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U-17 Men Gear Up for Second Group B Match vs. Canada on Wednesday, May 2


U.S. Under-17 MNT Notes
Kingston, Jamaica
May 1, 2007

NORTHERN NEIGHBORS NEXT: With three points in hand after their opening 3-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago in Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face a stern test when they take on northern rivals Canada on Wednesday evening at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The match, which will be the third for Canada in the round-robin tournament, will kick off at 5 p.m. CT. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS:

• The U.S. is undefeated in their last 17 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 10-1-2 against CONCACAF teams, including games against U-20 and U-21 squads. The team went undefeated (7-0-1) in 2006, and is 3-1-1 in their four international matches this year that all happen to be 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 full U.S. MNT
• Three U.S. players received yellow cards in their opening match: Sheanon Williams, Mykell Bates and Abdusalam Ibrahim. A second yellow card at any time will suspend a player for the following match
• The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous U-17 World Cups. The 11 appearances equal the number for all four of the other teams in Group B combined: Costa Rica (five), Canada (four), Jamaica (one) and Trinidad & Tobago (one). Trinidad & 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

MATCHDAY 3 ONE OF REST, IMPORTANCE: After taking two tough loses in their first two games and bringing up the rear with zero points in Group B, Trinidad & Tobago will welcome the bye on MatchDay 3 on Wednesday with open arms. Jamaica, on the other hand, will view Wednesday as an important chance for them to start sneaking their way back up towards that third place position if they can somehow steal a point from current second place Costa Rica, who is tied with Canada atop the group with four points, but behind in goal differential. For the U.S. the motto remains the same: “play, rest, recover, play” as after their Wednesday match they’ll have two more in three days for a grand total of four games over seven days. The U.S. will face 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        2       1     0    1      3       0      +3      4
CRC        2      1      0    1      2       0      +2     4
USA        1       1      0    0      3       0      +3     3
JAM         1       0     1     0      0       3      -3      0
TRI          2       0     2     0      0       5       -5     0

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

Monday, April 30
Costa Rica 0, Canada 0
USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0

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

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM: The U.S. and Canada have played twice in the past two years, with the U.S. coming away with two one-goal victories. Both games took place in September of 2006 in Bradenton, Fla., with the U.S. winning 2-1 and 1-0. Ibrahim scored the opening goal in the 2-1 victory (Ryan Finley, who is not on the qualifying roster, scored the game-winner), while Brandon Zimmerman scored the lone goal in their 1-0 victory two days later. The goal is Zimmerman’s only international strike with the U-17s. The U.S. also defeated Canada’s U-20 MNT, beating them, 1-0, earlier this year in Bradenton with Ellis McLoughlin scoring the goal.

U.S. vs. Canada – 2006-07
Date                     Result                            U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 21, 2006   USA 2, CAN 1               Ibrahim, Finley
Sept. 23, 2006   USA 1, CAN 0               Zimmerman
Jan. 18, 2007    USA 1, CAN (U-20) 0    McLoughlin

MCLOUGHLIN OUT FOR NEXT TWO: The U.S. will be without the services of leading scorer Ellis McLoughlin against Canada and Jamaica. The forward was sent off with a straight red for a reckless challenge against Trinidad and was suspended one extra match for the infraction. The loss is a blow to the U.S. attack as McLoughlin is one of the most experienced international players on the team and their best offensive player. “We lost our best attacking player, no question,” said U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth after the T&T match. “He’s our leading goal scorer and the most dangerous player on the field for us. It’s going to affect us, but we have a deep team and hopefully some of the other guys step up.” In 32 international matches, McLoughlin has a team-high 12 goals and is also third on the team with three assists. In the team’s first match, McLoughlin scored the second goal and was the team’s main target up top. His red card was the first of his U-17 career. After sitting for two matches, he will be available for team's final match on Sunday against Costa Rica.

91’s MARK EARLY IMPACT: The majority of Hackworth’s 20-man roster includes players born in 1990, but all five of the younger 1991-born players played, and a number had a crucial impact, in their opening match against Trinidad. The most impressive performance came from in front of the net as Zac MacMath earned a deserved shutout. The St. Petersburg, Fla., native produced four saves on the night, two of which were sprawling dives. Midfielders Greg Garza and Ibrahim started the match alongside MacMath, while Hackworth looked to both Millington and Dominguez to enter as reserves in the second half.

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.)

COACHESNET PRESENTS: INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM: There are thousands of moments within a sports team that fans usually don’t get access to, including the normally private post-match speech by the head coach to his players in the locker room. But as ussoccer.com continues to lead the way in the sports world in providing our fans with exclusive content, CoachesNet takes you inside that unique locker room setting on Monday night when U.S. head coach John Hackworth addressed his squad after their victory against T&T. In the latest ussoccer.com podcast, Hackworth talks about their performance and lets them know what went well, what needs improvement and what lies ahead as they prepare for Canada (listen).

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, be sure to check out this exclusive blog.

FINDING (OUT ABOUT) NIMO: If you didn’t know Alex Nimo before, you no doubt were introduced to the U.S. U-17 midfielder/forward on Monday night as he was the most dangerous player on the field and tallied two goals. His first-ever international strike came in just the second minute and was a high point for the 17-year-old who has had way too many low points in his young life. Born in Liberia, Nimo and his family fled due to a civil war before making their way to the United States. To find out more about Nimo’s path from Africa to the U.S. to the U-17s, check out Center Circle’s latest feature.

JAMAICA UNFRIENDLY: Not only have the U-17s 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.

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