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October 24th, 2009 8AM



The USA opens play at the U-17 World Cup in Kano, Nigeria, on Monday against mighty Spain. Perhaps no national team has produced more stars from its under-17 program than Spain, whose youth graduates include Iker Casillas and Xavi (1997), Pepe Reina (1999), Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres (2001), David Silva and Cesc Fabregas (2003) and Bojan Krkic (2007).

The Spaniards have won the European championship eight times and finished second at the Under-17 World Cup three times, including 2007. They finished third in the 2008 under-16 UEFA finals, where they struggled to score.

The Spaniards handed the USA one of only three losses in 16 international matches in 2009 when they won, 2-1, in Madrid.

Gines Melendez took over the U-17 program from Juan Santiesteban last year. Santiesteban held the job for 20 years.

Spain Roster:
GOALKEEPERS: 1-Edgar (Espanyol), 13-Julen Celaya (Real Sociedad), 21-Yeray (Mallorca)
DEFENDERS: 2-Albert Blazquez (Espanyol), 3-Jon Aurtenetxe (Athletic Bilbao), 4-Sergi Gomez (Barcelona), 5-Marc Muniesa (Barcelona), 14-Jordi Amat (Espanyol), 20-Albert Dalmau (Barcelona)
MIDFIELDERS: 6-Koke (Atletico Madrid), 8-Eduardo Ramos (Malaga), 11-Adria Carmona (Barcelona), 15-Javier Espinosa (Barcelona), 16-Kamal (Real Madrid), 17-Pablo Sarabia (Real Madrid), 18-Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), 19-Kevin (Zaragoza)
FORWARDS: 7-Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao), 9-Borja (Atletico Madrid), 10-Isco (Valencia), 12-Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)

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