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U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Prepare to Face Host Jamaica in Group B CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying


U.S. Under-17 MNT Notes
Kingston, Jamaica
May 3, 2007


HOST UP NEXT: With six points in hand after their first two games in Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has a chance to solidify a spot in the FIFA U-17 World Cup when they take on Jamaica this Friday, May 3, at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The match will be the night-cap, following Canada-Trinidad & Tobago, and will kick off at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

IN WITH WIN…OR TIE…OR HELP: The top three teams in Group B earn a berth to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the U.S. can clinch a spot with at least a draw against Jamaica. The U.S. could actually qualify for the World Cup before playing another minute. If Canada and Trinidad & Tobago draw in the early match on Friday, the U.S. would secure at least third place with six points. Canada would end up with five points, while Trinidad & Tobago could only earn as much as four points if they won their final match. With their 2-1 victory against Canada on Wednesday night, the U.S. became the only team to earn the maximum six points in their first two games and jumped into first place in five-team Group B, but it was short-lived. Costa Rica, playing in their third match, defeated Jamaica, 1-0, to give them seven points, moving the U.S. to second place (with a game in hand). With seven points, Costa Rica ensured at least a third-place finish and a berth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. The 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place in South Korea from August 18 to September 9.
CONCACAF Group B Final Round Qualifying
Kingston, Jamaica

Team  GP   W   L    T    GF   GA   GD  Pts.
CRC     3     2    0    1      3      0     +3    7
USA      2     2    0    0      5      1     +4    6
CAN      3     1    1    1      4     2      +2    4
JAM       2     0    2    0      0     4       -4    0
TRI       2      0    2    0      0     5      -5     0

Saturday, April 28
Costa Rica 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Canada 3, Jamaica 0

Monday, April 30
Costa Rica 0, Canada 0
USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0

Wednesday, May 2
USA 2, Canada 1
Costa Rica 1, Jamaica 0

Friday, May 4
Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago
USA vs. Jamaica

Sunday, May 6
USA vs. Costa Rica
Jamaica vs. Trinidad & Tobago

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. will be looking for their third victory against Jamaica in under a year as the two teams met last May in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. scored two goals in each match, winning 2-0 on May 10 and 2-1 on May 12. Ellis McLoughlin, who will be unavailable for Friday’s match as he’s serving his second of a two-match suspension for a red card against T&T, scored three of the USA’s four goals, with Brek Shea tallying the other. McLoughlin actually scored both goals in the May 10 match after coming on as a substitute in the 27th minute to replace Alex Dixon.
  • Eleven of the 20 players on the roster played in at least one of those two matches against Jamaica: Josh Lambo, Tommy Meyer, Brek Shea, Jared Jeffrey, Daniel Wenzel, Brandon Zimmerman, Sheanon Williams, Alex Dixon, Ellis McLoughlin, Bryan Dominguez and Jesse Paredes.
  • The U.S. is undefeated in their last 18 qualifying matches at the U-17 age level. The U.S. has not lost a U-17 qualifying match since Aug. 26, 1996, when they fell in the final round to Mexico, 3-1.
  • Since 2006, the U.S. Under-17s are 10-1-2 against CONCACAF teams, including games against U-20 and U-21 squads. The team went undefeated (7-0-1) in 2006, and is 3-1-1 in their four international matches this year that happen to be all against CONCACAF teams. The U-17s defeated Canada’s U-20 MNT, 1-0, before drawing (0-0) and losing (1-0) to Honduras in Honduras. The team’s final international match before qualifying was a 2-0 victory over El Salvador on March 25 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., during a doubleheader with the U.S. full MNT.
  • McLoughlin’s red card against T&T was his first of his U-17 career. He earned a two game suspension and will miss the match against Jamaica. He will be available for the team’s final match against Costa Rica.
  • Brek Shea was the only player booked during the match against Canada, which now means four U.S. players are carrying yellow cards into their match against Jamaica: Shea, Sheanon Williams, Mykell Bates and Abdusalam Ibrahim. If any of the four receive a caution against Jamaica, they will be suspended for the team’s final match against Costa Rica.
  • The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous U-17 World Cups. The 11 appearances are equal the number for all four of the other teams in Group B combined: Costa Rica (five), Canada (four), Jamaica (one) and Trinidad & Tobago (1). Trinidad and Tobago didn’t have to qualify for their appearance as they automatically qualified when they hosted in 2001. Canada also didn’t need to qualify when they hosted the first-ever event in 1987.
  • The U.S. has won their group at the last three CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournaments (2001, 2003 and 2005) since it became a two-group event. The only year they didn’t win their group was in 1999, when the qualifying tournament was held in Jamaica and the U.S. finished in second place behind the hosts. Before the final round tournament became two groups in 1999, the U.S. only won the final round twice in 1983 and 1992.
  • Costa Rica has advanced to five of the last six FIFA U-17 World Cups. The ticos qualified for their first tournament in 1995 and then returned in 1997 before missing out on the 1999 event. They earned their way back in 2001 and will be looking to make their fourth straight appearance in 2007.
  • After hosting in 1987, Canada qualified for three of the next four tournaments (1989, 1993 and 1995), but will be looking to advance to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years.
  • Jamaica qualified for their lone U-17 World Cup in 1999
  • Forward Ellis McLoughlin leads the team in international goals with 12 in 31 games
  • Midfielder/forward Bryan Dominguez leads the team in international assists with five, all of which he earned during 2006

NIMO AND SCHULER MAKE QUICK IMPACT: Midfielder Alex Nimo and forward Billy Schuler have made the biggest impact here in Jamaica despite being the two newest additions to the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. The duo entered the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program just this past January, but in their three months training with the team in Bradenton, Fla., earned starting roles for qualifying. Neither had scored an international goal with the U-17s, but the decision by the coaching staff to start them in the qualifying tournament has paid dividends as Nimo scored two goals in the opening match and Schuler tallied the first goal against Canada. Both have also been extremely active during the team’s first two games and have caused fits for opposing defenses.
U-17 MNT Roster-by-Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (4): Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)

GET TO KNOW MACMATH: U.S. goalkeeper Zac MacMath has helped the U.S. earn two victories here in Jamaica, but how much do you know about the 1991-born ‘keeper from St. Petersburg, Fla.? We sat down with Zac and peppered him with some questions in this Center Circle Q&A.

BLOG-RIFFIC: We’re in Jamaica. You’re not. Which means you’ll never know what’s going on behind-the-scenes with the team. Well, you wouldn’t if it wasn’t for this fantastic, well-written, witty, creative, all-encompassing, anytime of the day, ussoccer.com BLOG! If you want to have all the intel on the U-17s while they look to book a spot in the 2007 World Cup, then this is the link you want to click on. What are you waiting for!!?? Click away!

QUALIFYING IN PICTURES: As the U.S. Under-17s attempt to earn a berth to the FIFA U-17 World Cup we’ve been following their every move with a camera in tow. Check out the latest pictures from their match against Canada, and look back at the shots from earlier in the week.

COACHESNET EXCLUSIVE - STARTING XI WITH COACH HACKWORTH: U.S. Soccer's CoachesNet continues its in-depth question and answer video series, "Starting XI" with an interview with U.S. U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth, who has the squad on the verge of qualifying for a record 12th FIFA U-17 World Cup (watch). Coach Hackworth takes a moment to talk about his roots and his coaching philosophy in the latest edition of the "Starting XI" series in which coaches answer 11 questions focusing on a wide range of subjects, from coaching education and youth development to modern technology in the game of soccer. [CoachesNet]

EURO QUALIFYING: The final FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament kicked off as UEFA’s final eight teams played their opening matches on May 2. Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain and Ukraine will battle it out for eight berths to South Korea. The tournament is broken into two groups of four with the top two teams in Group A (France, Germany, Spain, Ukraine) and Group B (Belgium, England, Iceland and the Netherlands) advancing to the World Cup and a playoff between the two third place teams to determine the fifth and final spot.
UEFA Qualifying Tournament Results– May 2-13
Date      Result
May 2    Spain 2, France 0
May 2    Germany 2, Ukraine 0
May 2    Netherlands 2, Belgium 2
May 2    England 2, Iceland 0

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Sixteen of the 24 teams are already qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18-Sept. 9. Below is what teams have qualified from which confederation:
AFC (4): Japan, Korea DPR, Tajikistan, Syria
CAF (4): Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Tunisia
CONCACAF (5): Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica, 2 TBD
CONMEBOL (4): Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru
OFC (1): New Zealand
UEFA (5): TBD
Host: Korea Republic

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Do you know who I am? See, they don’t know who I am. It is not important. My name is B-O-R-A.”
-- Bora Milutinovic, former coach of the U.S. MNT and current Jamaica national team coach, talking with the U.S. Under-17 players after one of their practices here in Jamaica.


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