PREVIEW: World Cup Berth on the Line as U-17 MNT Takes on Panama at Concacaf U-17 Championship

By: U.S. Soccer

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Panama
2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship Quarterfinals
IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.
2:00 p.m. ET (Univision Deportes Network, Concacaf Facebook)
May 12, 2019

WORLD CUP AT STAKE: After a dominant 8-0 win over Guadeloupe to open the knockout stage, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will take on Panama with a berth to the FIFA U-17 World Cup on the line. The four quarterfinal winners on Sunday will punch their tickets to Brazii for this fall’s World Cup. The United States is aiming for a record 17th qualification to the U-17 World Cup.

The USA has won four straight to open the tournament, finishing as the top team in Group F before topping Guadeloupe in the Round of 16. Panama finished second after going undefeated in Group H and beat Guatemala 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Sunday’s match will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and Concacaf Facebook. Per Concacaf, U-17 Championship matches are not open to the public. Follow the U-17 MNT throughout the tournament on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.




Goal Scorers

May 2


W 3-2

Busio, Alejandre, Reyna

May 4


W 6-1

Hernandez, Busio (2), Saldana, Ocampo-Chavez, O.G.

May 6


W 3-0

Yow (2), Ocampo-Chavez

May 9


W 8-0

Ocampo-Chavez (2), Yow, Reyna (3), Busio, O.G.

ROLLING THROUGH ROUND OF 16: The USA left no doubt in its first knockout round match, putting together an authoritative 8-0 win over Guadeloupe in the Round of 16. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez opened the scoring in just the third minute of play, opening the first half floodgates that would see the U.S. go up 6-0 before the break. Griffin Yow added his third of the tournament, Gianluca Busio netted his fourth and Gio Reyna scored a hat trick in 22 minutes all before the halftime whistle. In the second frame, another tally from Ocampo-Chavez and an own goal from Les Gwada Boys completed the 8-0 victory.

After collecting all nine possible points in Group F and its Round of 16 win, the U-17 MNT is riding a nine-game unbeaten streak dating back to last October. The team is undefeated in its last 11 matches at the Concacaf U-17 Championship.


  • This will be just the second meeting between the USA and Panama at the Concacaf U-17 Championship.
  • The U.S. won the teams’ first meeting 1-0 in Jamaica during the group stage of the 2011 competition.
  • The USA won its last Concacaf Championship that year, while Panama finished third.
    Panama’s best-ever finish came in 2013, when Los Canaleros finished second to Mexico during the first Concacaf U-17 Championship to be held in Panama.
    At this year’s tournament, Panama clinched its quarterfinal berth with a 2-1 Round of 16 victory over Guatemala.
  • Panama has qualified for two FIFA U-17 World Cups (2011, 2013). Los Canaleros have participated in eight Concacaf U-17 Championships.
  • Panama’s roster features 18 players born in 2002, one born in 2003 and one born in 2004.

U.S. U-17 MNT - 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 16/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta.; 5/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 17/1), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 13/0), 13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.; 4/0), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 12/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 17/2), 2-Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 17/1), 15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.; 5/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 10/6), 20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.; 17/0), 8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.; 3/0), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.; 4/0), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 20/2)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.; 2/0), 17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.; 5/1), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.; 18/9), 9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas; 9/1), 10-Gio Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 11/5), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 10/6)     

PANAMA – 2019 Concacaf U-17 Champiionship Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Saul Espinosa, 12-Julio Moran
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Edgardo Espinosa, 14-Jesus Gil, 19-Adrian Hernandez, 2-Modesto Justiniani, 3-Jose Matos, 15-Giancarlos Moreno, 5-Eric Rowe
MIDFIELDERS (8): 16-Wesly Acosta, 6-Edilson Carrasquilla, 7-Jean Carlos Castillo, 11-Abdiel Castro, 21-Jaime Harrison, 20-Jordy Hidalgo, 8-Abdul Knight, 17-Abdel Niles
FORWARDS (3): 13-Aaron Lowis, 9-Eric Pinto, 10-Reymundo Williams

PANAMA’S PATH: Drawn into Group H as the fifth-ranked team in the Concacaf U-17 rankings, Panama went undefeated. Los Canaleros equalized on a late goal to draw Costa Rica 2-2 in their opener, cruised to a 3-1 win over Suriname and battled Curacao to a tie in their third match.  

Panama’s Round of 16 match-up against Guatemala was deadlocked at 0-0 until the 72nd minute, when Eric Pinto found the back of the net to give Panama a late lead. Aaron Lowis added an insurance goal in the 75th to secure Panama’s advancement to the quarterfinals. A win against the USA would clinch Panama’s third U-17 World Cup berth and first since 2013.

RUN-UP TO FLORIDA: After a busy year of programming in 2018, the Concacaf Championship represents the U-17s’ third event of 2019. Last year, the team went 9-4-4 as it faced off against 11 different nations. The U-17 MNT’s last international competition came at the 2018 Nike International Friendlies last December. There, the USA went undefeated in three tightly contested games against Portugal, Turkey and Brazil.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 are eligible for the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, and head coach Raphael Wicky called in 16 players born in 2002 and four born in 2003.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the 19th Concacaf championship at this age level. Started in 1983, the regional competition sends four teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean to the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

The top three teams from each group qualify to the Round of 16. Four teams – Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico – advanced directly to the Round of 16 from a pre-tournament qualifying phase. The four tournament semifinalists earn berths to the U-17 World Cup.

In the group stage, the USA was drawn against Canada, Barbados and Guatemala. The top 16 teams in the Concacaf U-17 ranking were drawn into the main group stage, while the bottom 19 teams duked it in a pre-qualifying tournament for four Round of 16 berths.