The United States Under-17 Men’s National Team will attempt to qualify for the World Cup via the Concacaf Championship starting today. The young and talented squad will be looking to replicate the accomplishments of their U-20 counterparts, who won their competition last year and clinched a berth in the World Cup.
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), 13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 2-Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), 15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), 20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), 8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), 17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Tacoma Defiance; Kent, Wash.), 9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas), 10-Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)
Newly-appointed head coach Raphael Wicky has called in a very strong, mostly domestic-based squad. Most are still working their way up the youth and reserve ranks. Gianluca Busio is the only one currently getting regular top-division professional minutes with Sporting Kansas City. Griffin Yow just recently made his MLS debut with D.C. United. Others, like Ricardo Pepi, who leads USL’s League One with four goals, have performed well in the lower professional divisions. Nevertheless, these players have stood out in their respective levels and have a lot of promise.
Four World Cup spots are up for grabs in this tournament, with all four semi-finalists earning them. The U.S. enters the competition in the Group Stage and will face Canada, Guatemala and Barbados in Group F. There is a lot of room for error in this stage as the top three teams from each group advance to the knockout rounds. The winner of Group F would play Guadeloupe in the Round of 16.
The U.S. will be looking for some revenge after a heartbreaking loss to Mexico in the final two years ago. They held a late lead before conceding and equalizer and then losing on penalties.
May 2: USA vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
May 4: USA vs. Barbados, 6 p.m.
May 6: USA vs. Guatemala, 6 p.m.
May 8-9: Round of 16
May 12: Quarter-finals
May 14: Semi-finals
May 16: Final
How to Watch
TV Channel: Univision Deportes
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