The US U-17 Men's National Team might be the busiest of US Soccer's youth sides. The team won the Nike International Friendlies at the beginning of December, but apparently that isn't quite enough action for this month - so the U-17s are squeezing in another tournament before the end of the year: the IMG Cup Boys Invitational.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the more regular starters for the U-17s this year were missing from the lineups that kicked off the team's opening matches in the IMG Cup:
U-17 #USMNT Starting XI vs. @bmorearmour: Budnik; Vaughn, Ritaccio, Asensio (c), Weber; Angking, Villegas, Watts; Hundley, Temple, Sands. pic.twitter.com/YadNDf2hzE— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 14, 2016
Final score from the first game of @IMGAcademy Cup Super Group: U-17 #USMNT 2, @bmorearmour 1. Goal scorers: Temple (30'), Angking (53').— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 14, 2016
U-17 #USMNT Starting XI vs. @RGVFC: Jones; Vaughn, Ritaccio, Bencomo, Weber; Angking, Watts, Villegas (c); Akinola, Jones, Sands. pic.twitter.com/gLDaT7ET4r— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 15, 2016
Final score from @IMGAcademy Cup - Super Group: U-17 #USMNT 5, @RGVFC 0. Akinola (22', 37'), Acosta (67'), Carleton (70'), Jones (77'). pic.twitter.com/nsOQPQwJOn— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 15, 2016
But a game against a Premiership club was apparently too good an opportunity to miss - the starting lineup against Tottenham Hotspur's U-18s looked more like that which contested the Nike Friendlies, including New York Red Bulls Academy's Chris Gloster:
U-17 #USMNT Starting XI vs. @SpursOfficial U-18: Garces; Lindsey, Sands, Vasquez, Gloster; Ferri, Acosta, Durkin; Akinola, Sargent, Carleton pic.twitter.com/kND4YerSeg— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 18, 2016
U-17 #USMNT fall 3-1 to @SpursOfficial U-18. Will face FC Florida in 3rd place game tomorrow @ 7:30 p.m. Watch live: https://t.co/uLgPHS2LHV pic.twitter.com/Hjb7sftIlC— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 18, 2016
The game didn't go the USA U-17s' way, but the experience will doubtless serve the players well as they look toward the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and (hopefully) the U-17 World Cup.