It’s been a wild two-year cycle, and the entirety of the striving on the part of the U17 MNT leads here. The U17 CONCACAF Championship is on our doorstep.
The event officially kicked off April 21, with the U.S. group opener against Jamaica slated to start two days later. As much as the tourney titles and experience over the last two years helped, there are ultimately only two tournaments at this level that stick: the World Cup qualifier, and the World Cup itself. In many ways they’re the only true across-the-board barometer with which to judge the progress of the players, both individually and holistically, after two years.
So yes, results as an ends to themselves are meaningless. But results as a byproduct of a successful development cycle? That means significantly more.
With those things in mind, I humbly offer you five questions that need answers out of these U17s in Panama the next few weeks. This competition is important, primarily because it’s a gateway to a hugely significant World Cup. However you do on that stage, the experience itself is an important teacher. As for things to watch in the form of pointed questions at this tournament from the U.S. perspective? Read on.