Four participants from New York City FC’s First Team and Academy begin their quest for the U-17 World Cup with the U.S. U-17s on Sunday, September 27.
Three players (Tayvon Gray, Andres Jasson and Joe Scally) and one coach (Matt Pilkington) are with the squad in Brazil preparing to take on Senegal this weekend in their first group stage match.
Gray, Jasson, Pilkington and Scally all played important roles in NYCFC’s back-to-back U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship winning seasons in 2018 and 2019—a first for any Club at the U-19 age level.
Earlier this month, NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said: “We’re very proud to have three players representing NYCFC at the upcoming U-17 World Cup in Brazil. A lot of the credit goes to the players, their parents and our Academy staff in helping them grow into the talents they are. I’m excited to see their potential on display at the U-17 World Cup and beyond.”
Scally, a Lake Grove, NY native, signed a Homegrown contract with NYCFC in 2018. At the time of the signing, he was the second-youngest player to ever sign a professional contract in MLS behind Freddy Adu. The right-back made his competitive debut for the Club in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup as a substitute for David Villa.
Gray, a defender from the Bronx, has been highly involved for Club and country in the past few years. Along with Scally, he helped the U-17 National Team qualify for this fall’s World Cup. The defensive duo started along the back line in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championships Final against Mexico.
Jasson, an attacking player who hails from Greenwich, CT, was named the 2019 NYCFC Academy Player of the Year earlier this month. Both he and Gray were involved in the U.S. U-17 side for the 4 Nations Tournament in September—the team’s final official international matches before the World Cup.
In addition to the players, NYCFC Boys Academy U-19 head coach Matt Pilkington will be part of the U.S. team’s coaching staff. Pilkington has led the team to back-to-back USSDA National Championships and to a strong showing at the 2019 Dallas Cup where the U-19s defeated English club Liverpool FC.
Reyna said: “Matt being part of the World Cup staff is a credit to his work over the past couple of years. He’s been one of the leaders in our Academy and has done a great job developing players, but more importantly, developing young men. He knows this age group very well, having coached with and against many of the players in the squad. He’ll bring a lot of experience to Raphael Wicky and the rest of the coaching staff. It’s an incredible opportunity for him and we love seeing our coaches invited into national team camps and gain experience with U.S. Soccer.
“We’re excited for all of them and we wish them the best of luck in Brazil.”
Following the match vs. Senegal, the U.S. will face off against Japan and the Netherlands.
From everyone at NYCFC, good luck to our quartet at the tournament.
U.S. U-17 Schedule
10/27 – vs. Senegal, 4pm ET
10/30 – vs. Japan, 7pm ET
11/02 - vs. Netherlands, 7pm ET