The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship on April 23 against Jamaica at Estadio Maracaná de Panamá in Panama City, Panama. The match can be seen via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-17 MNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (Benfica; Philadelphia, Pa.), Justin Garces (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.), Akil Watts (IMG Academy; Fort Wayne, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake AZ; Eden, Utah), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Atlanta United FC; Locust Grove, Ga.), Indiana Vassilev (IMG Academy; Savannah, Ga.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.)
FORWARDS (6): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Atlanta United FC; Clarkston, Ga.), Bryan Reynolds, Jr. (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Joshua Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.) Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; Rosedale, N.Y.)
The 2017 tournament begins in a group stage, with 12 CONCACAF teams split into three four-team groups. After an initial round-robin schedule, the top two teams from each group will advance to the classification stage, featuring two groups with three teams each. In that second group stage, the top two finishers from each group qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, while the first-place teams in each group move on to play for the tournament title.
- Five Things to Know: 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Captain Continues his Role
USA forward Josh Sargent will wear the captain’s armband Sunday. The budding St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri product has continued to wear the armband in international competition for the U-17 MNT since he took over the responsibility permanently on Nov. 2, 2016, when the USA traveled to Jamaica for their first of two friendlies against the Reggae Boyz.
In 2016, Sargent played in all 29 of the U-17 MNT’s international games, tallying 14 goals and seven assists in 2,004 minutes.
Clash of Atlanta United Teammates
M.L.S. club Atlanta United FC has the largest representation on the U.S. roster with two players (Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin) as well as the rights to Zyen Jones, who currently plays for the organization’s Development Academy. The three U.S. U-17 players are very familiar with Jamaica defender Kendall Edward and midfielder Blake White. Edward is currently a mainstay in the club’s U-15/16 Academy team, while White has split time during the 2016-2017 Academy season between the U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy teams.
Laying a Marker Down
In November 2016, the USA sent a 22-player roster to Kingston, Jamaica to take part in an international training camp that was highlighted by two friendly matches against Jamaica.
The USA dominated both games, posting 3-0 and 4-0 shutouts of the Reggae Boyz.
Goalkeeper Justin Garces started both games for the USA and forward Andrew Carleton led the team with two goals.
During the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras, the U.S. and Jamaica faced each other twice: first in the initial group stage and then again in a one-game playoff with a trip to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup on the line.
During the initial matchup, Jamaica was able to pull out with a 1-0 win thanks to a 57th-minute penalty conversion after a handball was called on the USA. The physical match saw 21 fouls and three cautions given. The loss knocked the U.S. from first to third place in the group, forcing them into the one-game playoff, where they were matched against the Reggae Boyz again.
In the winner-take-all playoff match, the USA and Jamaica were unable to decide a victor in 90 minutes. Without an extra time period, the sides went directly to a penalty shootout where the U.S. prevailed 5-4 to book a ticket to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Reaching the Big Stage
This year marks the 17th occasion that the U.S. U-17 MNT will compete in the CONCACAF Youth Tournament or Championship. The USA has won the CONCACAF U-17, formerly U-16, Championship title three times: (1983, 1992, 2011) and finished runner-up five times: (1987, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1996).
In the 17 CONCACAF tournaments from 1983 to 2015, the Reggae Boyz have taken part in 12 and twice qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1999 and 2011.
In 1999, Jamaica hosted and finished atop Group A, collecting wins against Honduras and Costa Rica before tying the USA to secure their top spot and qualify for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.
In 2011, Jamaica drew with Trinidad & Tobago and defeated Guatemala to advance to the Knockout Round where they defeated Honduras 2-1 to book their place at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
U.S. U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth
John Hackworth Looking for U-17 World Cup Berth Number Four
In his second stint as head coach of the U.S. U-17 Men’s National, John Hackworth is looking to become the first coach to lead the U-17 MNT to three World Cups.
Hackworth served as an assistant to John Ellinger, helping the U.S. qualify for the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup before guiding the U.S. to the 2005 and 2007 editions as head coach before departing for other opportunities. The former Philadelphia Union manager returned to the U-17 MNT in December 2015.
Hackworth Speaks About End of Residency Program
After it was announced on March 17, 2017 that the U.S. Soccer Residency program would be coming to an end due to the success of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Hackworth made it clear in a recent Q&A with ussoccer.com that the team’s motivation would not be coming from the fact that this group would be the last from the program.
“We understand that this group will be the last to have gone through Residency prior to competing in World Cup Qualifying. I believe that each and every one of us, players & staff, is extremely proud of that fact. However, our mindset is to focus completely on the task of attempting to qualify for the World Cup in India. We certainly won’t be sentimental in our focus.”