The 2017 U-17 World Cup provides American soccer fans even more intrigue than your average tournament due to the breadth of top attacking prospects on show.
[ WATCH LIVE: U-17 World Cup on Telemundo Deportes ]
Each age group has a top scorer or playmaker, but this season is exceptional. Sure we saw Christian Pulisic in 2015 and Paul Arriola in 2011, but the 2017 U.S. roster is heavy on players who should dot professional score sheets for a long, long time (and at a high level).
The U.S. open plays Friday at 10:25 a.m. ET vs. India. Full stream schedule here.
Timothy Weah, forward, Paris Saint-Germain
In UEFA Youth League play, Weah has four goals in six appearances. A hat trick came against Ludogorets Razgrad. Dad George won Serie A with AC Milan, Ligue 1 won with PSG, and was thrice the African Footballer of the Year so, yeah, pedigree.
Chris Durkin, midfielder, DC United
Playing time has come on-and-off for the Richmond Kickers of the USL, but the center mid has 990 league minutes this season and showed versatility by starting the league opener at left back.
Ayo Akinola, forward, Toronto FC
The Canadian-born 17-year-old got a string of performances for TFC2 in the USL, bagging a brace against Harrisburg City in mid-July.
Carlos “CJ” dos Santos, goalkeeper, Benfica
The former Philadelphia Union Academy backstop is with Benfica’s U-19s and just turned 17 in August.
Jaylin Lindsey, defender, Sporting KC
There are those who believe the physical center back is further along at this stage in his career than fellow SKC prospect Erik Palmer-Brown. He’s made two appearances for Swope Park Rangers in USL.
Andrew Carleton, forward, Atlanta United
The left winger is widely considered to be a star in MLS soon, and posted an assist for Atlanta in its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup loss to Miami FC.
Josh Sargent, forward, Werder Bremen
The lone member of the U.S. roster to have already featured — and starred, with four goals — in a U-20 World Cup, Sargent heads to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen soon after the tournament. See above for his match-winner against Senegal.