USA U-15 National Team and Chargers DA player Mason Judge
Win 1st International Tournament!
The best 2002’s in the country traveled to Italy for their 1st International Tournament as a team, the Torneo Delle Nazioni. Chargers DA player, Mason Judge, has been a stalwart of the 2002 National Team camps throughout 2016-2017 and he continued to anchor the defense in their 1st International Tournament.
Mason and the 2002’s proved to be more than up for the challenge of some of the world’s top nations. In their first match of the tournament, USA dismantled Slovenia in a 4-0 victory. Mason’s International debut was that of a dominating defensive display, keeping a clean sheet, as well as constantly threatening the Slovenian defense with his pin point long passes.
USA and Mason weren’t done there, as the next day they took on Russia. Mason was matched up against Russia’s best player, a 6’4” Center Forward. Mason relished the challenge and out-dueled the forward both in the air and on the ground, winning the aerial battle and putting in crunching tackles on the Center Forward to set the tone for the USA performance. Mason then put a stamp on a great performance, by redirecting the ball into the net for his 1st International goal just after half-time. USA closed the game with a 2-1 victory that could have been more, securing their place in the semi-finals.
With their place in the semi’s secured, USA rested the majority of their starters in their last group match vs England. Without Mason and many other starters, England was able to win 3-2 to close the group games.
In the semi-final USA was matched up with Portugal, who won their group. Historically one of the top European programs for youth development and the reigning European Champions at senior level, this would be the biggest test so far in Mason’s career. Mason and the US U-15’s were more them up for the challenge and ran out to a quick 2-0 lead early in the match. Portugal fired back to keep the match tight, but in the end USA was too dominant for them coming out as 4-2 winners. Mason continued his superb form, containing Portugal’s top striker and dominating the match defensively.
The US players were hoping to face England again to get a shot at redemption and in the final their wish came true, USA vs England for the Championship. The match proved to be a close encounter, decided in a span of 8 minutes with 3 goals. England struck first in the 69th minute, before the US equalized 2 minutes later. With the game nearing a close and extra time on the horizon, the USA captain, Gio Reyna, continued his scoring run throughout the tournament with the 77
th minute game winner. The USA bench erupted with excitement and the team held on to close out the game as Champions!
One International Tournament played, One International Tournament won!
Congratulations Mason! The Chargers Family is so incredibly proud of how much you have grown on and off the field this year! This success is a credit to the effort, energy and work you have put into this amazing game. This is the first step of many! We can’t wait to celebrate with you! Go USA and Go Chargers!!!