CHICAGO (Nov. 14, 2017) – The 2017 Men’s and Women’s Nike International Friendlies and U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase will take place at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida from Nov. 29-Dec. 11.
In the 15th edition of the Men’s Nike Friendlies, the USA will take on its U-17 counterparts from Brazil, England and Netherlands. The tournament will feature players born in the year 2002 or after whose goal is to represent their countries at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
In the first Women’s Nike International Friendlies held in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, the U.S. U-20 WNT will face Brazil, England and Finland. The USA, Brazil and England will bring players born in 1998 or later while Finland will feature players born in 1997 and later. The USA and Brazil will use the tournament to further preparations for qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France. England has already qualified while Finland did not earn a berth to the tournament.
The tournaments will feature six doubleheaders, with the USA playing in the evening games on each match day. The U-17 MNT will face England on Nov. 29, Netherlands on Dec. 1 and finish against Brazil on Dec. 3. The U-20 WNT will take on England on Dec. 7, Finland on Dec. 9 and will end the competition against Brazil on Dec. 11.
The early game of the first two U-17 match days will kick-off at 3:30 p.m. ET with the USA game following at 7 p.m. ET. The third match day will feature a 1:30 p.m. ET kick-off for the first game, followed by the USA match at 5 p.m. ET. For the U-20 match days, all three match days will see 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. kickoff times.
All matches will be broadcast on ussoccer.com.
2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies Schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 29
Brazil vs. Netherlands, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. England, 7 p.m. ET
Friday, Dec. 1
England vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Netherlands, 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, Dec. 3
Netherlands vs. England, 1:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 5 p.m. ET
2017 Women’s Nike International Friendlies Schedule
Thursday, Dec. 7
Brazil vs. Finland, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. England, 6:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Dec. 9
England vs. Brazil, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Finland, 6:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Dec. 11
Finland vs. England, 3 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 6:30 p.m. ET
The Development Academy Winter Showcase will once again take place alongside the Nike Friendlies at Premier Sport Campus and will include 76 Under-16/17 and 72 Under-18/19 Boys’ Academy clubs and 69 clubs from each of the three Girls’ Academy age groups: Under-15, Under-16/17 and Under-18/19. There will be featured Academy showcase games streamed live in addition to the Nike Friendlies, with the Nov. 30, Dec. 2 and Dec. 4 Boys’ schedule and Dec. 6, 8 and 10 Girls’ matchups to be announced on ussoccerda.com.
The U.S. U-17 MNT won the Nike International Friendlies most recently in 2016, while England took home the championship in 2015. England and Netherlands last attended the Nike Friendlies in 2015. Furthermore, Brazil has attended the tournament every year since 2006, in addition to a 2003 appearance.
The Friendlies have featured a number of players throughout the years who went on to play for the senior MNT, including Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley. International players such as Brazil’s Neymar and Marcelo, the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay, and many others have also played in the well-regarded international tournament.
The U-20 U.S. WNT has had an excellent year of preparation, taking three trips to Europe – to Spain, England and Germany – while conducting three domestic training camps, one of which included two games against the Japan U-20 WNT. The Nike Friendlies will mark the final international matches of the year for the U.S. team, but it will convene in Florida for a training camp at the end of the year. That will be the last preparation before the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship being held in Trinidad & Tobago from Jan. 18-28.
At that tournament, the USA was drawn into Group B with Nicaragua, Mexico and the first-place finisher from the Caribbean pre-qualifying. The top three finishers qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
The Nike Friendlies began in 2001 to provide top-level competition for Men’s Youth National Teams, and has become a premier annual event for youth soccer. In 2008, U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Winter Showcase joined forces with the Nike Friendlies, and the combined event highlights the cohesion between the Development Academy Member Clubs and the Youth National Teams. In the 2016-17 cycle, 92% of all Boys’ and Men’s Youth National Team players were products of Development Academy clubs. Since the start of the inaugural Girls’ Development Academy season in September 2017, 70% of the players called into Women’s Youth National Team camps are rostered full-time in the Girls’ Academy. The U.S. Talent Identification Network will include YNT staff, Technical Advisors and U.S. Soccer Scouts who will cover each of the 541 games, 226 Boys’ games and 315 Girls’ games, to identify and evaluate players from across the country.