Nike Friendlies see USA emerge with credit

The 2006 Nike Friendlies saw more than fifty club teams, including youth national sides from the USA and Brazil, and Italian side Juventus’ youth squad, compete in over eighty games.

Played on the IMG Academies campus in Bradenton, FL, the event offered an environment that stressed high-level competition without emphasizing results and standings.

The marquee match-ups of the four-day event saw the two USA U-17s emerge with creditable 2-2 draws from exciting games against their Brazilian counterparts. On the event’s opening day, the 1990 USA side twice fought back from a goal down to level matters, with the second equalizer coming in the final minute from Jesse Paredes.

The 1991 U-17s also showed their fighting qualities when, having taken an early lead through Brek Shea, the USA found themselves 2-1 down as the game approached its final quarter. However, in the 65th minute, Ellis McLoughlin stepped up to fire home a free-kick to give the hosts a share of the spoils.

US Soccer's 'Studio 90' series has exclusive highlights from the Friendlies. To view the action, click here.

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