USA set to begin 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship this weekend
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s Youth National Team will make its return to official competition this weekend at the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship. Four teams will qualify to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup, set for this fall in Peru.
As the USA takes aim at a record 18th FIFA U-17 World Cup qualification, here are five things to know about CU17:
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The biennial Concacaf U-17 Championship qualifies four teams to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and determines a U-17 confederation champion for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Twenty teams from across the region will participate in the tournament. Sixteen have been drawn into four groups of four, while four advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament held across the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and the U.S. last August and September. All 40 tournament matches will take place at two stadiums in Guatemala: Antigua’s Estadio Pensativo and Guatemala City’s Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores.
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Guatemala||Trinidad and Tobago||Cuba||El Salvador|
Advanced to Round of 16 via pre-tournament qualifying: Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
The U-17 MYNT kicks off World Cup qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 11 against Barbados, faces Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, Feb. 13, and finishes the group stage against regional rival Canada on Wednesday, Feb. 15. All three of the USA’s group stage matches are set for 8 p.m. ET.
Fans can follow all of the action from Guatemala on ussoccer.com as well as U.S. Soccer Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
|Date||Opponent||Venue||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Saturday, Feb. 11||Barbados||Estadio Pensativo; Antigua, Guatemala||8 p.m.||FS2, ViX+|
|Monday, Feb. 13||Trinidad and Tobago||Estadio Pensativo; Antigua, Guatemala||8 p.m.||FS1, ViX+|
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||Canada||Estadio Pensativo; Antigua, Guatemala||8 p.m.||FS2, ViX+|
ABOUT THE U-17 MYNT
Head coach Gonzalo Segares has assembled a talented 20-player squad to take on the rigors of World Cup qualifying in the Concacaf region. Sixteen players come from Major League Soccer, led by three from the San Jose Earthquakes. Four are based abroad in Spain (two), England and Germany, including midfielder Adrian Gill at Spanish power FC Barcelona and forward Keyrol Figueroa at English giant Liverpool.
Seven players have appeared in seven of the eight U-17 camps held since the cycle kicked off in November 2021: defenders Christian Diaz, Tyler Hall and Oscar Verhoeven, midfielders Cruz Medina and Edwyn Mendoza plus forwards Micah Burton and Ezekiel Soto,
2023 CONCACAF U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adam Beaudry (Colorado Rapids; Castle Pines, Colo.), Duran Ferree (San Diego Loyal; San Diego, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Christian Diaz (LAFC; San Bernardino, Calif.), Tyler Hall (Inter Miami CF; Miramar, Fla.), Aiden Harangi (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Zwingenberg, Germany), Stuart Hawkins (Seattle Sounders FC; Fox Island, Wash.), Sawyer Jura (Portland Timbers; Bend, Ore.), Oscar Verhoeven (San Jose Earthquakes; Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Christopher Aquino (Seattle Sounders FC; Pasco, Wash.), Adrian Gill (FC Barcelona/ESP; Denver, Colo.), Taha Habroune (Columbus Crew; Columbus, Ohio), Cruz Medina (San Jose Earthquakes; San Francisco, Calif.), Edwyn Mendoza (San Jose Earthquakes; San Francisco, Calif.), Paulo Rudisill (LA Galaxy; Irvine, Calif.), Pedro Soma (UE Cornella/ESP; Coconut Creek, Fla.)
FORWARDS (5): Micah Burton (Austin FC; Mounds View, Minn.), Brian Carmona (Charlotte FC; Concord, N.C.), Keyrol Figueroa (Liverpool/ENG; Warrington, U.K.), Ezekiel Soto (Houston Dynamo FC; Menifee, Calif.) David Vasquez (Philadelphia Union; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Two players are signed to MLS Homegrown contracts: midfielder Cruz Medina and forward Brian Carmona, while eight have made their pro debuts in MLS Next Pro or the USL Championship: goalkeepers Adam Beaudry and Duran Ferree, defenders Tyler Hall, Stuart Hawkins and Sawyer Jura, midfielders Medina and Paulo Rudisill plus forward David Vasquez.
LAUNCHING PAD TO THE USMNT
The U-17 MYNT has long been an important step in development towards the senior USMNT. Of the 26 players who represented the USA at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, 10 also played for the U.S. at this tournament: defenders Shaq Moore and Joe Scally, midfielders Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, forward Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Tim Weah and Haji Wright.
From the previous U-17 cycle in 2018-19, five players who played at the Concacaf U-17 Championship or FIFA U-17 World Cup have debuted with the senior team: defenders Geroge Bello, Scally and John Tolkin, midfielder Gianluca Busio and forward Ricardo Pepi.
The USA has a history of success at the Concacaf U-17 Championship, qualifying for a record 17 FIFA U-17 World Cups since the first world championship for this age group was held in 1985, tied with Brazil for the most all-time.
This year marks the 20th edition of the Concacaf U-17 Championship after it began as a U-16 tournament in 1983 in Trinidad and Tobago. Since the FIFA U-17 World Cup launched in 1985, the competition has served as qualifying for the world championship event.
Played under a variety of formats over the last 40 years, the tournament determined two U-17 World Cup berths from 1985 to 2005. Since 2007, at least four Concacaf nations have earned berths to the World Cup via the U-17 Championship.
The last tournament, in 2019, used the same 20-team format that will be used in Guatemala. During that competition, played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., the U.S. cruised to a World Cup berth and the championship match before falling to Mexico in added extra time. Forward Gio Reyna paced the USA in scoring with six goals.
The U.S. has won the Concacaf U-17 Championship three times, most recently in 2011 with a team featuring current USMNT players Kellyn Acosta and Paul Arriola.