U.S. U-17 MNT Faces Honduras on Saturday, April 25, For Group A Title
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
CONCACAF U-17 Championship
April 24, 2009
FOR THE GROUP: After defeating Canada 4-2 on Thursday evening, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will be fighting for the top place in Group A when it takes on Honduras on Saturday, April 25 at 4 p.m. PT. Having already earned a place in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship and one of the region’s four berths to the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Wilmer Cabrera’s squad will now be looking toward its second goal of winning the regional crown. Fans can follow Saturday’s game live from Estadio Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico, on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
COMING INTO FOCUS: There is still a semifinal place to be had from Group A with Canada and Honduras still alive. Honduras is still vying for the group title and a win against the U.S. would vault the Central American side to the top place in the group. Canada, who drew Honduras 1-1 in its opening game before losing to the U.S., still retains a chance to go to the U-17 World Cup, needing a big win against Cuba on Saturday and a U.S. win against Honduras to advance to Nigeria. Cuba, who lost 6-0 to Honduras and 5-0 to the U.S., was mathematically eliminated from contention.
Group A Standings
U.S. CONCACAF Under-17 Championship Schedule
|Date||Opponent||Time / Result||Venue|
|April 21||Cuba||5-0 W||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 23||Canada||4-2 W||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 25||Honduras||4 p.m PT||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 29||Semifinals||TBD||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|May 2||Third Place / Final||TBD||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
LUCKY 13: The U.S. is the only country to qualify for every FIFA U-17 World Cup (formerly the FIFA U-16 World Championship) since the tournament’s inception in 1985 – a total of 13 tournaments. Wilmer Cabrera’s team will head to Nigeria for the tournament from Oct. 24-Nov. 15, as 24 teams from around the world converge on the west-African country with a hope of lifting the U-17 World Cup trophy. Some other notable and seemingly perennial U-17 qualifiers:
|Brazil||11||2009 South American qualifying is currently underway|
|Argentina||9||With No. 10 possibly pending, see above|
|Nigeria||8||Three time winners, includes automatic bid as ‘09 host|
|Germany||7||Includes Germany FR (’85) and Germany DR (’87, ’89)|
A POTENT OFFENSE: The U.S. has scored nine goals through the first two games, led by a tournament-high four from Jack McInerney. In all, five different players have scored for the U.S. with Lletget scoring once in each game and Gyau, Gil and Jerome all adding single tallies. This is not the first time the U.S. has turned on the attack during the CONCACAF championship. In fact, only five times in 12 regional events has the American side scored fewer than nine goals in the first round. In 1989, the U.S. scored 19 goals in its first three games: a 6-1 win against Guatemala, a 7-0 victory against Honduras and a 6-0 win against St. Lucia.
SPEAKING OF JACK: McInerney continued his impressive string of scoring with his second straight two-goal game at the CONCACAF Championship, bringing his 2009 total to an astounding eight goals in five international games. Thursday’s game against Cuba was his third two-goal game on the year. In fact, the only international game McInerney played in but didn’t score was on Feb. 3 against Peru in La Serena, Chile. In his next appearance, he netted two, including the game winner, in the championship game of the La Serena Cup.
TOUGH TO GET THROUGH: The U.S. defense has been solid through the first two games, allowing only three shots on goal. The back line of Tyler Polak, Jared Watts, Eriq Zavaleta and team captain Perry Kitchen has played every minute so far, while Earl Edwards has picked up two wins in goal.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster By Position (Club/Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Earl Edwards (Nomads SC; San Diego, Calif.), 18-Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): 14-Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC; Port St. Lucie, Fla.), 4-Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic AS Monaco; Indianapolis, Ind.), 12-Emilio Orozco (Rampage FC; Oxnard, Calif.), 3-Tyler Polak (Capital Soccer Academy; Lincoln, Neb.), 8-Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC; York, Pa.), 6-Jared Watts (North Meck SC; Statesville, N.C.), 2-Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride; Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 19-Andrew Craven (First Coast Kicks; St. Simons Island, Ga.), 5-Marlon Duran (Latino Americana; Duncanville, Texas), 10-Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove, Calif.), 20-Sebastian Lletget (Santa Clara SC; South San Francisco, Calif), 15-Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.; San Pedro, Calif.), 16-Nicholas Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC; Battleground, Wash.)
FORWARDS (5): 17-Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), 11-Dustin Corea (East Side United FC; Milwaukee, Ore.), 13-Joseph Gyau (FC DELCO; Silver Springs, Md.), 7-Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC; Davie, Fla.), 9-Jack McInerney (Cobb SC; Alpharetta, Ga.)
- The U.S. looks to continue its perfect 5-0-0 record against Honduras at the U-17 level.
- The U.S. and Honduras have not met in regional qualifying since 1999, a 3-0 U.S. win.
- The two teams first met at the very first CONCACAF U-16 Championship in 1983. The U.S. won that game and went on to win the regional crown that year.
- Honduras qualified for its first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007 and is going for two in a row on Saturday.
- The U.S. U-20 MNT also faced Honduras in the first round of its regional tournament, drawing 0-0.
- Honduras successfully advanced to the FIFA U-20 World Cup and were led by head coach Eugenio Emilio Umanzor, who is also the head coach of the U-17s.
- Sebastian Lletget’s two goals in this event are just the second and third of his U-17 international career.
- Joseph Gyau’s goal against Canada was just the second of his international career. He is the son of Philip Gyau, who earned six caps with the Men’s National Team from 1989-1991.
- Midfielder Alex Shinsky will be unavailable to play against Honduras after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament against Canada.
- Perry Kitchen also earned a caution against Canada. Should he see yellow again he will face a one-game suspension.
- With two starts, forward Stefan Jerome added to his team-high 27 international games played at the U-17 level.
- Team captain Perry Kitchen and fellow defender Jared Watts are tied for the team lead with 10 international appearances in 2009. Kitchen’s 816 minutes are a team high.
- The U.S. holds an international record of 6-3-2 on the year.
- Since taking the helm of the U-17 MNT and Residency Program in the fall of 2007, head coach Wilmer Cabrera has compiled an international record of 14-11-5
THE 4-1-1 ON HONDURAS: Honduras began its preliminary qualifying campaign with a 9-0 drubbing of Belize but barely snuck by Panama with a 90th minute goal serving as the game-winner. By winning Group A of the Central American preliminaries, Honduras, led by head coach Eugenio Emilio Umanzor, booked passage to the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Tijuana and are now looking for one of the region’s four berths to the FIFA U-17 World Cup. After a 1-1 draw with Canada on Tuesday, Honduras turned up its attack for six goals against Cuba and second place in the group through two games. With a win, Honduras could vault past the U.S. for the top place in Group A while a draw would also assure advancement to both the regional semifinals and the world championship.
Honduras U-17 MNT Roster by Position (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Jesus Rivera (Motagua), 12-Harold Fonseca (Motagua)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Nixon Duarte (Real Espana), 3-Johny Rivera (Real Espana), 4-Ever Alvarado (Atletico Junior), 5-Helder Martinez (Gimnasio), 6-Allan Gutierrez (Montgaua), 13-Jose Tobias (Real Espana), 14-Allan Rivas (Olimpia)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Wilmer Fuentes (Marathon), 8-Roberto Lopez (Motagua), 10-Alexander Lopez, 16-Jair Aragon (Real Juventus), 18-Nestor Martinez (Olimpia)
FORWARDS (5): 9-Diego Rodriguez (Real Espana), 11-Anthony Lozano (Olimpia), 15-Rosendo Gonzalez (Olimpia), 17-Jose Sanchez (Victoria), 19-Hector Matute (Gualala)
RETURN TO THE OLD FORMAT: The 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship marks the first time since 1996 that a regional champion is crowned. The U.S. has won the championship twice at this level, in 1983 and 1992. When the qualifying tournament was held as two groups in separate venues, the U.S. won its group three times (2001, 2003, 2005).
GROUP B CONTINUES WEDNESDAY: Host Mexico has taken the reins on Group B of the tournament with a 7-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in front of a packed house in Estadio Caliente. Mexico holds sole possession of first place in the group as Costa Rica and Guatemala battled to a 1-1 draw in their opener. On Wednesday, T & T looks to bounce back against Costa Rica while Mexico is trying to clinch a berth to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which they can do with a win against Guatemala.
Group A Standings
|Trinidad & Tobago||2||0||1||0||0||7||-7||0|
Group B Schedule
|April 22||Costa Rica 1, Guatemala 1||--||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 22||Mexico 7, Trinidad & Tobago 0||--||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 24||Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago||1:30 p.m.||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 24||Mexico vs. Guatemala||4 p.m.||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 26||Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala||1:30 p.m.||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
|April 26||Mexico vs. Costa Rica||4 p.m.||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico|
MORE TEAMS IN: After the U.S. booked its ticket to Nigeria on Thursday, New Zealand became the 11th team to qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a win against Tahiti on Friday. Nigeria has an automatic bid as host of the tournament and they join Algeria, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Malawi in representing Africa. Asia has also completed qualifying with Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Uzbekistan slated to represent the continent in Nigeria. The South American tournament is currently underway in Inquique, Chile.
SEE HOW THEY WON: The U.S. U-17 MNT clinched a place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Thursday and you can see how they did it. The whole game is available in You Tube format at the Youth National Teams Blog. You can also catch the players reacting via ussoccer.com’s all_access video and see the game in photos by browsing through our gallery, here.
BEHIND THE SCENES: While the U.S. has accomplished its first goal, now they’re looking for the regional title. Stay on top of the U-17s as they gear towards a big group game against Honduras and then next week’s tournament semifinal by keeping up with the exclusive YNT Blog.
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