MOVING TO PACHUCA: The U.S. and New Zealand both traveled from Torreon to Pachuca, Mexico, on Thursday afternoon ahead of a Saturday clash between the two teams currently tied for the top place in Group D based on all tiebreakers. The match at Estadio Hidalgo will be played at 6 p.m. local time, 7 p.m. ET live on ESPNU and ESPN3, and shown on tape delay on Galavision at 10 p.m. ET. Czech Republic will play Uzbekistan at the same time, with that match also shown live on ESPN3. Fans can also follow the USA game as it happens on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
ALL ON THE LINE: After earning a 3-0 win against the Czech Republic on June 19, the U.S. fell 2-1 to Uzbekistan on June 22, but is still very much alive in the tournament. With all four teams in Group D tied on three points through two games, everything is up for grabs on Saturday. Any team that wins on Saturday will earn a place in the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, and any team that loses might be eliminated from the competition. For full advancement scenarios, click here.
Group D Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
New Zealand 2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 3
USA 2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 3
Uzbekistan 2 1 1 0 3 5 -2 3
Czech Republic 2 1 1 0 1 3 -2 3
Group D Results
Date Match Kickoff (local/ET) Venue
June 19 New Zealand 4, Uzbekistan 1 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 19 USA 3, Czech Republic 0 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 22 Uzbekistan 2, USA 1 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 22 Czech Rep. 1, New Zealand 0 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 25 USA vs. New Zealand 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. Estadio Hidalgo; Pachuca, Mexico
June 25 Czech Republic vs. Uzbekistan 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
A LOOK AT THE U.S. ROSTER: Head coach Wilmer Cabrera named his 21-player roster on June 9, the day before the team traveled to Torreon to begin training. There are 15 players representing 14 different clubs in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, with Arsenal FC the only club to send two players to Mexico in Paul Arriola and Wade Hamilton.
U.S U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position
DEFENDERS (6): 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy; Plano, Texas), 4- (South Carolina United; Summerville, S.C.), 2-Zachary Carroll (Vardar; Grand Blanch, Mich.), 6-Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo, Japan), 15-Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), 3-Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.),
MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Matthew Dunn (FC Cologne; Dallas, Texas), 10- (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), 13- (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), 11- (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), 8- (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.), 14-Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), 17-Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio), 20-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (4): 18-Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), 7-Alfred Koroma (Solar SC; Arlington, Texas), 19-Jack McBean (Los Angeles Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.) 9-Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)
Link to Detailed Roster
LOTS TO PLAY FOR: All 24 teams at the FIFA U-17 World Cup have now played two matches, but only four teams have sealed a place in the Round of 16. Host Mexico, Brazil, Germany and Uruguay are the only four teams to have won both games, and each will be playing their third match to try to clinch first place in their respective groups. With the top two teams in each group plus the four best third-place teams, every team in the tournament is still mathematically alive, but the USA’s Group D is the only group where everyone still has a chance to take the top place.
IN FOCUS: New Zealand
Head Coach: Aaron McFarland
Previous FIFA U-17 World Cups: 1997, 1999, 2007, 2009
Best Finish: Round of 16 (2009)
SHORT HISTORY VS. NZE: The U.S. and New Zealand have met only once before in this competition, that back in 1999 when New Zealand was the host. In the opening match of the tournament, Landon Donovan and Abe Thompson helped the USA to a 2-1 win in Auckland. That 1999 team was the only American side to reach the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, finishing in fourth place.
NZE’S RECENT SURGE: New Zealand entered Mexico with the hopes of building upon the success of the 2009 team that became the first Kiwi squad to ever advance to the knock-out stage of a FIFA tournament. A win or a draw against the United States would all but secure a place in the Round of 16 for the second-consecutive tournament. The 2011 event marks New Zealand’s fifth overall.
THROUGH OCEANIA: In 2009, New Zealand had to only navigate a four-team final round tournament to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but in 2011 the road became much more difficult. It took five games in 10 days to book their ticket to Mexico, the Young All Whitesconceding just one goal along the way while scoring 15.
New Zealand Oceania Championship Results
Date Opponent Result New Zealand Goalscorer(s)
Jan. 10 Vanatu 5-1 W Payne, Howieson, Vale, Tuiloma, Yamamoto
Jan. 12 Fiji 1-0 W Vale
Jan. 14 American Samoa 4-0 W Wypych, Turner, Payne, Yamamoto
Jan. 16 Papua N. Guinea 3-0 W Howlett, Buswell, Payne
Jan. 18 Tahiti 2-0 W Howieson, Payne
New Zealand Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Scott Basalaj, 20-Scott Armistad, 21-Liam Anderson
DEFENDERS (4): 2-Harshae Raniga, 4-Reece Lambert, 5-Luke Adams, 16-Bill Tuiloma
MIDFIELDERS (12): 3-Stephen Carmichael, 6-Jordan Vale, 7-Kip Colvey, 8-Rhys Jodran, 9-Tim Payne, 10-Cameron Howieson, 11-James Debenham, 12-Jesse Edge, 13-Cameron Martin, 14-Ryan Howlett, 17-Harley Tahau, 18-Calvin Opperman
FORWARDS (2): 15-Dylan Stansfield, 19-Ken Yammamoto
MCINTOSH MAKING HIS MOVE: Playing an individual position in a team sport and competing for the only spot in the starting lineup, goalkeepers have an interesting dynamic when competing for playing time. Just ask U.S. U-17 MNT goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, who has been competing for roster spots and playing time since joining the Residency Program two years ago. Every day, he and his fellow ‘keepers – who are also his competition – train together in a small, close-knit group.