New Delhi: Star players Josh Sargent and Tim Weah – bound for top-flight European clubs – will lead a 21-member strong United States squad in the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India.
The US Soccer Federation has named 17 players who were part of the team that played in the qualifying tournament – 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April – in which it had finished second.
The USA are in Group 'A' along with hosts India, Colombia and Ghana. They will open their campaign against India on 6 October, followed by matches against Ghana on 9 October and Colombia on 12 October.
The first two matches will be played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, while the final group game will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
In all, 12 of the 21 players on the roster come from Major League Soccer clubs.
Sargent will sign with Bundesliga (German League) club Werder Bremen next February when he turns 18. He also played at the U-20 World Cup in Korea earlier this year, making him the first US player since Freddy Adu in 2003 to play in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same year.
Weah, son of former FIFA World Player of the Year and Liberia great George Weah, signed with Paris Saint Germain earlier this year.
Prior to the competition, the U-17 side coached by John Hackworth, will train in Dubai, beginning on 24 September. They will arrive in New Delhi on 1 October.
USA have participated in 15 of the 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having only missed out in 2013. Their best showing came in New Zealand in 1999, when Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu helped the Americans to a fourth-place finish, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final after losing to Australia on penalties in the semi-finals.
The Americans reached the quarter-finals on four other occasions, most recently at Peru 2005. Last time out at Chile in 2015, USA failed to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2001.
The USA Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces.
Defenders: Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts.
Midfielders: George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev.
Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.
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Updated Date: Sep 28, 2017 18:13:12 IST