U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team Set to Play Argentina on Thursday in Buenos Aires
The Argentina Under-17 National Team are coached by Jose Nestor Peckerman. While under his tenure Argentina were bronze medal winners at the 1995 FIFA U-17 Championship, U-17 quarterfinalist in Egypt '97 and were also U-20 world champions in Malaysia '97. Argentina's U-17s fell to Brazil, 2-0 in the quarterfinals in Egypt '97, allowing only two goals throughout the tournament. Argentina will begin qualification for the '99 WYC in March.
"We decided to play Argentina because we felt that their individual skill and speed of play would most resemble Costa Rica's style of play, our first opponent in the '99 CONCACAF qualifying tournament", said U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Coach, John Ellinger. "Argentina will be a good test to see where our team is going into qualification".
EXPERIENCED U-17 SQUAD: With the help of U.S. Soccer, head coach John Ellinger has conducted one of the most extensive training programs for his team in preparation for '99 CONCACAF qualifying and the '99 FIFA U-17 World Championship. Over the past year the U- 17s have had over six domestic training camps, traveled over 140 days, played in eight different countries (France, Italy, Jamaica, England, Belgium, Austria, New Zealand and Argentina), won two international tournaments (K.C. Mechelen Tournament - Belgium; Christchurch Cup - New Zealand), logged over 40,000 miles and entered a 10-month full-time residency program on Jan. 17, 1999.
U-17s PERFECT WHEN CILA AND DONOVAN FIND THE BACK OF NET: The U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team is undefeated, 6-0-0, when Jordon Cila (Jericho, NY) scores a goal. When Landon Donovan (Redlands, CA) scores two or more goals in a match the U-17s have not lost and are also 6-0-0. The explosive offensive power of Jordon Cila and Landon Donovan scored a combined 28 goals in 1998.
ELLINGER TO FLY TO JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AFTER MATCH: U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team head coach John Ellinger, also assistant to U.S. Under-23 National Team head coach Clive Charles, will leave immediately following the Argentina match on Thursday, Feb. 4 to travel 12 hours back to the U.S. to help prepare the U.S. Under-23 National Team for their games against Germany's Under-23 National Team on Feb. 6 and 8 in Jacksonville, Fla.
1999 CONCACAF U-17 QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT: The U-17s will be traveling to Montego Bay, Jamaica on Feb. 21 to participate in the 1999 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualifying Tournament. The 1999 CONCACAF U-17 qualifying tournament has been broken down into two groups: Group A (Montego Bay, Jamaica) Costa Rica, Jamaica, Honduras and USA; Group B (San Salvador, El Salvador) Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Mexico and Canada. The USA will begin qualifying against Costa Rica on Feb. 24, before playing Honduras on Feb. 26 and then concluding with Jamaica on Feb. 28. The top finisher from each group will qualify for New Zealand '99 and the runners-up will have a play-off for the third CONCACAF berth. The U.S. is the only country to have participated in all seven FIFA U-17 World Championships since the first tournament in 1985.