For the 5th straight year, Nike and the US Soccer Federation presented the champions of the Nike International Friendlies youth soccer tournament with a custom award created by Bennett Awards. The Nike International Friendlies is a youth soccer tournament consisting of the Under-17 Men’s National Teams from four different countries. This year, the teams participating in the competition were the Australia, Brazil, England, and defending champion USA. The 2014 Nike International Friendlies was held November 30, 2014 through December 2, 2014, at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
In this tournament format, these four national teams competed in a round-robin tournament. Brazil (2-0-1) finished the tournament with seven points, and was crowned the overall champion. Brazil was followed by the USA (2-1-0; 6 points), England (1-1-1; 4 points) and Australia (0-0-3; 0 points).
For being crowned tournament champion, the Brazil team received a custom trophy created by Bennett Awards. The design of this custom award was originally created by Bennett Awards in 2010. This award design is based on an 18” majestic cup that utilizes geometric shapes, crisp stylizing, and distinctive patterns to give it a unique style, and differentiate it from the typical trophies commonly used at sports events. Up until this year, the trophy was cast in pewter, and then plated in gold and silver. In 2014, however, the design was transitioned to bronze, giving it an elegant, classic feel. The cup was finished with different gold-hue patinas to differentiate a raised, curving channel flowing through the design. The engraving (“2014 NIKE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES CHAMPION”) is etched directing into the cup, again differentiating it from common cup-shaped trophies.
U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies were established in 2001 to provide top-level competition for the U.S. U-17 MNT and is one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar. Starting in 2008, the event evolved to incorporate U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. This event also allows the U.S. Scouting Network to have a presence at every match to evaluate players. More information on the Nike International Friendlies can be found at Nike International Friendlies.