CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, December 11, 2013) – LA Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright scored three times for the United States Under-17 National Team this week in his team’s first two games of the Nike Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Wright scored a pair of second half goals on Wednesday against England while also scoring once against Portugal two days earlier.
One of 20 players on head coach Richie Williams’ roster, Wright started and played the full 90 minutes in the tournament opener on Monday against Portugal. His 13th minute goal, which was assisted by Alejandro Zendejas, gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead, though Portugal would equalize in the 27th minute before scoring the game-winning goal in the first minute of second half stoppage time. He was back in the lineup two days later, playing the 85 minutes up front while helping the U.S. claim a 5-1 win over England. Wright scored his team’s third goal in the 72nd minute of that game, finishing a cross from Luca de la Torre for his second goal in as many games. Eight minutes later, Wright scored his second, finishing from a tight angle off a pass from Christian Pulisic to make the score 4-1.
The U.S. are now 1-1-0 in the tournament and will round out the Nike Friendlies on Friday afternoon when they host Brazil.
While Wright is with the U.S. U-17’s at the Nike Friendlies, a pair of Galaxy Academy goalkeepers are in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., playing for the U-17’s at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase. Abraham Romero and Eric Lopez will each represent Clint Peay’s U-17 squad in games against U-18 teams from Solar Chelsea SC of Texas, Pennsylvania club PA Classics and the New England Revolution. Romero is a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program while Lopez has made five appearances this season for the Galaxy U-16’s.
The Galaxy U-18’s won their opening game at the Winter Showcase, beating the Players Development Academy 2-0 behind goals from Jaime Villarreal and Christian Chavez. They will be back in action on Thursday afternoon when they take on FC Dallas before rounding out the Showcase on Saturday morning against the Chicago Fire.
The Galaxy U-16’s open the Winter Showcase on Thursday afternoon when they take on the Capital Area RailHawks Academy. The following day, the Galaxy will face the Houston Dynamo before closing the Showcase on Sunday morning against FC Dallas.