United States Draw for CONCACAF U-17 Championship


The United States now knows the path they must take to get to the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup following the draw for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The draw took place Monday in the host city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The 12 qualified teams were drawn into two groups of six. The United States were drawn into Group A with Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and either El Salvador or Guatemala (will be determined in a playoff).

photo courtesy of www.ussoccer.com

The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams. I think it was better when there was three groups of four compared to the new set up.

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According to ussoccer.com, the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final. The second and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

I guess that’s one way you can do it. I’m not sure if I completely agree with this setup. It actually seems to be more confusing set up this way. I’d almost like to see it done the way every other level is done. Have maybe the top two or three teams of each group advance to a knockout stage. I guess no matter how you do it, the top four teams will advance.

U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams had this to say:

"“I think the draw went well. We’re happy with the format of five group games and we feel confident that we’ll perform and do well. You never truly know until you get here. Obviously with Honduras in our group and playing at home, that will be difficult, but we’re ready to play against everyone and looking forward to it.”“It’s been our goal over the past year and a half to get as many international games as we can and play in different countries and against different teams. The tournament in Mexico, the trip to Panama, competing against other CONCACAF opponents to get experience, all these games are excellent opportunities. We’ve given everyone the experience to have a strong 20-man roster come qualifying, and hopefully all of this will translate into a successful result in the tournament.”"

I’d like to wish the US U-17 team the best of luck next fall. I’d love to see the future of our senior national team do well over the next couple of years.

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