Nimfasha Berchimas brace leads USA U-17s over South Korea in World Cup opener 


The United States U-17 National Team passed its first World Cup test with flying colors, taking the opening match 3-1 over South Korea in Jakarta, Indonesia.

MLS NEXT Pro representatives scored all three goals, with 15-year-old Nimfasha Berchimas of Crown Legacy FC scoring a brace and Cruz Medina of Earthquakes II scoring a go-ahead goal in the second half.

Berchimas became the fourth-youngest American goal scorer at the U-17 World Cup. He opened the scoring by finding space inside the box and knocking home a half-clearance following a cross.

South Korea’s Kim Myung-Jun equalized in the 35th minute. However, Medina put the Americans ahead just four minutes into the second half. A rebounded save fell into his path after a blocked Berchimas shot.

Finally, Berchimas put things out of reach, putting his dribbling skills on display before launching a shot from just outside the 18-yard box.

Both players enjoyed strong seasons in MLS NEXT Pro during the previous club season. Medina starred for Quakes II in 2023, logging 1,201 minutes with two goals and two assists. Berchimas began to break into the Crown Legacy squad, playing 347 minutes across eight appearances. He scored his first professional goal on Sept. 17 in a 1-0 win over New England Revolution II.

The United States U-17 squad continues the group stage Wednesday, facing Burkina Faso.