If the U17 MNT makes the 2017 World Cup, let no man say they didn’t earn their place.
This particular U17 cycle has been particularly good, perhaps even outpacing the record-breaking 2013-15 group that nonetheless faded badly down the stretch. The U17s destroyed the field at the Nike Friendlies in early December, capturing the tourney title with a boisterous 3-0 win over Brazil to cap an untested stay in Florida.
The results confirmed suspicions that this U17 group could be special. It was also important from a preparatory standpoint. World Cup qualifying was only a few months hence, after all, with an April 21, 2017 start.