US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. U-17 '88 MNT to Play Final Match Against FIFA U-17 World Champion Mexico on Dec. 7 in Los Angeles

All but Two of the 20-Player World Championship Roster will be Available to Hackworth;
Match Will be Final U-17 Game for Players Born in 1988

CHICAGO (December 2, 2005) – The United States Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team will face recently crowned FIFA U-17 World Champions Mexico on Wednesday, December 7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. With all but two of the U.S. players graduating from U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program this December and moving on to either college or the professional ranks next year, this will be the final match they will play together at this age level.

Tickets for the game start as low as $25 (general admission) and are on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster outlets, online at or at the Los Angeles Coliseum box office.

Mexico won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship two months ago in Peru, securing the first-ever FIFA World Championship title at any level for any country in the CONCACAF region. Mexico defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final, which was played at Estadio Nacional in Lima. 

“This is a great final match for our Under-17 ’88 age group,” said U.S. Under-17 head coach John Hackworth. “Not only are we going up against our biggest rival, but the best U-17 team in the world. We played Mexico before the World Championship, so we know first-hand how difficult the match will be. Our guys are looking forward to the challenge and are hoping to finish on a high note.”

The U.S. 20-player roster for the friendly match against Mexico will be almost exactly the same as the roster Hackworth selected for the FIFA U-17 World Championship, with just two changes due to injury. Defenders Eric Lichaj and Richard Edgar will replace injured defender Kevin Alston and forward Quavas Kirk. Alston suffered a broken leg in the World Championship against the Netherlands and is still rehabbing, while Kirk is still recovering from a broken foot.

The U.S. and Mexico met earlier this year on August 20 in San Antonio, Texas, during the teams’ preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Championship. Mexico pulled out a 2-1 victory, with Omar Gonzalez scoring the lone goal for the U.S. 

At the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the U.S. won their group before falling 2-0 to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals to finish in fifth place. In Group C play, the U.S. defeated North Korea 3-2 in their opening match and then pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by outclassing Italy for a 3-1 victory. The U.S. secured the top spot in the group with a 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast. 

Most of the U.S. players are members of the 40-player U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.  All but three of the players were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, with forward Josmer Altidore, defender Daniel Kelly and third-choice goalkeeper Brian Perk making the roster from the younger 1989 age group

U-17 '88 MNT Roster vs. Mexico

No. Player Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown Club/School
1 Rueckner, Bryant GK  6-1 01/20/88  Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. PSG (Calif.)
2 Igwe, Amaechi D 6-0 05/20/88  Belmont, Calif. Santa Clara Sporting
3 Edgar, Richard D 5-8 02/22/88  Mechanicsville, Md. Potomac Cougars
4 Lichaj, Eric D 5-10 11/17/88  Downer's Grove, Ill. Chicago Magic
5 Sarkodie, Ofori  D 5-9 06/18/88  Huber Heights, Ohio Chicago Magic
6 Altidore, Josmer F 5-10 11/06/89  Boca Raton, Fla. Boca Juniors
7 Gonzalez, Omar F 6-5 10/11/88  Dallas, Texas Dallas Texans
8 Nakazawa, Kyle M 5-10 03/16/88  Palos Verdes Est., Calif. ISC Strikers
9 Zimmerman, Preston F 5-11 11/21/88  Pasco, Wash. Crossfire Premier
10 Arvizu, David F 5-6 04/19/88  Santa Ana, Calif. Pateadores
11 Soroka, Ryan M 5-6 03/05/88  Langhorne, Pa. FC Delco
12 Farfan, Gabriel M 5-10 06/23/88  San Diego, Calif. Nomads
13 Wagner, Blake D/M 5-10 01/29/88  Tampa, Fla. HC United
14 Subotic, Neven D 6-4 12/10/88  Bradenton, Fla.  Manatee Magic
15 Kelly, Daniel D 5-10 03/29/89  Henderson, Tenn. TNFC
16 Besagno, Nikolas M 6-1 11/15/88  Maple Valley, Wash. Real Salt Lake (MLS)
17 Hall, Jeremy M/F 5-10 09/11/88  Tampa, Fla. HC United
18 Restrepo, Diego GK 6-0 02/25/88  West Palm Beach, Fla. West Kendall
19 Farfan, Michael  M 5-9 06/23/88  San Diego, Calif. Nomads
20 Perk, Brian  GK 5-10 07/21/89  Santa Margarita, Calif. Pateadores

Head Coach: John Hackworth   Bradenton, Fla.
Assistant Coach: Keith Fulk   Bradenton, Fla.
Assistant/Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen   Bradenton, Fla.
Team Coordinator: Thomas Norton   Bradenton, Fla.
Trainer: Michael White   St. Petersburg, Fla.
Equipment Coordinator: Tim Ryder   Bradenton, Fla.
Press Officer:  Neil Buethe   Chicago, Ill.
Videographer: Trent Davol   Boulder, Colo. is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.