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U-17 MNT Kicks Off Qualifying Monday Evening in Kingston, Jamaica, vs. Trinidad


U.S. Under-17 MNT Notes
Kingston, Jamaica
April 29, 2007


T&T UP FIRST: After having a bye for the opening day of games in Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament here in Kingston, Jamaica, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is set to face Trinidad & Tobago on Monday evening. The match will be the second of a doubleheader, kicking off at 7 p.m. CT, directly after the Canada-Costa Rica match at the National Stadium, better known as “The Office.” Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

CANADA, COSTA RICA CRUISE: Canada and Costa Rica started off on the right foot in their opening games on Saturday evening, with both earning three points. Canada, which hasn’t qualified for a U-17 World Cup in over a decade, dominated Jamaica in a 3-0 win to earn the top spot in the group, while Costa Rica is right behind after a 2-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago. After kicking off their taxing stretch of four games in seven days against T&T on Monday, the U.S. face Canada on May 2 at 5 p.m. CT, Jamaica on May 4 at 7 p.m. CT and finish against Costa Rica on May 6 at 5 p.m. CT. The top three teams will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9.
CONCACAF Group B Final Round Qualifying - Kingston, Jamaica
Team GP W  L   T   GF GA GD Pts.
CAN     1   1   0   0    3     0   +3    3
CRC    1   1   0   0    2     0   +2    3
TRI       1   0   1   0    0     2   -2     0
JAM      1   0   1   0    0     3   -3     0
USA     0   0   0   0    0     0     0     0

Saturday, April 28
Trinidad & Tobago 0, Costa Rica 2
Jamaica 0, Canada 3

Monday, April 30
Costa Rica vs. Canada
USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Wednesday, May 2
USA vs. Canada
Jamaica vs. Costa Rica

Friday, May 4
Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago
USA vs. Jamaica

Sunday, May 6
USA vs. Costa Rica
Jamaica vs. Trinidad & Tobago

ROSTER OF 20: U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth selected the majority of his 20-man roster from the 40 available players in U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program based in Bradenton, Fla. Defender Tommy Meyer, who was formerly in Residency for two semesters, was the only player selected not currently with the U-17s on a full-time basis in Bradenton. All of the players were born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, with five making the roster from the younger 1991 age group: Bryan Dominguez, Greg Garza, Abdusalam Ibrahim, Zac MacMath, and Nick Millington.
U-17 MNT Roster-by-Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (4): Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)

THE CAPTAIN SPEAKS: U.S. defender and captain Mykell Bates has been there from the beginning. Joining the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in August of 2005, he was one of the first 1990-born players brought in and for him the past year and a half has flown by. Now that he will actually have the chance to continue the U-17 tradition and attempt to help guide his team to a berth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Bates sat down with ussoccer.com in this exclusive podcast (listen) to talk about how the team is feeling leading into their first match, what they expect from their opponents and how even models walking past his hotel room the night before the biggest match of his soccer career was going to distract him.

BLOG-RIFFIC: We’re in Jamaica. You’re not. Which means you’ll never know what’s going on behind-the-scenes with the team. Well, you wouldn’t if it wasn’t for this fantastic, well-written, witty, creative, all-encompassing, anytime of the day, ussoccer.com BLOG! If you want to have all the intel on the U-17s while they look to book a spot in the 2007 World Cup, then this is the link you want to click on. What are you waiting for ... Click away!

HACK TALKS QUALIFYING: The U-17 qualifying tournament is something John Hackworth is no stranger to as he’s been involved in the past three. Hackworth was an assistant when the U.S. won the 2003 qualifying tournament in Guatemala and then took over the reigns and kept the U.S. as top dog in the 2005 tournament in Costa Rica. Once again, Hackworth is looking to guide his players to another World Cup and hopefully the top spot in the group. How does he plan to do it? Well, he told us just that in this exclusive ussoccer.com podcast.

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. is undefeated in their last 16 qualifying matches at the U-17 age level. The U.S. has not lost a U-17 qualifying match since Aug. 26, 1996, when they fell in the final round to Mexico, 3-1.
  • Since 2006, the U.S. Under-17s are 9-1-2 against CONCACAF teams, including games against U-20 and U-21 squads. The team went undefeated (7-0-1) in 2006, and is 2-1-1 in their four international matches this year that happen to be all against CONCACAF teams. The U-17s defeated Canada’s U-20 MNT, 1-0, before drawing (0-0) and losing (1-0) to Honduras in Honduras. The team’s final international match before qualifying was a 2-0 victory over El Salvador on March 25 in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., during a doubleheader with the U.S. full MNT.
  • This U-17 team has never faced Trinidad & Tobago, but they did play against T&T’s Under-21 squad in 2006, drawing 1-1 in Bradenton, Fla. Sheanon Williams scored the equalizing goal for the U.S. in the 85th minute.
  • Nine players on the U.S. qualifying roster played in that match against the T&T U-21s. Josh Lambo, Mykell Bates, Dane Shea, Daniel Wenzel, Jared Jeffrey, Bryan Dominguez and Williams were all starters in the match. Alex Dixon and Tommy Meyer both came on as substitutes.
  • The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous U-17 World Cups. The 11 appearances are equal the number for all four of the other teams in Group B combined: Costa Rica (five), Canada (four), Jamaica (one) and Trinidad & Tobago (1). Trinidad and Tobago didn’t have to qualify for their appearance as they automatically qualified when they hosted in 2001. Canada also didn’t need to qualify when they hosted the first-ever event in 1987.
  • Costa Rica has advanced to five of the last six FIFA U-17 World Cups. The ticos qualified for their first tournament in 1995 and then returned in 1997 before missing out on the 1999 event. They earned their way back in 2001 and will be looking to make their fourth straight appearance in 2007.
  • After hosting in 1987, Canada qualified for three of the next four tournaments (1989, 1993 and 1995), but will be looking to advance to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years.
  • Jamaica qualified for their lone U-17 World Cup in 1999.
  • Forward Ellis McLoughlin leads the team in international goals with 12 in 31 games
  • Midfielder/forward Bryan Dominguez leads the team in international assists with five, all of which he earned during 2006

UN-FRIENDLY JAMAICA: Not only has the U.S. qualified for every FIFA World Cup, the U.S. has won their group at the last three CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournaments (2001, 2003 and 2005) since it became a two-group event. The only year they didn’t win their group? That would be 1999, when the qualifying tournament was held in Jamaica and the U.S. finished in second place behind the hosts. Before the final round tournament became two groups in 1999, the U.S. only won the final round twice in 1983 and 1992.

A MESSAGE FROM MEXICO: Any overconfidence that could have swelled in the minds of the U.S. players as they neared qualifying was probably tempered by the shocking turn of events that occurred during the Group A CONCACAF U-17 Final Round. Mexico, the reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup champion, stumbled not once, not twice, but three times to finish in third place and miss out on the chance to defend their crown. Mexico drew, 2-2, against El Salvador in their opening match and then didn’t score another goal in scoreless draws with Haiti and Honduras to finish with just three points. Haiti ended up winning the group, while Honduras took second to give both countries their first-ever berth to a U-17 FIFA World Cup.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“We’re ready. Some of us have been in Residency for almost two years, and this is what it all comes down to. Tomorrow is the big show.”
-- U.S. defender and captain Mykell Bates on the night before the team kicks off against Trinidad & Tobago in their first match of qualifying. Click here to hear the entire ussoccer.com podcast.

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