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U.S. Under-17s set for rematch with Jamaica with World Cup berth at stake

RichieWilliamsUSSoccer4 (Mexsport)


The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face Jamaica for the second time in four days when the two CONCACAF rivals meet on Sunday. The rematch of Wednesday’s 1-0 win by Jamaica will not just mean a chance for redemption for the Americans. It will also mean a second chance at a place in the Under-17 World Cup.

The U.S. suffered a 1-0 loss to Jamaica in the group stage finale on Wednesday, but will have the opportunity to avenge that defeat after Thursday’s results.

Mexico finished atop Group B thanks to a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica and Canada’s 1-0 loss to Panama. Those results meant that the U.S. finished as the No. 1 seed of the four teams still vying for the final two CONCACAF World Cup spots because of goal differential, while Jamaica ended as the No. 4 seed because of the goals-scored tiebreaker.

Now the Americans will meet the Jamaicans Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. The U.S. was outdone by a penalty kick in the previous meeting with Jamaica, a match that saw the Americans control possession, but fail to find the net. The most glaring of the U.S. team’s misses being a point-blank blooper reel-worthy miss from Hajdi Wright that seemed much harder to miss than make.

“They have another opportunity,” U.S. Under-17 coach Richie Williams said after Wednesday’s loss. “With the format the way it is, we have a game on Sunday, and it’s for everything to go to the World Cup. So you better be motivated.

“We’ll regroup. We have three days until the game to get everyone back to full fitness. We’ll approach the game like we would any game and get out there and work to get the win.”

The Americans will be attempting to avoid missing out on the Under-17 World Cup for the second straight time. The U.S. fell short in 2013, which snapped a streak of

How do you see the U-17 USMNT doing vs. Jamaica? What can the Americans do to avoid suffering another defeat? Confident that the U.S. will reach the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


    • That’s a bit pessimistic. If they can’t beat Jamaica once in two tries then they don’t deserve a world cup berth.

  1. The problem: the coach and not the players.

    USSF needs to stop with bureaucratic system and fire failures, hire someone maybe more expensive with different style. Also, invest more on male youth teams and USNT.

    • They had the Honduras game won and backed up the bus for over a half hour and got burned at the bitter end giving up the draw.
      They totally blew the Jam game, after failing to finish multiple times in the 1st half only to start playing not to lose during the entire 2nd half. Unlucky to give up the hand ball PK, but it was a legit call. They puckered after going down 0-1 and fell apart. The coach never reacted in either game to actually win it. The teams earlier wins were score early and cruise against weaker competition. These U-17s are talented but the strategy applied was a disaster. We could actually control possession against the last two opponents if the coach wasn’t devoutly favoring continuously going over the top and into a zone where the opponent has been packed in. This team needs to control the ball and work into the attacking 3rd. This coach has no patience and is constantly of the philosophy of playing not to lose. We have a very talented team and it’s shameful that they are not getting great direction. Under this coach, even if we make the WC.. it will be a disaster unless our scoring simply catches fire and burns down the competition. Just my opinion…

      • Totally agree Gil! Nothing against Richie but he will have had plenty of time to succeed and if he doesn’t then he should be gone. Based on the seeming potential of these players, even if they make it to the WC his retention should be based thenon how they perform at the WC. JK is preaching accountability to his players (I totally agree) and it needs to be applied to the coaches also.

      • I agree with every thing except the handball PK which was clearly his chest because of the angle of his body. To be honest we had 2 great (Haji Wright in the first half and handball in the second half) not called. In CONCACAF we must be head and shoulders above the competition to have a chance as in my 35+ years of following the US programs have never seen a 50-50 match in terms of refereeing. Bottom line is we have a poor coach but very good players. Leave Haji Wright out and we win.

      • The PK was called because his arm was extended, which took away the ref’s option to play on. It was called by the side official who had a perfect angle. The crux of that situation however was that our lame strategy put us into position to be bitten.
        I really hope to see an aggressive, confident and punishing style of play today Sunday in the rematch v Jamaica..

  2. Well you can’t ask for a better situation really. If they lose to Jamaica twice, then Jamaica is the better team.

  3. Agreed. Pretty reasonable, constructive criticism I’d say.
    Any article previewing an upcoming match should include when/where/how it can be viewed as bare minimum standard information. Never a good idea to force your reader to go elsewhere for key information. They just might stay there.

    • Minor pet peeve, but can you guys include the day and time of match on these individual match previews? I can figure it out the day here with the “second match in 4 days” remark. But I often go from reading about a match here, to searching for the day and time elsewhere.

      No big deal, of course. And maybe it’s just me. It just adds a little something to me.

      • That’s been a minor pet peeve of mine about soccer reporting in general. It’s written from the “if you know then you know” perspective, but reporting on the more popular American sports is written from the “we’re going to shove the date-time-channel down your throats because we don’t want to risk a single eyeball missing a single commercial’ perspective.

        I don’t like the commercials but I do like being treated like a lazy fan.

  4. “So we’ve had TWO opportunities to qualify and we’ve blown them both??”

    just giving you guys hell. cmon and win sunday!


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