bold):
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado Academy; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zackary Steffen (FC Delco Academy; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (6):  Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake Academy; Rochester, N.Y.),  Robert Michael Amick (De Anza Force Soccer Academy; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Mobi Fehr (FC Basel; Tokyo, Japan), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar Chelsea Soccer Academy; Keller, Texas), Malcom Harriss (Baltimore Bays Chelsea; Damascus, Md.), Jalen Markey (Seattle Sounders FC Academy; Renton, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy; Plano, Texas), Russell Cannouse (Hoffenheim, Germany;Achtzehn Akademie, Germany), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA Academy; Glendora, Calif.), Matthew Dunn (OFK Belgrade; Dallas, Texas), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana, Mexico; Chula Vista, Calif.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy, Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (6): Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Balboa Island, Calif.), Andrew Oliver (Chicago Fire Academy; Indianapolis, Ind.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana, Mexico; Palmdale, Calif.), Ben Spencer (Chivas USA Academy; Albuquerque, N.M.), Stefanos Stamoulacatos (Empire; Camillus, N.Y.)

Two players on this roster grew up in Western New York.  Stefanos Stamoulacatos plays for Empire United, the Development Academy club in Rochester that recently re-branded itself Revolution Empire.  Rochester native Jordan Allen is the son of former Rochester Rhino and current Aquinas coach Howard Allen.  The younger Allen has been racking up accolades playing for Real Salt Lake’s Arizona residency academy team in the highly competitive SoCal division of the Development Academy.

Western New York can and should be proud of these regional products as they represent the United States in this international tournament.  While the U-18 team does not have its own World Cup competition, this age level serves as a stepping stone between the U-17 and U-20 squads which each have a World Cup.  All the players on this roster were born after January 1, 1994, and are therefore eligible for the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey.  First the team will have to be one of 4 teams from the 12 team CONCACAF U-20 Championship which will take place in Puebla, Mexico [the city in which I just spent 5 months living] in February 2013.

In their first game of the tournament, the U-18 team played to a 1-1 draw against the Poland U-19 squad on Wednesday, May 23.  The following report comes from USSoccer.com.

Poland scored off a header from a free kick in the first half. In the second half, U.S. midfielder Alejandro Guido sent in a cross that was flicked near the six-yard box by Jack McBean. The ball landed in the path of forward Ben Spencer, who volleyed it into the net to tie the game.

The team next plays Slovakia’s U-19 team on Thursday before finishing group play against hosts U-19 Portugal on Sunday, May 26.

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