FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: USA confirm 21-man squad that will travel to India
Whats the story?
USA have confirmed their 21-man squad that will travel to India for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. USA qualified by finishing as runners-up to Mexico in the final of the U-17 CONCACAF Championships. Even though they were defeated by their arch-rivals Mexico in the final, the Stars and Stripes did manage to defeat them in the group stages in an exciting 4-3 game which was their first ever win against El Tri.
In case you didn't know...
The Stars and Stripes best ever finish was a semi-final appearance back in 1999 where they lost to Australia on penalties. USA have qualified for 15 out of 16 U-17 World Cups, unfortunately missing out on the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U-17 USA team have also won the U-17 CONCACAF Championship three times and finished as runners-up five times.
The heart of the matter
Head coach John Hackworth, who has previously been an assistant coach for the U-17 team and a former Philadelphia Union coach, has finally selected his 21-man squad for the tournament which includes three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and six forwards as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Alex Budnik (Sockers FC), Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (S.L. Benfica), Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC)
DEFENDERS: Sergiño Dest (Ajax), Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City), James Sands (New York City FC), Tyler Shaver (New York City FC), Akil Watts (Portland Timbers)
MIDFIELDERS: George Acosta (North Carolina FC), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United), Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club), Chris Goslin (Atlanta United FC), Indiana Vassilev (IMG Academy; Savannah, Ga.)
FORWARDS: Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC), Jacobo Reyes (C.F. Monterrey), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Joshua Sargent (St. Louis), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain F.C)
The USA will take on hosts India in their opening game which will take place on 6th October at 8 pm IST at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. They will also have South American semi-finalists Colombia and African runners-up Ghana in their group.
Though USA didn't end up winning the U-17 CONCACAF Championships, they did, however, have five players in the Best XI of the tournament which proves their level of quality. The Americans have a tight and fearless defence with a great attack.
USA's star striker Tim Weah will have all eyes on him as he is the son of George Weah, a former winner of prestigious honours like the Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Player of the Year and African Footballer of the Year.