Joe Scally will able to showcase his talent this week. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)

Three players with ties to New York City FC Academy have been named to a 24-player roster for the annual Nike International Friendlies this week.

Defenders Joe Scally (Lake Grove, N.Y.) and Tayvon Gray (Bronx, N.Y), who are with the Major League Soccer organization, and midfielder Giovanni Reyna, who once played for the the Academy, were selected by acting U.S. Under-17 men’s national head coach Shaun Tsakiris, it was announced Monday.

The competition will be held at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from Wednesday to Dec. 2. The four-team tournament will feature the USA, Brazil, Portugal and Turkey. The USA kicks things off against Portugal on Wednesday, Nov. 28 (6:30 p.m. ET), takes on Turkey on Friday, Nov. 30 (6:30 p.m. ET) and wraps up versus Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 2 (5:30 p.m. ET).

All tournament matches will be streamed live on, Facebook and YouTube.

“The Nike International Friendlies are another important opportunity to evaluate players who have done well with their clubs,” Tsakiris said. “The reality of the National Team is that the player pool is constantly being evaluated. High-level games like these provide an invaluable opportunity to see the progress of our players and for them to show us that they deserve to be a part of our group moving forward.”

This year’s tournament will feature players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, the age cut-off date for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in Peru in Oct. 2019. It will serve as important preparation as all four nations attempt to qualify for the World Cup next spring.

The roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Trace Alphin (North Carolina FC; Raleigh, N.C.; 0/0), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 11/0), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta; 3/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 12/0), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 8/0), Sebastian Falsone (Virginia Development Academy; Warrenton, Va.; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (FC Dallas; Keller, Texas; 0/0), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 7/0), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 11/1), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.; 10/0), Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 11/1)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Masango Akale (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Minneapolis, Minn.; 0/0), Andre Luiz Costa (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; Madrid, Spain; 0/0), William Reilly (Atlanta United FC; Decatur, Ga.; 2/0), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 5/1), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 14/1), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.; 12/0)

FORWARDS (7): Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.; 0/0), Ruben Hernandez (Club Leon/MEX; Manteca, Calif.; 0/0), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 12/5), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 3/0), Daniel Robles (Seattle Sounders FC; White Center, Wash.; 5/0), Alex Villanueva (Seattle Sounders FC; Maple Valley, Wash.; 0/0), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 3/2)

2018 Nike International Friendlies Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Turkey vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Portugal, 6:30 p.m. ET 

Friday, Nov. 30
Portugal vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Turkey, 6:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Dec. 2
Portugal vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 5:30 p.m. ET

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at