U.S. MNT Face Jamaica as U17 World Cup Journey Begins
U.S. MNT Face Jamaica as U17 World Cup Journey Begins avatar

The CONCACAF U17 Championship got underway Friday in Panama with Group A taking the spotlight. Host nation Panama topped Honduras 4-2 following the tournament curtain raiser that saw Curacao defeat Haiti by a 1-0 scoreline.

It was Group B’s turn on Saturday with Costa Rica edging Canada 2-1 in the Main Event while Cuba and Suriname battled to a 1-1 tie on the undercard.

The U1’s will take on Jamaica. (ISI Photos/Casey Brooke Lawson)

Sunday sees Group C take to the field with the U.S.A. going up against Jamaica at 1:30 while El Salvador challenge Mexico in the late match at 3:00.

12 nations make up the CONCACAF event with four earning a trip to U17 World Cup in India in October. The top two finishers from each of the three four-team groups will advance to the Classification stage with the first and second finishers in each of the two Classification groups making the trip to India this fall.

Mexico has been the dominant team in this age group, winning six CONCACAF titles. The U.S. has claimed the spoils three times and more importantly has failed to qualify for the U17 World Cup (or its equivalent) just once since 1985, although that failure was a recent one, back in 2013.

Coach John Hackworth brings a highly regarded U.S. team to Panama featuring four players who have signed Homegrown player contracts with Major League Soccer in 2016: midfielders Chris Durkin (D.C. United) and Chris Goslin (Atlanta United FC), and forwards Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United F.C.) and Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas).

Two players on Hackworth’s roster are based in Europe. Timothy Weah, son of Liberian and African soccer legend George Weah, is part of French club Paris Saint-Germain and Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, who is with Portuguese side Benfica.

Center back James Sands impressed Patrick Vieira during New York City FC pre-season while playing as a defensive midfielder and will bear watching while the U.S. squad packs plenty of punch up front where Ayomide Akinola and Joshua Sargent will supplement Carleton, Reynolds, and Weah.

23 April 2017
1:30 ET
Jamaica v United States
Estadio Maracaná, Panama City
The U.S. match can be seen via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-17 MNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

23 April 2017
15:00 ET
Mexico v El Salvador
Estadio Maracaná, Panama City

GOALKEEPERS (2): Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (Benfica; Philadelphia, Pa.), Justin Garces (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.)

DEFENDERS (5): Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.), Akil Watts (IMG Academy; Fort Wayne, Ind.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake AZ; Eden, Utah), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Atlanta United FC; Locust Grove, Ga.), Indiana Vassilev (IMG Academy; Savannah, Ga.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.)

FORWARDS (6): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Atlanta United FC; Clarkston, Ga.), Bryan Reynolds, Jr. (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Joshua Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.) Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; Rosedale, N.Y.)

About Peter Nolan

Peter Nolan is a staff writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, covering MLS and other US leagues, He's GotSoccer's chief National Team Correspondent.
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