U.S. Soccer to Hold First-Ever Men's U-17 Full-Time Residency Program
CHICAGO (Tuesday, December 22, 1998) - For the first time ever U.S. Soccer will put the Under-17 Men's National Team in a full-time residency program when the team begins training at the Bollettieri Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Jan. 17, 1999. The full-time residency is in preparation for CONCACAF Under-17 qualifying in Jamaica in February, and for the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in New Zealand in November.
The Bollettieri Sports Academy is the only full-time, year-round training academy in the United States. The Academy is equipped with state-of-the-art soccer equipment, three Bermuda grass fields, an indoor dome with artificial turf, two swimming pools, newly renovated student apartments, dining facilities, licensed physical therapists, full recreational amenities and an international soccer staff.
"The Academy will provide a very demanding environment where the players will go to school in the morning, train together in the afternoon and go to study hall in the evening," said U.S. Soccer's Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher. "It is an environment where the athletes will discover their full potential mentally, physically and technically."
Bollettieri Sports Academy has played host to many of the world's top soccer clubs and national teams, such as: Hanover 96 (Germany), Finn PA (Finland), Club America (Mexico), Universidad De Chile, Newell's Old Boys (Argentina), Chinese Women's Olympic Team, Australian Women's Olympic Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team, German U-18 National Team and the Chilean U-17 National Team.
The U-17s will be in a professional setting during the 10-month residency program. The players will attend classes at either Bradenton Academy or Bayshore High School in the morning. Following classes, the U-17s will return to the Bollettieri Sports Academy for lunch before an afternoon of training. In the evening the team will have dinner and study hall before retiring for the night. On the weekends the team will have a mixture of games and training sessions. The U-17s will follow a schedule like this seven days a week for the next 10 months.
Under the guidance of head coach John Ellinger the U-17s will be preparing for the 1999 CONCACAF U-17 qualifying tournament to be held in Jamaica on Feb. 24-28 and the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in November in New Zealand. The U.S. is the only country to have participated in all seven FIFA World Championships since the first tournament in 1985.
The eight teams in the 1999 CONCACAF qualifying tournament have been broken down into two groups: Group A (Kingston, Jamaica; February 24-28) Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras and USA; Group B (San Salvador, El Salvador; February 24-28) Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Mexico and Canada.
The top finishers from each group qualify for New Zealand '99 while the Group A and B runners-up will have a play-off for the third CONCACAF berth. The schedule for match play for the 1999 CONCACAF qualifying tournament is as follows:
|Group A (Kingston, Jamaica)||Group B (San Salvador, El Salvador)|
|Feb. 24||Jamaica vs Costa Rica||Feb. 17||Trinidad & Tobago vs El Salvador|
|Honduras vs USA||Mexico vs Canada|
|Feb. 26||Costa Rica vs USA||Feb. 19||El Salvador vs Canada|
|Jamaica vs Honduras||Trinidad & Tobago vs Mexico|
|Feb. 28||Honduras vs Costa Rica||Feb. 21||Mexico vs El Salvador|
|Jamaica vs USA||Trinidad & Tobago vs Canada|
The U-17s finished '98 on fire, winning the 1998 Christchurch Cup international tournament, held in New Zealand, with decisive wins over South Korea (5-1), Solomon Islands (10-0), Tahiti (6-0), South Africa (4-0) and playing New Zealand to a scoreless draw. The USA improved their record to 31-8-7 which includes a superb 17-7-4 record against U-17 international opponents. Highlighted '98 international victories include wins over Guatemala, El Salvador, Israel, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden, Greece, England, Jamaica and Germany. The USA's explosive offensive power, scoring a phenomenal 132 goals, is lead by the electrifying duo of Landon Donovan (Redlands, Calif.), who netted 35 goals and tallied 25 assists, and Jordan Cila (Jericho, NY) with 26 goals and 20 assists.
CONCACAF represents the United States, Mexico, Canada, Central American and Caribbean nations as members of the FIFA family. Other confederations represent Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and the Oceania region.
Since 1985, FIFA has held the Under-17 World Championship every two years. In 1985 FIFA held the first-ever Under-16 World Tournament and in 1989 FIFA changed the tournament to the Under-17 World Championship. In all, 16 countries from six different confederations qualify for the youth competition. The following is a look at the 13-year history of the FIFA U-17 World Championship:
|1985||China||Nigeria||Nigeria 2, Germany 0||12th|
|1987||Canada||Russia||Russia 1, Nigeria 1 (PK)||14th|
|1989||Scotland||Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia 2, Scotland 2 (PK)||10th|
|1991||Italy||Ghana||Ghana 1, Spain 0||5th|
|1993||Japan||Nigeria||Nigeria 2, Ghana 1||7th|
|1995||Ecuador||Ghana||Ghana 3, Brazil 2||15th|
|1997||Egypt||Brazil||Brazil 2 , Argentina 0||11th|
All-Time World Championship Appearance Leaders:
For further information regarding the Bollettieri Sports Academy please contact Kai Haaskivi at 941/758-4760.
|Akwari, Nelson||D||5'11"||175||2/04/82||Houston, TX||Texans / Strake Jesuits College|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5'7"||126||5/24/82||Fort Wayne, IN||Citadel S.C. / Bolletieri Sports Acad.|
|Beckerman, Kyle||M||5'9"||135||4/23/82||Crofton, MD||Commack United / Arundel HS|
|Bolin, Danny||M||5'8"||135||9/16/82||Knoxville, TN||BSA/Bollettieri Sports Academy|
|Chillemi, Filippo||M||5'10"||150||5/12/82||Roswell, GA||United Quest Red / Roswell HS|
|Cila, Jordon||F||5'9"||160||4/11/82||Jericho, NY||Commack United / Jericho HS|
|Convey, Bobby||F||5'6"||135||5/21/83||Philadelphia, PA||F.C. Copa / Penn Charter HS|
|Countess, Delvin||GK||6'0"||165||1/09/82||Sacramento, CA||San Juan / Bella Vista HS|
|Cronin, Steve||GK||6'0"||150||5/28/83||Sacramento, CA||San Juan / Bella Vista HS|
|Cutler, Kenneth||M||5'8"||130||3/08/82||Richmond, VA||Richmond Strikers / D. Freeman HS|
|Donovan, Landon||M||5'8"||148||3/04/82||Redlands, CA||Cal Heat / Redlands E. Valley HS|
|Gregorio, Adolfo||M||5'8"||160||10/01/82||Hilmar, CA||Turlock Tornados / Hilmar HS|
|Jackson, Bryan||M||5'8"||150||4/16/82||La Canada, CA||Claremont Stars / La Canada HS|
|Kalso, Kellen||D||5'9"||165||1/16/82||Oxford, MI||Vadar III. / Oxford HS|
|Martin, Greg||D||5'7"||140||1/05/82||Plano, TX||Dallas Comets / Bolletieri S.A.|
|Onyewu, Oguchi||D||6'0"||150||5/13/82||Olney, MD||F.C. Potomac / Sherwood HS|
|Rivera, Raul||F||5'9"||150||3/07/82||Tulare, CA||Visalia Suns / Bolletieri S.A.|
|Roberts, Matt||D||5'10"||175||2/09/82||Bell Mead, NJ||Princeton United / Hillsbourgh HS|
|Trembly, Seth||M||5'6"||140||3/21/82||Littleton, CA||Littleton United / Arapahoe HS|
|Yi, Alexander||D||5'11"||160||2/27/82||Easton, MD||Columbia United / Bolletieri S.A.|
|UNDER-17 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF|
|Head Coach:||John Ellinger (Ellicot City, MD)|
|Assistant Coach:||Cameron Rast (San Jose, CA)|
|Team Coordinator:||Jeff McRaney (Orlando, FL)|
|Trainer:||Brian Goodstein (Philadelphia, PA)|