March 5, 2013
INTO CONCACAF GROUP C
U.S. U17s to face Haiti, Guatemala
CHICAGO - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team was drawn into Group C for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which will take place April 6-19 in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. will face Guatemala and Haiti in its attempt to qualify for the 2013 FIFA World Cup in the United Arab Emirates from Oct. 17-Nov. 8.
The U.S. will first face Haiti on Sunday, April 7, at 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET), followed by a match against Guatemala on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET). Both matches will take place at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
The tournament consists of four groups of three teams each, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinals. Group A is made up of Panama, Barbados and Jamaica. Group B consists of Canada, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago and Group D is comprised of Mexico, Honduras and Cuba. All four semifinalists will qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"We are excited to learn our opponents for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship," said U.S. U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams. "We have spent the better part of the last 18 months preparing for this tournament and now it's the final stretch before we head down to Panama and look to represent our country and our region at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"Our players are aware that we are facing quality opposition in Haiti and Guatemala. We respect those two teams and know it won't be an easy path through the group, but we are ready to play our game and take on the responsibility of qualifying for the World Cup."
Groups C and D will play all their matches at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez on April 7, 9 and 11. Group A and B will play at the Estadio Muquita Sanchez on April 6, 8 and 10.
Should the U.S. advance through the group phase, the team will play one of the top two teams from Group D.
The U.S. received an automatic berth to the final round of qualifying along with Canada and Mexico. The U-17 MNT heads into the tournament as defending champion, having captured the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship title with a 3-0 win against Canada. In 2011, the U.S. finished atop Group B with wins against Panama and Cuba. The U.S. then defeated El Salvador 3-2 in overtime in the quarterfinals before defeating Jamaica 2-0 in the semifinals.
Haiti qualified for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship by finishing in first place in Group 3 of Caribbean qualifying. The squad coached by Wilner Etienne went through the group undefeated, beating Curaçao 4-1, Dominican Republic 3-1 and St. Lucia 3-0.
Led by head coach Juan Manuel Funes, Guatemala enters the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship as the third place team from Central America after having finished qualifying behind first-place Honduras and second-place Costa Rica. In qualifying, Guatemala tied 0-0 with Nicaragua, defeated El Salvador 3-2, tied with Honduras 1-1 and fell 2-0 to Costa Rica.
Trinidad and Tobago