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USA and Spain meet again in Africa
by Paul Kennedy, October 26th, 2009 7AM



[UNDER-17 WORLD CUP] Four months after the USA and Spain met in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup in Bloemfontein, South Africa, they square off again in Africa, this time at the Under-17 World Cup in Kano, Nigeria (TV: ESPNU and Galavision, live, 2 pm ET). Coach Wilmer Cabrera has assembled one of the most highly rated U.S. U-17 national teams ever, but it will face a difficult test on Monday against Spain, Europe's greatest producer of youth talent over the last decade.

Spain's U-17 World Cup graduates include four players who started for the Spanish national team that lost to the USA, 2-0, in June: Iker Casillas and Xavi (1997), Fernando Torres (2001) and Cesc Fabregas (2003).

The USA is the only team to have played in every Under-17 World Cup, though it has advanced as far as the semifinals only once, in 1999, with a team that included Oguchi Onyewu and Landon Donovan, who were both in the starting lineup when the USA beat Spain, 2-0, in Bloemfontein.

Spain has finished second at the Under-17 World Cup three times, most recently in 2007.

The USA and Spain U-17s met earlier this year in Madrid, where the Spaniards prevailed, 2-1.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS: 21-Keith Cardona (New York Red Bulls), 1-Earl Edwards (Nomads SC), 12-Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier),
DEFENDERS: 6-Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC), 4-Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic), 20-Boyd Okwuonu (Tulsa Thunder), 3-Tyler Polak (CSA Legacy), 2-Jared Watts (North Meck SC.), 15-Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride)
MIDFIELDERS: 5-Marlon Duran (Latino Americana), 10-Luis Gil (Pateadores), 14-Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.), 17-Will Packwood (Birmingham City, England), 11-Nick Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC), 8-Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC)
FORWARDS: 16-Juan Agudelo (N.Y. Red Bulls Academy), 19-Victor Chavez (Real So Cal), 18-Andrew Craven (First Coast Kickers), 7-Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC), 9-Jack McInerney (Cobb SC), 13-Dominick Sarle (BW Gottschee)

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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