On Friday, the U17 CONCACAF Championship kicks off in Panama with four spots in this year’s U17 World Cup on the line. On Sunday, the U.S. kicks its first ball against Jamaica. And as of Monday, we now know what that team will look like.
U.S. Soccer officially released its U17 roster for the upcoming qualifiers, the capstone to a two-year cycle that witnessed a host of impressive tourney titles. The most impressive of those was probably the 2016 title at Montaigu, a French tournament the U.S. had not won since 1992 featuring the best U16 teams in Europe and around the world. Notably, the U.S. finished ahead of both Brazil and host France. More recently, the U.S. easily brushed aside the likes of Portugal and Brazil to capture the 2016 Nike Friendlies title in Florida in December.
That’s all background noise now. The coming battery of tournaments is the ultimate benchmark for this cycle, and how they perform in Panama and then - assuming they qualify - at the World Cup in India is of the utmost importance.
Let’s pick through the U.S. U17 roster for CONCACAF and see what we can find. Here’s a tip; the U.S. will score goals in Panama. Lots of goals. And they might give up a few as well.