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USA going up against Canada in Concacaf U-17 Championship semifinals

U.S. Under-17 Men’s Youth National Team vs. Canada
Concacaf U-17 Championship – Semifinal
Friday, Feb. 24 – 8 p.m. ET (FS2, ViX+)
Estadio Nacional Doroteo Guamuch Flores; Guatemala City, Guatemala

USA ONTO FINAL FOUR: After securing its FIFA U-17 World Cup berth with a wild 5-3 win against host Guatemala in the Concacaf U-17 Championship Quarterfinals, the U.S. U-17 Men’s Youth National Team is onto the semifinals. The USA will face Canada for a spot in the tournament final, the nations’ second clash at the competition after the U.S. topped the Reds 1-0 in their group stage finale.

With its record 18th U-17 World Cup qualification in hand, the U.S. is aiming for its first Concacaf U-17 Championship since 2011. Canada has clinched back-to-back World Cup berths for the first time since 2011-13 and is looking to reach the championship match for the first time since 2011.

All tournament matches are being broadcast in English on Fox Sports platforms and on the Fox Sports app with corresponding authentication. All matches are available in Spanish on ViX+, TelevisaUnivision’s streaming service. Fans can sign up for a one-month subscription for just 99 cents.

USA VS. CANADA

  • The USA is 10-1-0 vs. Canada all-time at the Concacaf U-17 Championship and has won 10 straight since dropping the first meeting in 1988.
  • The nations clashed in their group stage finale, a 1-0 victory for the USA. David Vazquez teed up Keyrol Figueroa for the game’s lone goal in the 65th minute.
  • The teams faced off twice in the 2019 tournament, also in the group stage and the semifinals. In the group stage opener, the U.S. roared back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 as current USMNT players Gianluca Busio and Gio Reyna scored.
  • In the semis, a strong second half boosted the USA to a dominant 4-0 win. Reyna scored again, while current USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi bagged a brace.
  • USMNT midfielder Sebastian Lleget scored against Canada in 2009, while forward Eddie Johnson netted two in 2001.
  • Appearing in their 18th Concacaf U-17 Championship, Canada has now qualified to eight FIFA U-17 World Cups after topping Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals. The Reds have qualified to back-to-back World Cups for the first time since 2011-2013.
  • Canada finished runner-up to the United States in the 2011 tournament, its best-ever finish.
  • Canada defender Victor Fung plays alongside U.S. defender Tyler Hall at Inter Miami CF.
  • Sixteen of Canada’s 20 players are based at the country’s three MLS clubs: eight at Toronto FC plus four each at CF Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • Three Canadian players are based overseas in Germany, Portugal and Spain.

WORLD CUP TICKET PUNCHED: The U.S. earned its World Cup berth in hard-fought fashion, fending off a fierce effort from host Guatemala to win 5-3 in a wild back-and-forth match. Playing in front of a raucous crowd of nearly 12,000, the U.S. went up 2-0 in the first 30 minutes on goals from forwards Brian Romero and Keyrol Figueroa, but Los Chapines refused to go down easy. A controversial penalty kick just before the break drew the hosts within one and a frenetic opening to the second half saw three goals scored in three minutes as a goal from defender Aiden Harangi and Figueroa’s second tally sandwiched another for Guatemala to make it 4-2. The hosts netted again off a corner kick in the 76th but the U.S. finally put things out of reach in the 83rd as forward Paulo Rudisill teed up a tap-in for midfielder Taha Habroune.

CANADA BACK TO WORLD CUP: Canada clinched its World Cup ticket with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico, which entered the tournament at the Round of 16 after winning a pre-qualifying group last summer. Forward Kyler Vojvodic netted his team-leading third goal to open the scoring and midfielder Antoine N’Diaye added another before the break to go into half up 2-0. Defender Lazar Stefanovic put it away in the 55th minute to clinch the Canadians’ World Cup berth. Canada also downed Haiti 3-0 in the Round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals.

2023 CONCACAF U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; U-17 CAPS/GOALS; HOMETOWN)

GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Adam Beaudry (Colorado Rapids; 3/0; Castle Pines, Colo.), 1-Duran Ferree (San Diego Loyal; 3/0; San Diego, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): 15-Christian Diaz (LAFC; 9/0; San Bernardino, Calif.), 4-Tyler Hall (Inter Miami CF; 11/0; Miramar, Fla.), 13-Aiden Harangi (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 5/1; Zwingenberg, Germany), 5-Stuart Hawkins (Seattle Sounders FC; 11/0; Fox Island, Wash.), 3-Sawyer Jura (Portland Timbers; 8/0; Bend, Ore.), 2-Oscar Verhoeven (San Jose Earthquakes; 11/0; Pleasant Hill, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): 20-Christopher Aquino (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/2; Pasco, Wash.), 16-Adrian Gill (FC Barcelona/ESP; 8/0; Denver, Colo.), 14-Taha Habroune (Columbus Crew; 5/3; Columbus, Ohio), 10-Cruz Medina (San Jose Earthquakes; 12/5; San Francisco, Calif.), 6-Edwyn Mendoza (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0; San Francisco, Calif.), 19-Paulo Rudisill (LA Galaxy; 12/2; Irvine, Calif.), 8-Pedro Soma (UE Cornella/ESP; 11/0; Coconut Creek, Fla.)

FORWARDS (5): 9-Micah Burton (Austin FC; 11/4; Mounds View, Minn.), 17-Keyrol Figueroa (Liverpool/ENG; Warrington, U.K.; 8/7), 7-Brian Romero (Charlotte FC; 11/2; Concord, N.C.), 18-Ezekiel Soto (Houston Dynamo FC; 13/5; Menifee, Calif.) 11-David Vasquez (Philadelphia Union; 8/0; Los Angeles, Calif.)

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • The USA has now qualified to a record 18 FIFA U-17 World Cups. Brazil can match the record when CONMEBOL holds its World Cup qualifying tournament later this spring. Brazil earned an automatic berth in 2019 as host of the tournament.
  • Canada, Mexico, Panama and the U.S. will represent Concacaf at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup after winning Tuesday and Wednesday’s quarterfinal matches.
  • The eight goals scored in the USA-Guatemala match are the third-most at the Concacaf U-17 Championship thus far, behind Guatemala’s 8-3 win vs. Curaçao and Mexico’s 9-0 victory against Curaçao, both in Group E play.
  • Forward Keyrol Figueroa’s six goals are currently tied for the lead in the tournament’s Golden Boot race with Mexico’s Stephano Carrillo.
  • Nine players have scored for the U.S. at CU17C: Figueroa (six goals), Taha Habroune, Cruz Medina (three), Chris Aquino, Micah Burton, Ezekiel Soto (two), Aiden Harangi, Brian Romero and Paulo Rudisill.
  • Eight players have logged an assist: Rudisill (four assists), David Vazquez (three), Adrian Gill, Habroune, Romero (two), Figueroa, Sawyer Jura, Medina and Soto.

CANADA ROSTER BY POSITION:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Nathaniel Abraham (Toronto FC), 18-Alexander O’Brien (Toronto FC)

DEFENDERS (8): 13-Richard Chukwu (Toronto FC), 3-Gaël de Montigny (CF Montreal), Aidan Fong (Vancouver Whitecaps), 15-Victor Fung (Inter Miami CF/USA), 16-Etienne Godin (CF Montreal), 17-Liam MacKenzie (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 5-Chimere Omeze (Toronto FC), 6-Lazar Stefanovic (Toronto FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Jeevan Badwal (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 4-Alessandro Biello (CF Montreal), 14-Ruben de Sa (Vitoria Guimaraes/POR), 20-Andrei Dumitru (Toronto FC), 10-Antoine N’Diaye (CF Montreal), Theo Rigopoulos (Toronto FC)

FORWARDS (4): 7-Ibrahim Higazy (Rayo Vallecano/ESP), 11-Lucas Ozimec (Toronto FC), 9-Erik Pop (Karlsruher/GER), 19-Kyler Vojvodic (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Using a variety of different formats since its inception in 1985, the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship uses the same 20-team tournament format introduced for the 2019 edition and since used for all of Concacaf’s Youth World Cup qualifying championships. Sixteen countries are drawn into four groups of four, while four countries advance directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament: Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico.

The top three finishers in each group have qualified to the Round of 16, where they’re joined by the four teams from pre-qualifying. From there, it’s a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The four winners of the quarterfinal matches will qualify to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

After the Oceania Football Confederation, Concacaf is the second confederation to host its qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup. In addition to host Peru, six teams have qualified to the world championship this fall: Concacaf’s Canada, Mexico, Panama and the United States plus Oceania’s New Caledonia and New Zealand.

ROAD TO GUATEMALA: World Cup qualifying marks the eighth training camp for the U-17 MYNT since its cycle kicked off in November 2021. Since then, they’ve been challenged against top tier international opposition, including Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Uruguay.

In May, the U-17s topped the table at a UEFA Development Tournament in Castelo Branco, Portugal, topping Belgium, 3-0, and the host, 2-1, to clinch first place. Most recently, they played three international matches against U-18 opposition at the Vaclav Jezek Tournament in the Czech Republic, finishing with a 4-1 win against the host nation.

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