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U-17 '90 MNT To Train in Uruguay and Argentina Throughout October

  • Head Coach John Hackworth Will Bring a 24-Player Roster to South America;
  • U-17s Will Play Nine Matches, Including Four Internationals During Tour

CHICAGO (Sept. 29, 2006) – The U.S. Under-17 ’90 Men’s National Team will conduct a first-of-its-kind tour of South America as they will train in Uruguay and Argentina for the entire month of October. The Under-17s will begin their month-long tour by spending five days in Montevideo, Uruguay, before traveling to Argentina where they will split time training in Buenos Aires, San Luis and Rosario.

U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth named a 24-player roster to travel to South America, while the remaining 16 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program will remain in Bradenton, Fla., to continue to train and play games. Hackworth’s four assistant coaches – Raul Diaz Arce, Keith Fulk, Brian Maisenneuve and Tim Mulqueen – will split time between South America and Bradenton.

During the 30-day tour, the Under-17s are scheduled to play nine matches. The U.S. will play five Argentina club youth teams and four international matches, two of which will be played as part the Four Nations Tournament in San Luis.

“Playing and training in Argentina will be a fantastic atmosphere for our players to be immersed in for an entire month,” said Hackworth, who has been the head coach of the U-17s since November of 2004. “With a balanced schedule of international matches and games against quality high-level club teams, our players will be challenged and will definitely grow and develop from this experience.”

With 24 players, Hackworth will be able to provide each player with four to five 90-minute matches during the month. The schedule also provides Hackworth and his staff to continue their philosophy of training for five days and playing one competitive match, on average.

During the trip, the players will continue their studies by taking classes on-line. The team will also have a Spanish professor traveling with the team from the University of Rosario.

The U.S. will leave for Montevideo on Sunday, Oct. 1, and have three days of training before playing their first match on Oct. 5 against the Uruguay U-17 Men’s National Team. The late afternoon match will take place at Parque Luis Mendez Piana Stadium.

The U-17s will then travel to Buenos Aires to attend the River Plate-Boca Juniors match on Oct. 8, providing the players with the chance to see one of the most passionate rivalries in the world of soccer, before heading to San Luis to compete in the Four Nations Tournament along with Argentina, New Zealand and Peru. The U.S. will only play two games, opening up against Peru on Oct. 10, and then, depending on their result, will face either New Zealand or Argentina (format is winner vs. winner, loser vs. loser).

The following day the U.S. will return to Buenos Aires and take in their second match on Oct. 15 when they attend Boca Juniors vs. Newells Old Boys. A day later, the U-17s will have a match of their own as they take on a River Plate youth team.

The U.S. will move on to Rosario for the remaining part of the trip where they will play five additional matches, including one international match on Oct. 25 against Paraguay. The other four matches are scheduled against club teams Rosario Central, Newells Old Boys, Renato Cesarini and another still to be determined.

"This tour encompasses another aspect of the development for our youth players as they will learn how to handle the experience of travel which is something they will definitely need to deal with if they continue to move up the ladder and become professionals and make the full national team," said Hackworth. "In the short term, it will also serve as a trial for the players as we head out on the road for qualifying and, hopefully, the World Cup in 2007."

Just this past week, CONCACAF announced a new format for the Under-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament set for April of 2007. In the new format a total of nine countries will compete for five berths in two groups, with one group hosted by Jamaica (Group B – five teams) and the other by Honduras (Group A – four teams). The top two teams from Group A along with the best three from Group B will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be played from Aug. 18-Sept. 9 in South Korea.

Joining the U.S. and the host nations in the CONCACAF U-17 Final Round are Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and two more countries yet to qualify from the Central American Qualification, which will be played in El Salvador next month. A draw to determine the teams in Group A and B will be made once U-17 qualification is concluded and all the Final Round teams are confirmed.

The U.S. is the only nation to qualify and compete in all 11 FIFA World Championships (now called World Cups) at this age group. The U.S. won the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament twice (1983 and 1992) when just one winner was crowned from 1983-1996. Since the event became a final round qualification consisting of two groups in 1999, the U.S. has won their group the past three competitions in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team - Match Schedule
Uruguay / Argentina Foreign Tour
October 1 – October 31, 2006

Date Opponent
Oct. 5 Uruguay
Oct. 10 Peru
Oct. 13 TBD (New Zealand or Argentina)
Oct. 16 River Plate 
Oct. 19 TBD 
Oct. 23 Rosario Central
Oct. 24 Newells Old Boys
Oct. 25 Paraguay
Oct. 28 Renato Cesarini