By FRANCO PANIZO
What started out as a strong showing for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is now in jeopardy of becoming a disaster.
The U.S. missed a chance to qualify directly for this year’s Under-17 World Cup on Wednesday, falling, 1-0, to Jamaica in their CONCACAF Championship Group A finale to slip to third place. The defeat was the first for the Americans in the qualifying tournament, and it now forces them to have to win a playoff match this weekend in order to punch their tickets to Chile.
Richie Williams’ side, now 3-1-1 in the competition, was undone by a penalty kick in the 57th minute. Nicholas Nelson converted from the spot, giving Jamaica a win that moved it to 3-1-1 and into second place ahead of the U.S. due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The team that took Group A and qualified directly for this fall’s World Cup was tournament hosts Honduras, who finished with 11 points via a 3-2-0 record.
The U.S. loss paved the way for Honduras to secure a place in the Under-17 World Cup after the Catrachos posted a victory on Wednesday night.
The Americans now have to wait to see how Group B finishes out on Thursday before knowing who their opponent will be in the playoff match, which will take place on Sunday.
What do you think of the U.S. U-17s losing to Jamaica? Still confident that the Americans will qualify for the World Cup? Who are you hoping the playoff match is against?
Share your thoughts below.
This US team struggled when faced with big physical players. That is not unusual in youth games, even at the national team level. I suspect that more of the US players will be around playing on professional teams in 3 or 4 years than their will be Jamaican and T&T players from these teams combined.
Still the US must learn to deal effectively with the physical side of the game or they will have limited upside. Call it toughness, grittiness, desire or your favorite synonym for those, but they collectively need to find it.
Hmmm – if the Mexico-Costa Rica result holds, and then Canada beats Panama, It looks like it could be a USA-Mexico playoff for a trip to the U17 WC.
That’ll REALLY be fun to watch!!!
How do they reseed the playoffs? If they base it on goal differential, then there is no way the U.S. can play Mexico in that scenario. U.S. is at +9, Costa Rica is at +8, and Jamaica is at +4.
Never mind, just checked Wikipedia. If accurate, the U.S. will face either Canada or Mexico. Yikes.
didn’t Mexico win their group? Looks like we’ll rematch Jamaica: http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/03/12/22/14/150312-u17mnt-sunday-playoff-rel
No sooner had I spoken, and Costa Rica has equalized.
Hmmmmm – now I think we won’t know who’s playing who until the Canada-Panama game is over.
Definitely agree with previous posters that it is a bitter pill to swallow – the playoff situation, when we had our fate in our own hands and didn’t apply the desire, enthusiasm and killer instinct.
Looks like Mexico is going to take down Costa Rica, if the result holds and Canada loses to, ties or beats Panama – they will probably stay as the second place team in group B.
So USA v Canada with a trip to the U17 WC on the line.
That’ll be fun to watch!
All this talk on how gifted this group of players is. Skill is nothing without motivation…these kids didn’t want to win either of the last 2 games…they seemed to expect a win to be given to them.
Fifa seems to be supporting rough/cheap play over technical ability…so this team can’t advance without much-more drive.
i am so sick of this. it would be so nice to see our teams not have to go into playoffs to qualify for this stuff. this game was so frustrating to watch
Like I said before, not a single player on this group is worth getting too excited about. Some of them looked good a couple of years ago but it looks like reality caught up with them.
Some of these 17 year old kids looked good a COUPLE OF YEARS ago?
How does Honduras finish first with a 3-2 record and supposedly 11 pts when Jamaica and the US were 3-1-1. Wouldn’t Honduras have 9 and the other two have 10?
It’s W-D-L, i.e. Honduras has 3 wins, 2 draws and 0 losses. 11 pts.
3-2-0 record means 3 wins and 2 draws.
It’s a good thing Jamaica rested their good players for their playoff game.
So you’re saying that he will eventually become a standout member of the full national team and play in two world cups by the age of 24?
the kids/players Haji’s age are catching up to his early physical growth
it dont matter how bad of a coach Richie Williams is… Haji Wright missing a tap in has NO excuse, he has been a disaster ever since moving to Europe… afraid this is Altidore 2.0 in the making.
Altidore 2.0? Jozy was scoring double digit goals in MLS at 17, Haji Wright and his career arent even close to anything to be compared to Jozy.
Jozy’s U20 team went far at the WC. He scored in a Brazil win.
This team and Haji are far removed from even being in a conversation with those players/team.
Adu, Altidore and Bradley…what could have been? I guess 2 of 3 ain’t bad 🙁
Hate to pile on but I wish we had another striker with jozys production. Then we wouldn’t solely rely on him. And I’m counting Dempsey as a roaming “what ever he wants to play” player.
What a frustrating game to watch. I have to remember that these are kids, so consistency isn’t always going to be there. One thing I couldn’t understand was in the last 30 minutes, not one US player chested the ball down, and calmly passed it. It felt like EVERY TIME, the ball would come to them in the air and they would try to head it around the pitch, and nearly every time, they’d head the ball to a Jamaica player’s feet.
When they missed their chances in 1st half, I knew it was going to end badly. The Wright miss was the one. That is youth soccer. As a youth coach, I have been apart of a lot of games where the dominate team loses on a cheap penalty. Kids missed thei chances.
Fire tab Ramos, Richie Williams, Juergen klinsmann, Barack Obama, and punch Landon Donovan in the nuts.
The end of this game was very poor. Partly as the US lost its poise and partly due to the surface which did not suit a team wanting to play a passing game. Lots of poor touches and control. This type of surface is a leveler against better teams. I still think we will qualify but this can only go down as a huge disappointment for team that was so highly rated.
The team looked completely out of gas last night. I understand it is a long tournament and the conditions are tough, but I didn’t expect the team to fade like this in the last three halfs. Sunday is going to be very difficult, though perhaps this is the dose of humility the squad needed. They had steamrolled teams for so long, but then got stomped by Brazil at the Nike Friendlies and are really struggling at the finish line in this tourney. It is quite literally gut check time; I know these guys are young, but it is time to circle the wagons and get the job done.
Fire Williams even if they do qualify. If this team doesn’t qualify it will be a disgrace.
should look all the way to the top, rudderless ships dont have captains
YOU NAILED IT…..our greatest growth was under Dr. Bob, a guy who did not know soccer but stayed out of the way
Fire him now and let the assistant finsih the job. Leave Haji Wright out so we have 11 players and the opposition only have 11 as well.