CHICAGO (Dec. 8, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Group A for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which runs Feb. 27-March 15 in Honduras. The draw took place at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The USA is paired with Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and an UNCAF qualifier – either El Salvador or Guatemala. The remaining UNCAF team will conduct its playoff January 17 and 24. All Group A games will be held at Francisco Morazan Stadium. The USA opens against Cuba on Friday, Feb. 27.
“I think the draw went well,” U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams said. “We’re happy with the format of five group games and we feel confident that we’ll perform and do well. You never truly know until you get here. Obviously with Honduras in our group and playing at home, that will be difficult, but we’re ready to play against everyone and looking forward to it.”
The 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship will be played Feb. 27-March 15 in San Pedro Sula. The tournament will qualify four teams directly to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
- Group A: Honduras, Jamaica, (UNCAF team), Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Cuba
- Group B: Canada, Haiti, Panama, Mexico, St. Lucia, Costa Rica
USA’s Group A Schedule:
- Friday, Feb. 27: Cuba, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
- Monday, March 2: Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
- Thursday, March 5: TBD (UNCAF team), 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
- Sunday, March 8: Honduras, 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local)
- Wednesday, March 11: Jamaica, 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams.
Under the new setup, the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The playoff stage and final matches of qualifying will be held Saturday, March 14, at Olympic Stadium.
The U.S. U-17 MNT is coming off a second-place showing at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies. This age group has had a strong 2014 with 27 international matches and high-quality tournaments, posting a 17-7-3 international record (18-7-7 overall).
“It’s been our goal over the past year and a half to get as many international games as we can and play in different countries and against different teams,” Williams said. “The tournament in Mexico, the trip to Panama, competing against other CONCACAF opponents to get experience, all these games are excellent opportunities. We’ve given everyone the experience to have a strong 20-man roster come qualifying, and hopefully all of this will translate into a successful result in the tournament.”