Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad and Bofo Saucedo (left to right in picture) have all returned back to the Grande Sports Academy home of Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy after a very successful spell with the U-17 MNT at the Caspian Cup in Azerbaijan. Lennon scored 7 goals in 3 games, Bofo scored 4 goals in 4 games and Glad helped the defensive backline record 2 shutouts. Bofo played in all 4 games, Lennon in 3 games and Glad in 3 games.
Below are the games and results from the Caspian Cup
Win – Game #1 vs Kyrgyzstan, 11-0 (Lennon 3 goals, Bofo 3 goals)
Loss – Game #2 vs Azerbaijan, 0-2 (Glad did not play)
Win – Game #3 vs Bulgaria, 2-0 (Lennon did not play)
Win – Game #4 vs Uzbekistan, 5-2 (Lennon 4 goals, Bofo 1 goal)
Grande - How was the whole experience?
Glad - “We got there around 8:30pm and for Arizona people they are just waking up so we were all really tired and slept all day. The next day we went to the training field and checked out the first stadium and it was really nice. Actually all the stadiums were really nice. They were all turf and had stands all around. We had a light practice to keep our legs going but nothing too serious that could wear us out.”
Bofo - “Yeah, the coaches just wanted us to get used to the field.”
Lennon - “It was great hanging with the boys. It was so much fun representing my country.”
Glad - “Yeah, and after practice we had dinner and there was rice. And even more rice at every meal. The rice got old after a while.”
Grande - Why rice?
Glad - “No idea, there was just rice everywhere.”
Bofo - “Also at breakfast too.”
Grande - When did you all find out you were starting together against Kyrgyzstan?
Glad - “Right before the game.”
Grande - Did you all look at each other and think this was pretty special?
Bofo - “Yeah, it was pretty cool.”
Lennon - “I was pumped. When I saw my name up there I got was really excited I got to go out there.”
Glad - “It was nerve-racking at the beginning, but once we saw them play we knew we would win and we did, 11-0.”
Grande - Lennon and Bofo, you both scored three goals how did that feel?
Lennon - “It felt great and it took the weight off my shoulders. I was super pumped.”
Bofo - “I was happy also but also mixed because it got to the point where we just started to dominate them. Their team was not the greatest and as a player I’m always striving to score against the best in the world.”
Grande - “Did you have to work at all in the game Justen?
Glad - “I don’t think I made a tackle all game.”
Grande – Justen you sat on the bench in the next game vs hosts Azerbaijan. Bofo you played, what happened in that game?
Bof0 – “We scored in the first half, were playing well and did a good job with possession of the ball. But we got a little too confident on who we were playing and of course playing a home team.”
Glad – “Well, certain calls were very questionable and very biased I thought.”
Bofo - “Yeah, it was bad. And with the fans and stuff like that, it looked like it was a full stadium on one side. It was a good experience and unfortunately there were some bad calls but nothing we could have done about that.”
Grande - After the loss what did the coach tell you guys?
Glad - “He told us that sometimes at that level people will do whatever they needed to win, but despite that we need have to learn how to beat the team and learn how to win even though things may not go our way.”
Grande - The next game was against Bulgaria, how did that go?
Bofo- “It was a tough match, but we played as a team and scored two goals right away.”
Grande - The final game was against Uzbekistan. Lennon you had 4 goals and Bofo you scored again, how did that go?
Bofo – “It was a hard game actually, The score may not indicate how hard it was but Uzbekistan pressed a lot and made it hard for us. We scored on every opportunity we had, but it was a hard game.”
Lennon - “It felt great and I was happy to be in the right place at the right time. I was really happy to help my country win.”
Grande - What did the coach tell you after the tournament was over?
Bofo - “He said we were the better team out of the whole tournament. He just said that the only way we can show it is by wining and we didn’t do that. They weren’t mad at us because we played great but upset that we didn’t finish our chances vs Azerbaijan.”
Grande - How was the country Azerbaijan as a whole?
Glad - “It was cool and on the second to last day we walked around the city for an hour and a half and we saw pretty much the entire city.”
Bofo - “The country looked very poor but the people drove really nice cars.”
Lennon - “You could see some poverty and you could see how America is more wealthy and how people want to live here.”
Glad - “It was weird because half the building were really nice and the other half were crumbling.”
Grande - Thank you guys for your time and keep up the great work.”
Glad, Bofo, Lennon - “Thanks!”