Giovanni Bogado
Giovanni Bogado

Five Things to Know: Paraguay U-17s

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continues play at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup against Group B winners Paraguay in the Round of 16 on Monday, Oct. 16. The game will be televised on FS2, and Telemundo En Vivo (telemundodeportes.com) with kickoff set for 10:30 a.m. ET.

Here are five things to know about Paraguay:

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Paraguay qualified for the 2017 U-17 World Cup by finishing third at the 2017 South American Under-17 Football Championship to claim one of four spots from the CONMEBOL region. Drawn into Group B, Paraguay finished second, out of five nations, in its group to advance to the final stage where the top six remaining teams competed for the four World Cup berths. In the final stage, Paraguay drew eventual Champions Brazil (2-2), drew Ecuador (2-2), defeated Chile (2-0), took down Venezuela (3-1) before falling to Colombia (2-1) to cement their third-place finish.

Here’s a look at their results:


Group Stage

Feb. 26

1-0 W vs. Argentina

Feb. 28

2-2 D vs. Venezuela

Mar. 2

1-1 D vs. Brazil

Mar. 4

2-0 W vs. Peru

Final Stage

Mar. 7

2-2 D vs. Brazil

Mar. 10

2-2 D vs. Ecuador

Mar. 13

2-0 W vs. Chile

Mar. 16

3-1 W vs. Venezuela

Mar. 19

2-1 L vs. Colombia

U-17 WORLD CUP HISTORY

Paraguay makes their fourth U-17 World Cup appearance, and second consecutive. Most recently, in 2015, La Albirroja defeated Syria (4-1) to open the tournament, but were unable to tack on any additional points after falling to France (4-3) and New Zealand (2-1). Without any additional points, Paraguay just missed out on advancing as one of the best third-place teams.

In 10 games played over tournament appearances in 1999, 2001 and 2015, Paraguay’s U-17s have posted a 5-4-1 record, scoring 23 goals to 19 allowed.

Paraguay will look to earn its first ever victory in the second stage of the tournament in their first trip since 1999.

THE ROSTER

Paraguay’s 21-man roster for the U-17 World Cup features 19 domestic-based players, along with one each from Brazil and Spain. The highest number of players comes from Club Olimpia, with six players, followed closely by Club Cerro Porteno, with five.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Diego Huesca - (Valencia CF, ESP), Jonathan Martinez - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Angel Roa - (Club Olimpia, PAR)

DEFENDERS (6): Pedro Alvarez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Alexis Duarte - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Roberto Fernandez - (Club Guarani, PAR), Jesus Rolon - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Marcelo Rolon - (Club Libertad, PAR), Luis Zarate - (Club Libertad, PAR)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Julio Baez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Giovanni Bogado - (Club Libertad, PAR)

Stevens Gomez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Braian Ojeda - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Alan Rodriguez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Victor Villasanti - (Club Guarani, PAR)

FORWARDS (6): Blas Armoa - (Club Sportivo Luqueno, PAR), Fernando Cardozo - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Antonio Galeano - (Club Rubio Nu, PAR), Fernando Romero - (Club Nacional, PAR), Leonardo Sanchez - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Anibal Vega - (SE Palmeiras, BRA)

2017 U-17 WORLD CUP DOMINANCE

Paraguay enters the Round of 16 undefeated, colleting a full nine points from Group B play. In their victories against Mail (3-2), New Zealand (4-2) and Turkey (3-1), La Albirroja has scored 10 goals, while conceding only five, two of which were own goals coming against New Zealand. During the group phase, Paraguay’s only real test came against the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations Champions, where La Albirroja saw a lucky bounce turned hand-ball on Mali produce a penalty kick opportunity that resulted in the third and game winning goal.

Although no Paraguay players have accumulated more than one yellow card, four players come into the game vs. the USA carrying a caution: Fernandez, Ojeda, Sanchez and Alvarez. The quartet will need to play carefully as cautions will not re-set until after the Quarterfinals.

THE MANAGER

The Paraguay U-17 MNT is coached by former Paraguay National Team player Gustavo Morínigo. A former midfielder, Morínigo represented Paraguay at the 2001 Copa América and 2002 FIFA World Cup. The player turned coach also represented La Albirroja at the 1997 U-20 FIFA World Cup where he scored one goal in two matches played. Morínigo’s playing career includes stints at Libertad (PAR), Guaraní (PAR) Agentinos Juniors (ARG), Deportivo Cali (COL), Cerro Porteño (PAR) and Club Nacional (PAR). Morínigo has coached at Club Nacional, Cerro Porteño and also spent time with Paraguay’s U-20 National Team.