The USA will face Canada (Aug. 13), Trinidad & Tobago (Aug. 14) and Costa Rica (Aug. 16) in Group B. The top two finishers advance to the semifinals (Aug. 17) against the top two finishers in Group A, which is comprised of Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama, in the semifinals on Aug. 17. The final takes place Aug. 19.
“This is an important tournament for us, especially after the success we’ve had with the U-20s and U-17s this year,” Van Den Bergh said. “It’s going to be the first time ever that our U-15 national team is going to take part in the Concacaf U-15 Championship. We always want to win, but the inaugural one is a big one for us. It’s going to be big on our list of achievements that we want to accomplish for the duration of the tournament.
“This is a very good opportunity for these boys to showcase themselves against competition they’ll be facing for the rest of their lives, in qualifying. Hopefully, this is going to be a warm up for things to come and the future for these boys.”
Six players on the U.S. roster were named to the Development Academy’s Conference Best XI teams in 2016-17: Bello, Axel Alejandre, Gianluca Busio, Mason Judge, Damian Las and Giovanni Reyna.
U.S. U-15 boys national
GOALKEEPERS (2): JT Harms (Shattuck-Saint Mary's; Faribault, Minn.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.).
DEFENDERS (6): Axel Alejandre (FC United Soccer Club; Chicago, Ill.), George Bello (Atlanta United; Douglasville, Ga.), Mitch Eise (Sporting Kansas City; Springfield, Mo.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club; Tampa, Fla.), Kenny Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.).
MIDFIELDERS (5): Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Cesar Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, N.J.).
FORWARDS (5): Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Texas), Daniel Mangarov (Atlanta United; Duluth, Ga.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders; Fresno, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (New York City FC; Bedford, N.Y.).