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Global Jan 25, 2014

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team claims Aegean Cup championship with 2-1 win over Turkey

MANISA, Turkey – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team won the 2014 Aegean Cup with a 2-1 victory against Turkey behind a pair of second-half goals from Joe Gallardo and Haji Wright.

Gallardo finished as the team’s leading scorer at the tournament with three goals and goalkeeper Will Pulisic earned the tournament’s Golden Glove award as the U.S. U-17 MNT claimed a second consecutive international tournament championship.

The USA dominated proceedings in the opening 45 minutes but could not convert a handful of chances. Gallardo went closest for the Americans, putting a close range shot over the bar after he was sent through on goal by a magnificent through ball from midfielder Luca de la Torre.

Gallardo made amends in the 53rd minute by firing the USA to a 1-0 lead. Winger Pierre Da Silva sent in a low cross from the left wing that Gallardo brought down with a neat trap before rounding two defenders and slipping a shot past Turkey goalkeeper Mehmet Aşcı.

Two minutes later Wright doubled the USA’s lead. Attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic emerged from a scrum in the Turkey half with the ball and found Wright with breaking into the Turkey penalty area. The LA Galaxy product put his first shot right at Aşcı but made no mistake when the rebound landed at his feet, burying his second shot with authority.

Ibrahim Demirbag scored shortly thereafter for Turkey in the 57th minute to halve his team’s deficit, but the USA hung on comfortably over the final 20 minutes to raise the Aegean Cup.

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