NEWS: Quakes Academy stars Gilbert Fuentes, Diego Luna shine as U.S. U-17s top U-16s

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – The future of the U.S. Men’s National team assembled at the Premier Sports Complex 45 minutes south of Tampa for a preseason camp featuring many of the top U15 through U20 players in the talent pool.

The camp features several intrasquad games pitting similar age groups against each other.

On Monday, Jan. 8, the U16 and U17 teams faced off in game that featured three 35-minute sessions, with the U16 team changing personnel in each of the three halves. The end result through 105 minutes of play saw the U17 team dominate the younger age group 6-0.

The U17s notched four goals in the first half, getting two goals from striker Alfonso Chavez to go with goals from Gilbert Fuentes and Gianluca Busio as they dominated in possession. Fuentes scored the highlight goal of the afternoon, ripping a shot from 25-yards out off the inside post and in to the net in the 21st minute of the game.

Most of the U17s stronger attacks came from the right side of the pitch as right back Joseph Scally remained active and aggressive making runs down the sideline, getting in deep on several occasions, overlapping with midfielder Giovanni Reyna. That relentless work led to the fourth goal as Scally worked toward the outside of the box to deliver a perfect feed through the penalty area to Busio for an easily converted one-timer.

In the second half of action, the U17s scored twice while controlling the game through the midfield with Peter Stroud playing underneath Benjamin Redzic, who continuously worked the ball from side to side, switching the attack and working the flanks. Josh Pynadath displayed the most flair working the right sideline with step-overs and speed dribbles to create opportunities. Andres Jasson figured in both of the goals, setting up Redzic with a cross in the sixth minute and finding a loose ball in the penalty area, finishing things off with a blast from his left foot. Defender Kobe Hernandez showed poise as a central defender, working with Owen Guske to stifle anything the U16s tried to mount, continually winning balls and distributing the ball out of the back.

The third half took on more of an even feel from both sides with scoring chances scares from either team. Diego Luna was active in the midfield for the U16s, showing an ability to slip around defenders to mount an attack. Forwards Dante Sealy and Dantouma Toure were able to use their speed to penetrate the defensive third, but showed some inexperience with heavy touches once inside the box.


U17 MNT lineups:

First Period

Damian Las; George Bello, Axel Alejandre, Mason Judge, Joseph Scally; Luis Flores, Adam Saldana, Gilbert Fuentes; Gianluca Busio, Alfonso Campo Chavez; Giovanni Reyna


Second Period

Marzuq Puckerin; John Tolkin, Kobe Hernandez, Owen Guske, Michael Barragan; Peter Stroud, Benjamin Redzic, Louis Rogers; Andres Jasson, Diego Lopez, Joshua Pynadath


Third Period

John Harms; Zach Farnsworth, Kenny Nielsen, Tayvon Gray, Amir Daley; Anthony Rouse, Emmanuel Ameres, Bryang Kayo; Cade Hagan, Aboubacar Camara, Wasswa Robbins


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