The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team tied France 2-2 in its opening match of the Nike International Friendlies after an opening goal from DeAndre Robinson and a stoppage-time equalizer from Wesley Wade.
With the draw, the U.S. is tied with France and sits behind Brazil in the four-team tournament being played at the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Brazil defeated Turkey 1-0 in the earlier match.
The U.S. will face Turkey next on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. ET, while Brazil takes on France at 3 p.m. ET. The U.S. match will be live on ussoccer.com‘s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
“It’s an excellent game for the boys to experience against one of the top teams around the world,” said U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “France is an excellent team with great players, technically very good, strong, and athletic. We tried to face them at the same level, and I think it was an exciting game. We never gave up, and that is a quality that the American teams always have. We tried to play soccer and find a way to tie, and to win. Obviously we need to improve a lot of things, but to have a reference point like a team like France is important for us. Our team needs to see that we can compete with a team like this.”
The U.S. started off strong, with Herber Flores feeding the ball through to Robinson in the fourth minute. The speedy forward kept the ball away from France with some fancy footwork outside of the 18-yard box before losing the ball out of bounds.
A minute later, the U.S. had its first shot on goal. Rubio Rubin feed captain Angel Heredia and he fired an effort toward goal but France goalkeeper Dorian Grange was up to the challenge. France responded with its first shot on goal in the 15th minute, with captain Gnaly Cornet testing USA goalkeeper Paul Christensen.
The U.S. scored the opening goal of the game in the 25th minute after Mejia-Flores connected with Robinson, who curled the ball into the near right corner of the net.
France’s equalizer came in the 43rd minute, when Cornet got behind the U.S.’s back line and found Michel Araai to his right. Christensen came off his line to make the save, but Araai got slotted home inside the right post.
The second half saw consistent pressure from France as Les Bleus recorded six shots, including two on goal, in the first 10 minutes. Their efforts paid off when the team earned a free kick in the 75th minute. Kingsley Coman took the free kick, and the ball dropped down and rebounded off U.S. defender Tyler Turner for an own goal.
The second France goal seemed to set off a spark in the U.S. players, who responded with a renewed strength and pressed France for the remainder of the match.
After two consecutive shots on goal in the 84th minute, one off of a Mejia-Flores corner kick, the U.S. finally scored in the final seconds of stoppage time. Rubin took a throw-in that found substitute Corey Baird in the penalty area and he was able to chest the ball to Wesley Wade, who buried his shot past the ‘keeper into the far post.
The 2011 Winter Showcase takes place from Dec. 2-6 featuring games from all 78 Development Academy clubs, and will be in conjunction with the ninth annual Nike International Friendlies. The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, whose current roster features 24 players representing Academy clubs, face Brazil, France and Turkey, with all of the U.S. matches being televised on Fox Soccer.
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. France U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Nov. 30, 2011
Competition: 2011 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 60 degrees, brisk
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
FRA 1 1 2
USA – DeAndre Robinson (Herber Mejia-Flores) 25th minute
FRA – Michel Araai (Gnaly Cornet) 43
FRA – own goal (Tyler Turner) 75
USA – Wesley Wade (Corey Baird) 93
USA: 1-Paul Christensen; 4-Shaquell Moore, 2-Conor Donovan, 6- Tyler Turner, 3- John Requejo Jr. (12- Adonis Amaya,85); 5-Guy Kabala (14-Steven Echevarria,76), 7-Rubio Rubin, 8-Angel Heredia (13-Corey Baird, 78), 10-Herbert Mejia-Flores; 9-Wesley Wade, 11-DeAndre Robinson (17- Dembakwi Yomba, 84)
Substitutions Not Used: 15-Jorge Calix, 16-Kevin Politz, 18-Evan Louro, 19-Danya Kafai, 20-Christopher Lema
Head coach: Wilmer Cabrera
FRA: 16-Dorian Grange, 14-Jonathan Bamba, 13-Sega Coulibaly, 5-Abdou Diallo (19-Dylan Batubinsika, 64) 3-Nicolas Senzemba; 11-Kingsley Coman, 6-Jules Ntcham, 8-Nianankoro Doumbia, 9-Gnaly Cornet (7-Moussa Dembele, 46); 17-Michel Araai (10-Victor Mayard. 64), 18-Neal Maupay (15-Robin Maulun,75)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Florian Escales, 2-Nobie Boua Gnoumou, 4- Cece Franckz Pepe
Head coach: Patrick Gonfalone
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 8 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 2 /3
USA – John Requejo Jr. (caution) 8th minute
FRA – Nianankoro Doumbia (caution) 11
USA – Angel Heredia (caution) 74
Referee: Mark Declouet (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Desmond MIller (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Baboucarr Jallow (USA)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)
Man of the Match: Shaquell Moore