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U.S. U-17 MNT Ready to Face Czech Republic at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Notes
USA vs. Czech Republic
Torreon, Mexico
June 17, 2011

IT’S FINALLY HERE: After two years of preparation for the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the U.S. is set to kick off against the Czech Republic on Sunday, June 19, at 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET). The U.S., which won the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in February, is the only team to have qualified for all 14 FIFA U-17 World Cups since 1985, and will be looking to advance to the knock out stages for the fifth consecutive tournament. Sunday’s game from Estadio Corona in Torreon will be televised live on ESPNU and ESPN3, and on tape delay on Galavision. Fans can also follow the match on’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

CLOSING IN ON WORLD CUP KICKOFF: The U.S., one of six teams who were seeded at the draw for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, was placed into Group D along with the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Uzbekistan. Mexico and Korea DPR will officially open the tournament on Saturday evening, June 18, in Morelia, with the Netherlands also facing Congo that day in Group A play. Group B also begins on Saturday, with France matching up against Argentina and Japan facing Jamaica.

U.S. U-17 World Cup Schedule (Full Schedule)

Date Opponent Time (Local/ET) TV Venue
June 19 Czech Republic 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. ESPNU, ESPN3 / Galavision (delay) Estadio Corona; Torreon, Mexico
June 22 Uzbekistan 3 p.m. / 4 p.m. ESPNU, ESPN3 / Galavision Estadio Corona; Torreon, Mexico
June 25 New Zealand 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. ESPNU, ESPN3 / Galvision Estadio Hidalgo; Pachuca, Mexico

A LOOK AT THE U.S. ROSTER: Head coach Wilmer Cabrera named his 21-player roster on June 9, the day before the team traveled to Torreon to begin training. The U.S. roster features 18 players who took home the regional crown at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in February. There are 15 players representing 14 different clubs in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, with Arsenal FC the only club to send two players to Mexico in Paul Arriola and Wade Hamilton.

U.S U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC; Murrieta, Calif.), 1-Kendall McIntosh (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 12-Fernando Piña (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy; Plano, Texas), 4-Joe Amon (South Carolina United; Summerville, S.C.), 2-Zach Carroll (Vardar; Grand Blanch, Mich.), 6-Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo, Japan), 15-Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), 3-Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.),
MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Matt Dunn (FC Cologne; Dallas, Texas), 10-Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), 13-Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), 11-Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), 8-Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.), 14-Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), 17-Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio), 20-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (4): 18-Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), 7-Alfred Koroma (Solar SC; Arlington, Texas), 19-Jack McBean (Los Angeles Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.) 9-Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)

U.S. Roster by the Numbers
Combined goals against average this year of the goalkeepers on the roster
1      Professional player on the roster: Los Angeles Galaxy’s Jack McBean
2      Players born in 1995 on the roster in Kellyn Acosta and Paul Arriola
3      Players who have appeared in all 10 U.S. international matches in 2011 in Esteban Rodriguez, Mobi Fehr and Alfred Koroma
15    Players representing 14 different Development Academy clubs
16    Goals scored by players on the U.S. roster
18    Players who were part of the CONCACAF Championship-winning side in February
25    Career caps for Marc Pelosi, who has the most on the team
510  Minutes played by Esteban Rodriguez at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the only player who played every minute in Montego Bay

U.S. World Cup History by the Numbers
      Number of times the USA and Czech Republic have met at the U-17 World Cup, a 2-2 draw in 1993 when the Czech Republic was known as Czechoslovakia
2      Times the U.S. has won its respective group, in 2005 and 1991
4      Consecutive times that the Americans have advanced out of the group stage
4th   Highest finish for the U.S. at a FIFA U-17 World Cup (1999)
4.15 Average points earned by U.S. teams in the group phase of all 13 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups
5      Tournaments in which the U.S. won at least two group games
5      Number of times that the U.S. finished in the top 10 at a FIFA U-17 World Cup
6      Number of times that the U.S. has won its opening game
7      Times the U.S. has advanced out of the group phase
14    Number of U-17 FIFA World Cups in which the U.S. U-17 MNT has participated, including the 2011 edition
17    Group games won by the U.S. in 13 previous tournaments
18    U.S. wins in the U-17 World Cup, compared with six draws and 24 losses
48    Total games played by the U.S. in 13 previous tournaments, the third-most all time after Brazil (58) and Nigeria (49)
68    U.S. goals scored in 48 FIFA U-17 World Cup games

REMEMBERING THE CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. qualified for Mexico by winning the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in February. After winning two group games against Cuba and Panama, a thrilling overtime victory in the quarterfinal match against El Salvador sealed the Americans’ berth to the World Cup. Cabrera’s team went on to win its semifinal match against host Jamaica before a 3-0 overtime victory against Canada gave the United States the regional championship.

U.S. CONCACAF Championship Results

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goalscorer(s)
Feb. 14 Cuba 3-1 W Koroma, Oliver, E. Rodriguez
Feb. 18 Panama 1-0 W Oliver
Feb. 22 El Salvador 3-2 W Guido, M. Rodriguez, Pelosi
Feb. 25 Jamaica 2-0 W Pelosi, Oliver
Feb. 27 Canada 3-0 W Smith, Oliver, Koroma

Head Coach: Josef Csaplar
Previous FIFA U-17 World Cups: 1993 (as Czechoslovakia)
Best Finish: Fifth place

CZECH THEM OUT: In qualifying for Mexico, the Czech Republic tied all three group opponents – Romania, Germany and eventual-champion Netherlands – in the final round of the UEFA U-17 Championship. Though they did not advance to the confederation semifinals, the third place finish in their four-team group was enough to qualify the team to the U-17 World Cup. The Czech Republic boasts a tall, physical team that was one of only two teams to go undefeated during the final round of UEFA qualifying (the other being champion Netherlands). The 2011 event will be only the second for the Czech Republic, who played in 1993 as Czechoslovakia.

Czech Republic UEFA Championship Results

Date Opponent Result Czech Goalscorer(s)
May 3 Romania 1-1 T Salasovik
May 6 Germany 1-1 T Julis
May 9 Netherlands 0-0 T --

Czech Republic Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Patrik Macej (Banik Ostrava), 16-Lukas Zima (Slavia Prague), 21-Ondrej Kolar (Slovan Liberec)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Ondrej Karafiat (Sparta Prague), 3-Jan Filip (Teplice), 5-Lubos Adamec (Juventus), 6-Michael Lueftner (Teplice), 14-Dominik Spavelko (Banik Ostrava), 15-Jan Sterba (Sigma Olomouc)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 4-Petr Nerad (Bohemians Prague), 7-Alex Cermak (Teplice), 8-Jindrich Kadula (Dynamo Ceske Budejovice), 9-Nikolas Salasovic (Slavia Prague), 13-Patrik Kundratek (Banik Ostrava), 17-Dominik Masek (FC Pribram), 18-Marek Strada (Teplice), 19-Michal Travnik (Slovacko)
FORWARDS (4): 10-Lukas Julis (Sparta Prague), 11-Patrik Svoboda (Dukla Prague), 12-Lukas Stratil (Banik Ostrava), 20-Daniel Cerny (Viktoria Plzen)

MILESTONE GOALS: The U.S. has been involved in several milestone goals at the U-17 World Cup. In 1987, American Ben Crawley scored the 100th goal in the tournament’s history in a 1-0 win against Ecuador. Six years ago, Ryan Soroka scored the tournament’s 1000th goal in a 1-3 loss to Italy and in 2007, Mykell Bates scored the 1100th goal against Tajikistan in South Korea.

OFF THE FIELD: The U.S. team took a break from training on Wednesday afternoon to visit the Fundacion Down de la Laguna in Torreon, a day center for children with Down Syndrome. The U.S. players and staff met with the students at the center and took a tour of the facilities, spending about an hour there. For more information and photos, check out The YNT Blog.

FEHR’S JOURNEY: U.S. defender Mobi Fehr moved more than 7,000 miles away from his parents to join the U.S. U-17 MNT Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Read more about his journey from New York City to Tokyo to Bradenton, and now to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

COMING FULL CIRCLE: Midfielder Alejandro Guido grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and crossed the border every day to go to school and play soccer. After joining the U-17 MNT two years ago, Guido’s ambition has brought him back to his parents’ country to play in the most important tournament of his life. Learn about the American and Mexican influence in his game, and how that helped him reach the World Cup.

FOLLOWING IN SHORT FORM: Keep tabs on the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team in 140 characters or less by following us on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. As the U-17 World Cup is set to kick off, we’re approaching 6,000 followers!

BLOGGING FROM TORREON: All the inside scoop on the U.S. team in Mexico, including photos from the team’s trip to Fundacion Down de la Laguna, training photos and the inside stories from the team hotel, can be found on the YNT Blog at