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U.S. Under-17 National Team Opponents Set for April 18-22 Qualifying Tournament in St. Louis


CHICAGO (Monday, March 12, 2001) - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team will face Canada, El Salvador and Jamaica when the four countries clash in their Group A CONCACAF qualifying tournament in St. Louis, Mo., from April 18-22. El Salvador was the last team to qualify for the six-game round-robin tournament when they finished first in Central America qualifying that ended yesterday.

The first-place finisher from the four-team competition, which will be hosted by U.S. Soccer and staged at Saint Louis University's Robert R. Hermann Stadium, will advance to the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Trinidad & Tobago from September 14-30.

The St. Louis tournament will be played as three doubleheaders with the U.S. meeting Jamaica on April 18 at 7 p.m. CT in the opener. That match will be followed on April 20 with a USA-Canada clash at 7 p.m. CT and an April 22 tournament-capping showdown with El Salvador at 4 p.m. CT.

"After more than a year of preparation, our team is ready for the challenges that await us in St. Louis," said U.S. Under-17 head coach John Ellinger. "We know now that we will be facing three distinct soccer styles from three different regions of CONCACAF, which means we will be tested in every facet of the game. We are confident, though, that our residency camp and preparation with this team has prepared us for every contingency."

The U.S. U-17s have posted a perfect 3-0 record in international matches in 2001, topping Honduras twice and Guatemala once and outscoring their CONCACAF rivals 11-1 in the process. The team's potent offense has been paced by forward Ed Johnson, who has tallied 14 goals in 15 career international matches. Johnson, who was selected by the Dallas Burn in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, is one of two professionals on the team, along with Santino Quaranta, D.C. United's 2001 first-round selection.

Tickets for the three doubleheaders in St. Louis are on sale and are available at all St. Louis area Ticketmaster outlets, including all Schnucks and Famous Barr locations, or by calling Ticketmaster direct at (314) 241-1888 or (618) 222-2900. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 (general admission) and $15 (reserved). Series strips to all three match dates can also be purchased in advance for $24 (general admission) and $45 (reserved). For more information, contact U.S. Soccer's Under-17 Ticket Hotline at (312) 528-1217.

The Midwest is becoming a popular area for U.S. Soccer in the year 2001, with the first two U.S. Men's National Team's home World Cup qualifying matches being staged in America's heartland, including the USA's historic 2-0 win against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio on February 28. The U.S. Men will play their second home qualifier on April 25 in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, just three days after the U-17 qualifying comes to a close less than 300 miles away in St. Louis.

Jamaica advanced to the finals after storming through Carribean qualifying. The island nation flew through Group C in the Carribean Zone, posting three consecutive shuotuts and outscoring their opponents 17-0 on their way to the final round of Carribean qualifying. In the final round, Jamaica did not slow down, posting two more shutouts and winning all three matches by a combined 10-2 margin.

El Salvador captured the Central American (UNCAF) U-17 Championship held in Guatemala City by defeating Panama 3-0 in the final day of competition yesterday. El Salvador finished first in the five-nation round-robin competition with a 3-0-1 record to advance to St. Louis. Costa Rica also finished 3-0-1 in the group, but was second on goal differential and will now join Haiti and Mexico, along with host Honduras, for the Group B CONCACAF qualifying tournament from May 2-6 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In addition to the winners of Group A and B qualifying tournaments, CONCACAF will also be represented by host Trinidad & Tobago in the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship.

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team will continue their preparations this month, playing three of the nation's top collegiate teams at the end of March, when they travel to North Carolina to face Wake Forest on March 26, Duke on March 28 and the University of North Carolina on March 30. The team will then return to Florida for two weeks before traveling to St. Louis on April 12 for final tournament preparations.

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Tickets for the CONCACAF Group A qualifying tournament are available through the following outlets:

  • All St. Louis area Ticketmaster outlets, including all Schnucks and Famous Barr locations, or
  • by calling Ticketmaster direct at (314) 241-1888 or (618) 222-2900.

  • Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 (general admission) and $15 (reserved).
  • Series strips to all three match dates can also be purchased in advance for $24 (general admission) and $45 (reserved).
  • For more information, contact U.S. Soccer's Under-17 Ticket Hotline at (312) 528-1217.


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