May 4, 2013, 6:07 PM EDT
The United States under-15 boys national team went undefeated through their group in the international tournament in Gradisca, Italy, in the northeast corner of the country.
It began with their 0-0 draw against host nation Italy. The draw came despite the United States’s dominance of the match, thanks to a 5-1 corner advantage and a 6-2 shots lead as well.
The US then drew with Chile 1-1, thanks to an equalizer from by Alejandro Zendejas just one minute after Chile took the lead. Zendejas is a member of FC Dallas’s youth system.
The club then won the group with a 2-0 emphatic win over Slovenia with goals from Joshua Perez and Christian Pulisic. Perez, from the outskirts of Los Angeles, is a recent signing by Serie A club Fiorentina and is ranked #1 in the country for his age group by IMG World’s club soccer player rankings.
Coach Tony Lepore (pictured) will continue to lead his squad as the US are booked to play Croatia in the semifinals. The Croatians swept their group of Canada, Norway, and Montenegro with a +7 goal differential. The other semifinal sees Mexico, the highest non-group-winning finisher square off with Japan Group C champs Mexico.
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