[PROFILES] The USA kicks off play at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup in Mexico on Sunday when it faces the Czech Republic in Torreon (TV: ESPNU, live 7 pm ET).
Coach Wilmer Cabrera's U-17s are a multi-ethnic team that includes immigrants from war-torn Croatia and Sierra Leone, the sons of immigrants from Colombia,
Venezuela and Scotland, a player who commuted back and forth across the border between Tijuana and South San Diego and a player born in New York to a Swiss father and Japanese mother and raised in
Tokyo. For a look at the U-17s ...
1-Kendall McIntosh (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Grew up in an athletic family in Northern California's wine country. Dad Steve, an executive with Kendall-Jackson winery, played basketball at Harvard, and brother Donald is a former All-ACC defender at Duke.
12-Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas)
Described as the Jorge Campos of Houston area youth soccer. Before joining Dynamo academy program, Pina played for Texas Premier, where his coach Carlos Lessa resisted pressure to put a bigger player in goal.
21-Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC; Murrieta, Calif.)
Selected as the third goalie. One of two players from Arsenal FC, which produced U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra.
2-Zach Carroll (Vardar; Grand Blanch, Mich.)
Came into residency in middle of the cycle after stand-out performances for Vardar, the 2010 Development Academy U-17/18 champion, and in U.S. Soccer's new market training program.
3-Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.)
Scored in the winning goal in the 3-0 overtime win over Canada in the 2011 Concacaf championship with an unbelievable blast from 35 yards. Entered residency in fall 2009 after helping Cal Odyssey finish second at 2009 Development Academy U-15/16 championship.
4-Joe Amon (South Carolina United; Summerville, S.C.)
Amon is first U.S. U-17 from the state of South Carolina. Former South Carolina star Clark Brisson started working with Amon when he was playing microsoccer at age 6.
6-Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo, Japan)
Born to Japanese mother and Swiss father in New York and moved to Tokyo at age 6. Joined Tokyo Verdy's youth program after fourth grade.
15-Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.)
Father Corrado represented Venezuela in tennis but Alessandro fell in love with soccer when he started playing at the age of 4.
16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy; Plano, Texas)
Acosta played football and basketball and ran track but decided to concentrate on soccer because he thought he could go farthest with the sport.
5-Matt Dunn (FC Cologne; Dallas, Texas)
Spotted by FC Cologne on a U.S. under-15 national team trip to Germany in 2009 and invited to join its youth program.
8-Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.)
Was into skateboarding as a youngster in Southern California but got hooked on soccer after he scored his first goal.
10-Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.)
Born in the USA but grew up in Tijuana. He'd cross the border every day to go to school and played for small South San Diego club Aztecs Premier.
11-Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.)
Joined De Anza Force at the age of 7 and stayed with the Northern California club until he joined residency. His coaches included former San Jose pros Chris Dangerfield and Jeff Baicher.
13-Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.)
Born to Colombian immigrants. Wasn't part of the team that won the Concacaf under-17 championship but won spot on World Cup team this spring.
14-Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.)
Born in Croatia to Bosnian parents and spent time in Germany before moving to the United States.
17-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.)
First played competitive soccer for Colorado Storm North, then moved to the Rapids' academy team before being spotted at 2010 SUM Cup.
20-Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio)
Named U-17 captain in 2011. Has already committed to NCAA Division I champion Akron for 2012 season.
7-Alfred Koroma (Solar SC; Arlington, Texas)
Born in Sierra Leone and joined Bradenton residency at the age of 13. Returned to home in Texas for a year before rejoining U-17s for qualifying.
9-Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)
Came off the bench to score go-ahead goal in 3-2 overtime win over El Salvador that clinched a berth in the finals.
18-Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.)
Played for Chula Vista Rangers and Arsenal FC in Southern California before joining residency program.
19-Jack McBean (Los Angeles Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.)
Born to Scottish parents, McBean has already attracted the attention of Scottish national team coach Craig Levein.