Having already secured a trip to India for October’s U17 World Cup the U.S. won’t be too upset by dropping Sunday’s CONCACAF U17 title match to Mexico on penalty kicks after the rivals played to a 1-1 tie in regulation time.
The Young Yanks may look back with some regret on conceding Mexico’s equalizer two minutes into added time but the object for John Hackworth’s group was to qualify for the age group World Cup and the Americans accomplished just that, and they did it in style.
Prior to Sunday’s result the U.S. had enjoyed a perfect CONCAF Tournament, defeating Jamaica, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Cuba without having dropped a point, receiving an inspired performance from Josh Sargent throughout while players like Andrew Carleton, Ayo Akinola, Tim Weah, and Gold Glove winning keeper Justin Garces to name but a few stepped up when needed.
Defeating Mexico for the first time at this level was a highlight for the Young Yanks, who came so close to repeating the achievement on Sunday.
Despite falling just short of matching the U.S. U20’s recent CONCACAF title Hackworth’s group will head to the age group World Cup in October full of confidence that this can be the group to take aim at the famous Class of ‘99 that featured Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu, and Kyle Beckerman.
That group finished fourth and was comprised of players from the first U.S. Soccer Residency class at Bradenton, Florida while the current group is the final one with U.S. Soccer having decided to end the Residency program.
The U17 MNT will now prepare for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, set for Oct. 6-28 in India. John Hackworth’s side will learn its group opponents when the draw takes place July 7 in Mumbai.
The United States, Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica are the four CONCACAF nations to qualify.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
MEX 0 1 1
USA – Andrew Carleton (Tim Weah) 62nd minute
MEX – Carlos Robles (Daniel Lopez) 90+2
USA: Josh Sargent (goal), Tim Weah (goal), Chris Goslin (goal), Akil Watts (missed), James Sands (goal)
MEX: Daniel Lopez (goal), Carlos Robles (goal), Jairo Torres (goal), Alexis Gutierrez (goal), Roberto De La Rosa (goal)
U.S. loses 4-5 in PKs
USA: 1-Justin Garces; 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 4-James Sands, 5-Arturo Vasquez, 3-Chris Gloster; 8-Blaine Ferri (17-Bryan Reynolds, 80), 6-Chris Durkin, 14-Chris Goslin, 7-Ayo Akinola (19-Tim Weah, 56), 9-Josh Sargent (capt.), 11-Andrew Carleton (13-Akil Watts, 86)
Subs not used: 10-George Acosta, 12-Carlos Dos Santos, 15-Zyen Jones, 16-Taylor Booth, 18-Indiana Vassilev, 20-Adrian Villegas
Head coach: John Hackworth
MEX: 12-Cesar Lopez; 2-Adrian Vazquez, 3-Carlos Robles, 4-Luis Olivas (capt.), 5-Raul Sandoval (15-Andres Catalan, 7); 7-Jairo Torres, 16-Marco Ruiz (19-Cesar Huerta, 23), 8-Alexis Gutierrez, 11-Andres Perez (20-Alfonso Alvarado, 53); 10-Roberto De La Rosa, 9-Daniel Lopez
Subs not used: 1-Andre Alcaraz, 6-Luis Gamiz, 13-Haret Ortega, 14-Alan Maeda, 17-Carlos Guerrero, 18-Victor Reyes,
Head coach: Mario Alberto Arteaga
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 12 / 19
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 1 / 8
Fouls: 19 / 16
Offside: 0 / 4
USA – Tim Weah (caution) 83rd minute