Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
USA faces Mexico in Concacaf U-17 final with chance for first-ever U-17 and U-20 sweep.
by Mike Woitalla, May 6th, 2017 9:58PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

TAGS:  u-17 world cup, u.s. under-17 men's national team, youth, youth boys


By Mike Woitalla

In March, the Tab Ramos-coached USA won the Concacaf U-20 Championship. On Sunday, the USA has a chance to take the regional U-17 title for the first ever USA sweep of the two competitions when Coach John Hackworth’s team faces Mexico in the final in Panama.

On Friday, the USA beat Cuba, 6-2, to clinch a spot at the 2017 U-17 World Cup. The victory marked the USA’s fifth win in five games while outscoring its foes 19-5. One of the wins was a 4-3 victory over Mexico. El Tri reached the final thanks to a 6-1 victory over Costa Rica, which had been the only other undefeated team in the competition.

USA-Mexico: Sunday 4 p.m. ET, Concacaf YouTube.

“We’re not done yet,” said Hackworth. “We want to win the championship. That’s what we came here to do. We wanted to first secure qualification. That was really important. But at the same time, we planned on being here for six games. We obviously rotated some players tonight and got some guys some rest.”

With the final coming up two days later, Hackworth replaced forwards Andrew Carleton and Josh Sargent at halftime while USA led, 3-1. Their replacements, Zyen Jones and Timothy Weah, both scored.

The USA has now qualified 16 times for the biennial U-17 World Cup, failing only once, in 2013. Only Brazil, which won the South American U-17 Championship in March, has also qualified 16 times.

Cuba opened the second round with a 7-1 loss to Honduras, which the USA beat, 3-0. Only a loss to Cuba by five goals or more on Friday would have prevented the USA from qualifying.

The USA squandered a chance for an early lead when its leading scorer, Sargent, shot straight to Cuban keeper Danny Echeverria on a 12th-minute penalty kick after a foul on Carleton. It did take the lead three minutes later on a 23-yard free kick by Indiana Vassilev after Sargent was fouled.

The Cubans equalized when Brian Lavigne befuddled a trio of U.S. defenders before stroking the ball past U.S. keeper Justin Garces in the 19th minute.

Cuba’s Miguel Coll gifted the lead back to the USA when he ran on to an pass by Ayo Akinola and slammed it into his own net in the 37th minute. Carleton made it 3-1 in the 39th minute with a highlight-reel goal. Spotting that Echeverria had moved 10 yards off his line, Carleton hit the net with a chip from 25 yards.

The USA enjoyed 68 percent of the first-half possession and took seven shots while Cuba’s only shot was the Lavigne strike.

The game’s second own goal went the other way, in the 47th minute when a Cuban corner kick deflected off the knee of U.S. central defender A.J. Vasquez. But two minutes later, the USA’s halftime subs combined to make it 4-2. Weah hit a hard low pass diagonally through the penalty area that Jones side-footed into the net at the far post. Bryan Reynolds made it 5-2 in the 83rd minute by finishing the rebound of Echeverria's save off a shot from Weah, who four minutes later scored the USA's sixth.

May 5 in Panama City
USA 6 Cuba 2. Goals: Vassilev 15, own goal (Coll) 37, Carleton (Akinola) 39, Jones (Weah) 49, Reynolds 84, Weah 88; Savigne 19, own goal (Vasquez) 47.
USA — Garces; Watts, Vasquez, Lindsey, Gloster; Vassilev, Booth, Acosta; Carleton (Jones, 46), Sargent (Weah, 46), Akinola (Reynolds, 62).
Cuba — Echeverria; Pineiro, Coll, Espino, Rendón; Rosette, Ibarra (Turca, 46), Molina, López (Rodriguez, 67); Savigne, Cruz.
Referee: Daneion Parchment (Jamaica)

Stats USA/Cuba
Possession: 68%/32%
Shots: 23/4
Shots on target: 14/2
Saves: 0/8
Corner Kicks: 4/1
Fouls: 11/18
Offside: 0/0
Yellow cards: Cuba — Espino 7, Pineiro 57.

USA at the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship
Group C (first round)
USA 5 Jamaica 0
USA 4 Mexico 3
USA 1 El Salvador 0
Group D (classification stage)
USA 3 Honduras 0
USA 6 Cuba 2
Final, Sunday, May 7
USA vs. Mexico

USA Scorers
5 Josh Sargent
4 Ayo Akinola
2 Zyen Jones, Timothy Weah
1 Andrew Carleton, Chris Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Brian Reynolds, Indiana Vassilev
1 own goal

The USA is aiming for its fourth Concacaf crown after lifting the title in 1983, 1992 and 2011.

USA U-17 all-time Concacaf Record:
1983: first place
1985: *did not enter
1987: second place
1988: second place
1991: second place
1992: first place
1994: second place
1996: second place
1999: won qualifying playoff
2001: won qualifying group
2003: won qualifying group
2005: won qualifying group
2007: won qualifying group
2009: won group (semifinals and final canceled due to swine flu)
2011: first place
2013: lost in quarterfinals
2015: third place
2017: USA in final on Sunday
* USA qualified for 1985 U-16 World Cup as 1983 Concacaf champion.
The tournaments 1999 through 2009 did not have finals.

* * * * * * * * * *

Mexico routs Costa Rica

At the 2015 U-17 World Cup, Costa Rica reached the quarterfinals by beating France, the only team that had won all three of its group games, in a penalty-kick tiebreaker in the round of 16, then fell 1-0, to Belgium.

The Ticos qualified for the 2017 U-17 World Cup thanks to its 2-1 win over host Panama but they got thumped, 6-1, by two-time defending Concacaf champ Mexico.

Luis Olivas and Daniel Lopez each scored a pair of goals for El Tri. Lopez is the tournament's second leading scorer with six goals, one behind Honduras' Carlos Mejia's seven and one more than the five scored by the USA's Josh Sargent.

In the last three U-17 World Cups, Mexico finished fourth (2015), second (2013) and first (2011).

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Galaxy coach Brian Kleiban has the American Messi's back    
Growing up in Southern California, the son of Argentine parents, Brian Kleiban admired Fernando Redondo, Ariel ...
Tab Ramos on 2017 Development Academy finals and Mexican-American tug of war    
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy concluded its 10th season last weekend, with the Texans SC Houston ...
Efrain Alvarez, age 15, helps shoot Galaxy into U-17/18 Development Academy final    
Efrain Alvarez, who turned 15 on June 19, sparked the Los Angeles Galaxy's comeback against the ...
Texans SC Houston are only non-MLS club at this weekend's Development Academy championships    
Texans SC Houston, which beat Real So Cal, 2-0, in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-17/18 ...
The Road to 10,000 Games (Part 2): How I'll commemorate the milestone game    
In my last article, I wrote about some highs and lows in officiating thousands of soccer ...
USA to face host India, Ghana and Colombia at U-17 World Cup     
The USA was drawn into Group A for the boys 2017 U-17 World Cup and will ...
The Road to 10,000 Games     
It has been said that a referee never has a home game. But this is negative ...
A coach's life: Phil Savitz, NSCAA High School Coach of the Year, South Carolina legend, big Bruce Arena fan    
Phil Savitz has coached boys high school soccer for 37 years and serves as the Girls ...
Development Academy: Only FC Dallas has a chance to return to final four    
Only one team that reached the semifinals of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy national championship in ...
Take care of the mighty hamstring     
We're learning more and more about the importance of the hamstrings in injury prevention and overall ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives