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U.S. U-17s topple Cuba to book spot in World Cup, CONCACAF final

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team knew even a draw would be enough to book their spot in the U-17 World Cup and the CONCACAF U-17 Championship final, but they made sure to take care of business in a big way in what turned out to be a goalfest.

The U.S. cruised past Cuba, 6-2, on Friday, booking their spot in this fall’s World Cup in India. The win also lifts the U.S. to the CONCACAF title game with a perfect record through five matches as they’ve outscored opponents by a total score of 19-5.

Just 15 minutes into the match, the U.S. had their lead as Indiana Vassilev scored his first goal of the tournament. The midfielder smashed home straight from a free kick as his shot banked off the Cuba wall and in for a 1-0 lead.

Cuba forward Brian Savigne leveled the scoreline just four minutes later, pouncing on some rare calamity from the U.S. defense. The scoreline stood until the 37th minute as an own goal from Cuba’s Miguel Coll restored the U.S. lead.

Just two minutes later, Andrew Carleton removed all doubt, chipping a shot up and over the Cuba goalkeeper for a 3-1 lead heading into the second half.

The second 45 started hot as the U.S. immediately gave up an own goal before restoring their two-goal lead on a finish from Zyen Jones, who tapped home from close range on a perfectly-place pass across the box from Timothy Weah. The duo had come into the match just three minutes earlier, replacing Sargent and Carleton.

Int he 84th minute, Bryan Reynolds fired home on a rebound to push the score to 5-2. Moments later, Weah added another, capping the score at 6-2.

Next up for the U.S. is Sunday’s CONACACF final, where they will meet either Costa Rica or Mexico.


  1. OTOH, Pulisic while a solid performer for the U-17s 2 years ago, I don’t think he was really the standout he has become with Dortmund. But he was good enough that I remembered his name.

    It will be interesting to see as time goes on if Sargent is enjoying his present dominance because he is an early maturer (Pulisic was not) who will lose that advantage as the competition become men.

    Does anyone know if the final will be shown on US TV?

    • Can we let these kids play at a level above the USL before we start naming them as the next Pulisic?

      Rematch with Mexico, Sunday at 4:00 EST. Should the US win it would be the first time since 1992 that the US beat Mexico in a contested final (Mexico did not participate in 2011 because they were WC hosts, there was no final between 1999-2007). I couldn’t find the roster for the Concacaf Championship team in 92, but the squad that played in the WC in ’93 included Jon Busch, Carey Talley, and John O’brien and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of. The final will be played at the National team stadium on grass instead of the turf field they’ve been using.

      The 2011 team was led in scoring by Andrew Oliver, who as far as I can tell is no longer in the game and Alfred Koroma who was with Austin Aztecs in 2015, but also doesn’t appear to be playing anymore.

      • Didn’t mean to diminish John O’Brien, he was outstanding when healthy. I was just providing some context on other championship squads, that their success hasn’t meant much to future national team success. I mean the 2011 group is the group that just failed to qualify for the Olympics and that squad did also include Arriola and Kellyn Accosta (who was a fullback for the squad by the way).

    • This is good perspective. Obviously it’s better for us to be winning these games than not but many/most U17 internationals do not become full internationals.

    • Carleton has already scored in MLS preseason so that’s slightly better than USL lol.

      But seriously, he has a certain “it” factor that reminds me of The Hershey Squirt. His movement in the ball and instinctual first tough are what the US has been lacking for two decades. Not that we didn’t have that quality but it was so scarce; once we have that instinctual talent all around we will make strides to the top. Off top of my head, pulisic, arriola, Acosta, Carleton, Carter-vickers all have that “it” to their respective games. Future looks bright.

      • Ha ha you sound like our friend Bizzy counting scoring in preseason. I am cautiously optimistic about several of these guys, but know that injuries, attitude, and club situation are going to play a huge role in whether or not any of them are impact players in the next ten years. Also, interested to see where Carleton ends up when the tournament is over, will he join Atlanta or be loaned back to Charleston. I hope Akinola gets some run with TFC this year as well, he could be dangerous running off of Giovinco and Jozy, and really hoping Sargent ends up in Europe after he turns 18.

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