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Global Mar 11, 2015

U.S. U-17 MNT looks to lock up 2015 U-17 World Cup bid tonight vs. Jamaica

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, coming off a 2-2 draw against Honduras, heads into the final Group A match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a two-point, first-place lead. A USA victory against Jamaica in Wednesday’s group finale would earn the top spot in the group and a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

The USA and Jamaica kick off at 7 p.m. ET at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The match is live on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO and Univision Deportes.

The U-17 MNT could earn first place in the group with a draw against Jamaica, even if Honduras defeats Guatemala. The USA would need to maintain its superior goal differential, which is currently at plus-10, compared to Honduras’ plus-4.

The CONCACAF U-17 Championship group winners earn an automatic berth to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to the title game of qualifying on Sunday, March 15, at Estadio Francisco Morazán. (Please note: The game originally was scheduled to be played at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano.)

The second- and third-place finishers of each group will advance to the tournament’s Playoff stage, where they will be reseeded and compete for the final two World Cup berths out of CONCACAF.

+Read: U.S. U-17 MNT on verge of FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifying after draw vs. Honduras

The top three Group A teams have all clinched at least a spot in the Playoff stage of qualifying, with the USA on top at 3-0-1 (10 points), followed by Honduras (2-0-2, 8 points) and Jamaica (2-1-1, 7 points). Even if Jamaica falls to the USA and fourth-place Guatemala (1-2-1, 4 points) defeats Honduras to tie in points, Jamaica holds the tiebreaker for earning a 2-1 win against Guatemala earlier in the tournament.

The USA is coming off a 2-2 draw against host Honduras in a wild affair. After falling behind early, Luca de la Torre and Josh Perez scored a goal apiece to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. However, Honduras’ David Sanchez scored an 88th-minute equalizer to put a hold on the USA’s quest for a World Cup berth.

Jamaica recently stormed past Trinidad & Tobago for a 5-1 victory. Second-half sub Tajea Brown led the charge with three goals in a 20-minute span, while Peter Vassell and Nathaniel Adamolekum scored first-half goals for Jamaica.

Here is a look at the USA’s history against Jamaica in qualifying at this age group:

  • The USA is 3-1-1 all-time against Jamaica in this tournament.
  • The U.S. first faced Jamaica at the 1999 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament on Feb. 28 in Group A play, resulting in a scoreless draw. Jamaica held off the USA to win the group, so the U.S. had to play Group B runner-up El Salvador in a two-game series to determine the third CONCACAF berth for the World Cup. The U.S. would win both games to advance.
  • At the 2001 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, the USA rallied to defeat Jamaica 2-1 on April 18 in group play. Santino Quaranta’s second-half penalty kick tied the score at 1-1, and Chad Marshall scored the winner in the 76th minute.
  • The USA blanked Jamaica 3-0 on March 5, 2003, in the group stage of the CONCACAF U-17 Tournament. Corey Ash, John DiRaimondo and Freddy Adu each tallied a goal in the USA’s tournament opener.
  • Jamaica earned its lone win against the USA in Group B play at the 2007 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, as the U.S. dropped a 3-2 decision on May 4. The USA built a 2-0 lead on first-half goals by Sheanon Williams and Alex Nimo. But Jamaica responded with three late goals, including John Ross Doyley’s penalty kick winner in stoppage time.
  • The U.S. and Jamaica last met up at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, with the USA earning a 2-0 victory in the semifinals on Feb. 25. Marc Pelosi scored off of an Alfred Koroma assist, and then Pelosi set up an Andrew Oliver tally in second-half stoppage time. The USA advanced to the title game, where it defeated Canada 2-0 in overtime.

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