The US U15 BNT has landed in Mexico City and will take on the U15 National Teams of Brazil (August 10), Panama (August 11) and Uruguay (August 12).
The US brings in an extremely talented roster that includes foreign based stars Joshua Perez (’98), Joe Gallardo (’98) and Christian Albelo (’98), as well as Danny Barbir (’98), Christian Pulisic (’98) and Nicholas Taitague (’99) who are being chased after by some big time European Academies.
This will prove to be an extremely important tournament for these young and talented US youth players. It is safe to assume that all 20 players on this roster have been extended an offer to join US Residency in Bradenton, Florida under current coach Richie Williams. However, a number of biggest clubs in the world will have scouts present in Mexico City. Play well here and you firmly establish yourself to a bevy of the top teams.
The US will rely heavily on experienced youth internationals over the next week. Goalkeeper Kevin Silva (’98), Danny Barbir, Eric Calvillo (’98) and Christian Albelo will form the spine of the side. Look for Danny Barbir to be named captain. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles Barbir, who stands 6’3” can play either in the center of defense or in the #9 role. Barbir will be looked to lead the defense in this tournament as normal defensive stalwart George Braima, could not make the trip. Also watch for FC Dallas Academy #10 Alejandro Zendejas (’98) to get minutes in the midfield.
The attack will be left to the dynamic Joe Gallardo, Joshua Perez and Christian Pulisic. Pulisic who is the target of PSV Eindhoven, will be wearing the #10 shirt in Mexico and will either play behind the front line or out wide right. Former Chivas USA Academy star Joshua Perez has cemented his position on the wing, while towering center forward prospect Hagi Wright (’98) will likely start at center forward.
One of the more interesting players in this tournament will be Nicholas Taitague. Taitague starred for the US id2 squad and could be an option at attacking midfield. His inclusion on this roster, ahead of a number of other talented 98s, signals just how important US Soccer values his skills.
Be sure to check back with OWTY for all news, scores and breakdown of the Copa Mexico de Naciones.
Catch the USA-Brazil match here: 11am Eastern :: TVC Deportes