USA kicks off Concacaf U-17 Championship tonight vs Canada
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship
IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.
May 1-16, 2019
(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opens the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship on Thursday, May 2 against Canada (6 p.m. ET; Concacaf Facebook, UDN). The match represents the USA’s first step towards a historic 17th qualification for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held this fall in Brazil. Group F play continues for the U.S. on Saturday, May 4 against Barbados (6 p.m. ET; Concacaf Facebook, UDN) and finishes on Monday, May 6 as the U.S. takes on Guatemala (6 p.m. ET; Concacaf Facebook, UDN). All of the tournament’s matches will take place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
GROUP F SCHEDULE – USA
|May 2||USA vs. Canada||6 p.m.||Concacaf Facebook, UDN||IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.|
|May 4||USA vs. Barbados||6 p.m.||Concacaf Facebook, UDN||IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.|
|May 6||USA vs. Guatemala||6 p.m.||Concacaf Facebook, UDN||IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.|
WATCH U-17 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ON FACEBOOK AND UDN: All tournament matches will be streamed on Concacaf Facebook and Concacaf.com. A select number of matches, including all three of the USA’s group stage matches, will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the 19th Concacaf championship at this age level. Started in 1983 to qualify teams for the FIFA U-16 World Championship, the regional competition sends four teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean to the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
The top three teams from each group qualify to the Round of 16. Four teams — Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico — advanced directly to the Round of 16 from a pre-tournament qualifying phase. The four tournament semifinalists earn berths to the U-17 World Cup.
In the group stage, the USA was drawn against Canada, Barbados and Guatemala. The top 16 teams in the Concacaf U-17 ranking were drawn into the main group stage, while the bottom 19 teams duked it out in a pre-qualifying tournament for four Round of 16 berths.
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Guatemala||El Salvador||Suriname|
|Qualified to Round of 16|
|Group B||Dominican Republic|
|Group D||Puerto Rico|
RUN-UP TO FLORIDA: After a busy year of programming in 2018, the Concacaf Championship represents the U-17s’ third event of 2019. Last year, the team went 9-4-4 as it faced off against 11 different nations. The U-17 MNT’s last international competition came at the 2018 Nike International Friendlies last December. There, the USA went undefeated in three tightly contested games against Portugal, Turkey and Brazil.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 are eligible for the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, and head coach Raphael Wicky called in 16 players born in 2002 and four born in 2003.
CONCACAF U-17 HISTORY: The USA is one of the most successful teams in the history of the Concacaf U-17 Championship, as the red, white and blue have qualified for a record 16 U-17 World Cups.
The U.S. took home the inaugural Concacaf championship at this age level in 1983, won the title again in 1992 and most recently in 2011. With six runner-up finishes, the USA has the most top-two finishes all-time at this tournament.
At the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship in Panama, the U-17s rolled to the tournament final, where it lost a heartbreaker to Mexico, as El Tri equalized in stoppage time and took home the trophy in penalty kicks.
A number of players that have gone on to the senior MNT have scored goals at the Concacaf U-17 Championship. From the last U-17 cycle, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah have already made their full team debuts, while 2019 MNT call-up Corey Baird scored in the 2013 tournament. Veterans like Omar Gonzalez and Eddie Johnson have also found the back of the net for the USA at this tournament.
RETURN TO CONCACAF: Eight players on the U-17 MNT’s World Cup qualifying roster helped lead the USA to a runner-up finish at its first Concacaf U-15 Boys’ Championship in summer 2017. Axel Alejandre, Gianluca Busio, Gilbert Fuentes, Damian Las, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Gio Reyna, Adam Saldana and Joe Scally all represented the U.S. at that tournament. Busio led the U-15s in scoring with five goals, while Ocampo-Chavez, Reyna and Scally also found the back of the net and Las kept three clean sheets. The Concacaf U-15 Boys’ Championship was also hosted at IMG Academy.
BOOKED TO BRAZIL: More than half the field is already set for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, as just Concacaf and UEFA are yet to hold qualifiers that will send the remaining teams to Brazil. In addition to the hosts, Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and Tajikistan qualified last fall from Asia; Angola, Cameroon, Guinea and Nigeria earned their berths earlier this month from Africa; Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru punched their tickets a few weeks ago from South America; and New Zealand clinched its spot last fall from Oceania.
2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 13/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alta.; 4/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 14/0), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 11/0), 13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.; 2/0), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 10/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 14/1), 2-Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 14/1), 15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.; 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 7/2), 20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.; 13/0), 8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.; 0/0), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.; 0/0), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 17/1)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.; 0/0), 17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.; 3/1), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 14/5), 9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas; 6/1), 10-Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 8/1), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 6/3)
- Wicky has called in 16 players born in 2002 and four born in 2003 – defender Mauricio Cuevas, midfielder Daniel Leyva and forwards Tyler Freeman and Ricardo Pepi.
- The USA’s 20-player roster comes from 13 clubs: 12 U.S.-based clubs and one based in Canada. The LA Galaxy have the most representatives with three, while two each come from D.C. United, New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City.
- Every player has appeared in at least one U-17 MNT camp during the 2018-19 cycle.
- Defender Axel Alejandre, goalkeeper Damian Las and midfielder Adam Saldana have appeared in all 12 training camps during the cycle.
- Forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez enters the tournament as the leading scorer for the U-17s this cycle with five goals.
- Saldana is the roster’s most capped player at the U-17 level, appearing in all but three international games this cycle.
- Ten players have logged professional minutes in 2019. Seven are signed to MLS Homegrown contracts.
- Midfielder Gianluca Busio made waves before the tournament as the Sporting KC midfielder became the youngest player in MLS history to score in three consecutive league games.
- Forward Ricardo Pepi impressed in his first pro action with USL League One side North Texas SC, scoring a hat trick in the team’s opener against Chattanooga and netting a game-winning penalty in stoppage time against Madison in the club’s second game.
- Forward Griffin Yow scored in his first pro start with the USL Championship’s Loudon United FC.
- In addition to Pepi and Yow, Jack de Vries, Tyler Freeman and Bryang Kayo have also made their pro debuts this year.
2018 U-17 MNT RESULTS
|April 16||India||W 1-0||Sportchain Cup||FASCA Intur Sports; Benicassim, Spain|
|April 17||Norway||W 2-0||Sportchain Cup||FASCA Intur Sports; Benicassim, Spain|
|April 19||India||W 1-0||Sportchain Cup||FASCA Intur Sports; Benicassim, Spain|
|April 21||Norway||W 1-0||Sportchain Cup||FASCA Intur Sports; Benicassim, Spain|
|Aug. 6||Mexico||W 1-0||Friendly||Proyecto Goal; Alajuela, Costa Rica|
|Aug. 7||Costa Rica||D 2-2||Friendly||Proyecto Goal; Alajuela, Costa Rica|
|Aug. 10||Costa Rica||W 2-1||Friendly||Proyecto Goal; Alajuela, Costa Rica|
|Aug. 12||Mexico||L 1-2||Friendly||Proyecto Goal; Alajuela, Costa Rica|
|Oct. 4||Argentina||L 1-2||4 Nations Tournament||Centro de Alto Rendimiento; Mexico City, Mexico|
|Oct. 5||Mexico||L 0-2||4 Nations Tournament||Centro de Alto Rendimiento; Mexico City, Mexico|
|Oct. 7||Chile||D 1-1||4 Nations Tournament||Centro de Alto Rendimiento; Mexico City, Mexico|
|Oct. 12||England||L 1-3||U17 Youth International Tournament||Deva Stadium; Chester, England|
|Oct. 14||Brazil||W 3-2||U17 Youth International Tournament||Weaver Stadium; Nantwich, England|
|Oct. 16||Russia||W 2-1||U17 Youth International Tournament||Wincham Park; Wincham, England|
|Nov. 28||Portugal||D 1-1||Nike International Friendlies||Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.|
|Nov. 30||Turkey||W 1-0||Nike International Friendlies||Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.|
|Dec. 2||Brazil||D 1-1||Nike International Friendlies||Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.|
- All 20 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- Eighteen have logged minutes in the Development Academy this season.
- Seven players earned Academy Best XI honors at the end of the 2017-18 season: defender Kobe Hernandez and Saldana in the West Conference, Alejandre and Las in the Central, plus Reyna, Scally and Yow in the East.
- Reyna also took home U-16/17 East Conference Player of the Year honors in 2017-18.
- Four players won Academy national championships last season: Reyna and Scally with New York City FC U-18/19, while Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez took home the U-16/17 title with Seattle Sounders FC.
USA VS. CANADA
- This will be the ninth meeting between the USA and Canada at this tournament. The USA is 7-1-0 against its northern neighbor.
- The teams’ last meeting came in the final of the 2011 tournament, a 3-0 win for the U.S.
- Future MNT star Eddie Johnson scored for the USA against Canada in a 4-2 group stage victory in 2001.
- Canada has appeared in 16 of 18 Concacaf championships at this age level, qualifying for six U-17 World Cups, most recently in 2013.
- Canada’s best finish at this tournament came in 2011 as runner-up to the U.S.
- Canada’s roster features 16 players born in 2002 and four born in 2003.
- Almost all of Canada’s 20-player roster competes domestically at Canada’s three MLS academies: Montreal Impact (seven), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (six) and Toronto FC (five).
- Two players are based internationally — goalkeeper Marc Kouadio at Florida’s Montverde Academy and midfielder James Dunning at Feyenoord in the Netherlands.
- Dunning appeared in two matches for the U.S. U-17 MNT last year in October, coming on as a sub against Argentina and starting against Mexico.
CANADA – 2019 CONCACAF U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER (CLUB)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Benjamin Collins (Montreal Impact), 1-Marc Kouadio (Montverde Academy/USA)
DEFENDERS (7): 14-David Amila (Montreal Impact), 6-Maxime Bourgeois (Montreal Impact), 15-Nathan Demian (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 5-Gianfranco Facchineri (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 2-Keesan Ferdinand (Montreal Impact), 3-Rohan Goulbourne (Toronto FC), 12-Deylen Vellios (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 13-Matthew Catavolo (Montreal Impact), 10-Simon Colyn (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 16-James Dunning (Feyenoord/NED), 8-Tomas Giraldo (Montreal Impact), 7-Kamron Habibullah (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 4-Damiano Pecile (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 19-Ralph Priso-Mbongue (Toronto FC)
FORWARDS (4): 20-Julian Altobelli (Toronto FC), 9-Jacen Russell-Rowe (Toronto FC), 11-Jayden Nelson (Toronto FC), 17-Jeremie Omeonga (Montreal Impact)
- Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 are eligible for this tournament and the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
- If both teams are tied at the end of regulation time during the knockout stage, extra time will be played. If the game is tied at the end of extra time, matches will go straight to penalty kicks.
- Teams are allowed three substitutes per match. In knockout round games that go to extra time, teams will have the option to make one additional substitution.
- Single yellow cards will get eliminated at the end of the group stage.
- Two cautions received in different games in the competition will result in a suspension for the next match.
- Red card suspensions will be served regardless of the stage of the competition.
- Should teams be tied on points at the end of the group stage, the tie-breakers are as follows:
1. Goal differential in all group stage matches
2. Number of goals scored in all group stage matches
- If two more teams are tied on those counts, the tie-breakers are as follows:
1. Number of points earned in matches between the tied teams
2. Goal difference in matches between the tied teams
3. Number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams.
4. Lower number of points based on number of yellow and red cards in all group stage matches – (1 pt. for first yellow, 3 pts. for second yellow/indirect red, 4 pts. for direct red, 5 pts. for yellow and direct red)
5. Drawing of lots by Concacaf
- At the end of the tournament, Concacaf will present four awards: Golden Ball for most valuable player, Golden Boot for the top scorer, Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper and the Fair Play Award.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY BREAKDOWN
|Year||Age||Host||Champion||USA Finish||Format||World Cup qualifying|
|1983||U-16||Trinidad & Tobago||USA||1st||Two groups of three teams, top two in each group advance to knockout round.||No World Cup for this age group|
|1985||U-16||Mexico||Mexico||Did not enter||One group of five teams, one of four teams. Top two in each group advance to final group stage. Final group stage winner crowned champion.||Top two teams in final group stage|
|1987||U-16||Honduras||Mexico||2nd||One group of three teams, one of four teams. Top two in each group advance to final group stage. Final group stage winner crowned champion.||Top two teams in final group stage|
|1988||U-16||Trinidad & Tobago||Cuba||2nd||Two groups of five teams. Top two in each group advance to final group stage. Final group stage winner crowned champion.||Top three teams in final group stage|
|1991||U-17||Trinidad & Tobago||Mexico||2nd||Three groups of four teams. Group winners and best second-placed team advance to final group stage. Final group stage winner crowned champion.||Top three teams in final group stage|
|1994||U-17||El Salvador||Costa Rica||2nd|
|1996||U-17||Trinidad & Tobago||Mexico||2nd|
|1999||U-17||Jamaica/El Salvador||n/a||2nd in Group A||Two groups of four teams. Top teams in each group advance to U-17 World Cup, second-placed teams go to playoff for final berth. No champion crowned.||Two group winners, second-place playoff winner|
|2001||U-17||Honduras/USA||n/a||1st in Group A||Two groups of four teams. Top teams in each group advance to U-17 World Cup. No champion crowned.||Two group winners|
|2003||U-17||Guatemala/Canada||n/a||1st in Group A||Two groups of four teams. Top teams in each group advance to U-17 World Cup, second-placed teams go to playoff for final berth. No champion crowned.||Two group winners, second-place playoff winner|
|2005||U-17||Costa Rica/Mexico||n/a||1st in Group A||Two groups of four teams. Top teams in each group advance to U-17 World Cup, second-placed teams go to playoff for final berth. No champion crowned.||Two group winners, second-place playoff winner|
|2007||U-17||Honduras/Jamaica||n/a||1st in Group B||One group of four teams, one group of five teams. Top two teams in each group and best third-placed team advance to U-17 World Cup. No champion crowned.||Top two teams in each group, best third-placed team|
|2009||U-17||Mexico||n/a||1st in Group A||Two groups of four teams, top two teams in each group advance to knockout round and U-17 World Cup. Knockout round not played due to swine flu outbreak.||Top two teams in each group|
|2011||U-17||Jamaica||USA||1st||Four groups of three teams. Top two teams in each group advance to knockout round.||Four semifinalists|
|2013||U-17||Panama||Mexico||QF||Four groups of three teams. Top two teams in each group advance to knockout round.||Four semifinalists|
|2015||U-17||Honduras||Mexico||T-3rd||Two groups of six teams. Group winners advance to final, second and third-placed teams advance to playoffs.||Two group winners and two playoff winners.|
|2017||U-17||Panama||Mexico||2nd||Three groups of four teams. Top two teams in each group advance to classification stage. Two classification stage group winners advance to final.||Top two teams in each classification stage group.|
BY THE NUMBERS
2 Birth years represented on the roster, 16 players born in 2002 and four born in 2003.
2 Losses for the USA in its last 10 years at this competition, including 23 matches
7 Current unbeaten streak for the U-17 MNT at Concacaf World Cup qualifying, including 5 matches won.
8 Players participated in the 2017 Concacaf Boys’ U-15 Championship.
9 The USA has finished in the top-two of nine Concacaf championships at this age level, out of 12 that have crowned a champion.
9 Undefeated runs by the USA in 17 previous editions of this competition.
11 Different countries the USA has faced in the cycle so far (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, England, India, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Turkey)
12 Matches lost in regulation by the USA at this tournament, out of 81 total.
12 States represented on the roster, with the most players, four, coming from California. One player, goalkeeper Chituru Odunze, was born in Canada.
13 Clubs represented on the roster.
17 U-17 MNT caps for midfielder Adam Saldana, the most on the team.
18 Appearances at the Concacaf U-17 Championship for the USA, tied for the most all-time.
20 All 20 players on the roster with U.S. Soccer Development Academy ties.
37 Games, out of 81, that the USA has scored three or more goals at the competition.
39 Shutouts recorded by the USA at the tournament, out of 81 games played.
44 Players logged minutes for the U-17s in 2018.
56 Games won by the USA at this competition, out of 81 played.
212 Goals scored by the USA at this tournament, good for a plus-140 goal differential all-time.
1140 Minutes played by defender Kobe Hernandez in 2018, the most on the team by over 200 minutes.
HEAD COACH RAPHAEL WICKY: Wicky was named head coach of the U-17 MNT in March 2019, joining U.S. Soccer with 27 years of experience as a player and coach in Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
- Wicky most recently coached FC Basel to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in 2018. His appointment at Basel, one of Switzerland’s most successful clubs, came after climbing the ladder as head coach for the club’s U-18, U-19 and U-21 squads.
- Prior to Basel, Wicky worked in the youth system for another of Switzerland’s most successful clubs, Servette FC, at the U-14, U-15 and UU-16 levels.
- He also spent time as an assistant with the Swiss U-20 Men’s National Team and FC Thun’s U-21 team.
- As a player, Wicky was a 12-year veteran with the Swiss National Team, earning 75 caps. His career was highlighted by appearances at the 2006 FIFA World Cup as well as the 1996 and 2004 UEFA European Championships.
- A fixture for the Swiss, Wicky started all four matches for his country at the 2006 World Cup. He was the second youngest player for Switzerland at Euro ’96, the country’s first-ever appearance at the tournament.
- During his pro career, Wicky won three straight Swiss Cups with FC Sion before a long Bundesliga career with Werder Bremen and Hamburg, making 200 combined appearances for the two clubs.