The 2017 U-17 World Cup kicks off in India on Friday with 24 teams from across six confederations battling it out to be crowned the best youth national team on the planet.
[ STREAM: Watch U-17 World Cup live ]
For the U.S. national team, they’ve been placed in Group A with hosts India and that is who they face in their first game of the tournament on Friday in New Delhi before taking on Ghana in New Delhi and Colombia in Navi Mumbai.
John Hackworth’s U.S. side include plenty of stars for the future with Jack Sargent (who starred at the U-20 World Cup for the U.S. and has been named skipper), Tim Weah and Ayo Akinola looking to provide the goals up top. They have spent time in Dubai preparing for the tournament but are now in India ahead of Friday’s kick off.
The pre-tournament favorites are Germany, England, Brazil and France, with Mexico’s youngsters also favored.
As for the U.S., they failed to win a game at the last U-17 World Cup in Chile in 2015 and were knocked out in the group stage and their best-ever finish in this tournament was fourth in 1999 when Landon Donovan won the Golden Ball award in New Zealand. They are expected to make a run to the at least the quarterfinals this time around.
Below is a look at the six groups for the tournament which starts on Oct. 6 and runs until Oct. 28.
You can stream every game live online via Telemundo by clicking on the link above.
England captured its first FIFA Under-20 World Cup title on Sunday morning after defeating Venezuela, 1-0, in South Korea.
[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying roundup from Saturday’s action ]
Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s first-half finish from close range was enough to give the Three Lions the U-20 crown after a hard-fought battle with the Vinotinto.
Venezuela had several quality opportunities to equalize, but none better than one with just over a quarter hour remaining.
England goalkeeper Freddie Woodman reaffirmed his strong tournament after he saved a penalty kick with just over a quarter hour remaining from Adalberto Penaranda.
The penalty kick was awarded after VAR was used by the head referee.
England had nearly increased their lead to 2-0 in the 55th minute when Tottenham’s Josh Onomah struck the crossbar, however the effort bounced off the goal line and away.
The Three Lions allowed just three goals all tournament en route to their World Cup win, while Venezuela posted the same defensive statistic but couldn’t match their opponent in the attacking end.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) If England defeats Venezuela in the final of the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, the country will celebrate its first soccer world title for more than 50 years.
Since winning the World Cup back in 1966 on home soil, England has underachieved on the global stage.
“It’s our time,” said Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke, who has scored four goals in the tournament. “The determination we have is what drives us on. We know that even if we’re losing, we can bring it back.”
[ MORE: Saturday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup ]
England has won five of six games to get to the final at Suwon World Cup Stadium. After topping Group A with wins over six-time champion Argentina and host South Korea, England has defeated Costa Rica, Mexico and Italy.
That 3-1 semifinal victory was the most impressive after Italy took a second-minute lead. England replied with two goals from Solanke and another from Ademola Lookman, who joined English Premier League team Everton in January.
Venezuela was the most impressive performer in the group stage, defeating Mexico, Germany and Vanuatu, scoring 10 goals and not conceding any.
In three knockout stage games, however, the team has needed extra time to eliminate Japan, the United States and Uruguay. Venezuela defeated the South American champion 4-3 in a penalty shootout with goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez the hero.
“We have to remember that we’re Venezuela, that we’re a team and a country that’s coming on fast,” Farinez said. “Reaching a World Cup final is a turning point we’ve been looking for for a while. For the last 2 1/2 years we’ve been thinking that this is our time.”
Both sides have been forced to grind out difficult results in the knockout phase, but Venezuela and Italy have been rewarded for their efforts with a place in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup final.
[ MORE: Latest U-20 World Cup news ]
Uruguay 1-1 (3-4 on PKs) Venezuela
Samuel Sosa gave Venezuela a chance to win it in extra time after scoring a late equalizer in second-half stoppage time following Nicolas De La Cruz’s opener for Uruguay.
From there, it was meant to be settled from the penalty spot as the Vinotinto edged Uruguay on spot kicks. NYCFC’s Yangel Herrera scored the eventual winner for Venezuela, who became the first nation to book their place in the U-20 final.
Italy 1-3 England
Two minutes is all it took for Italy to jump out in front, but the Three Lions didn’t stop putting up a fight. Riccardo Orsolini helped the Azzurri get out to the early lead against the European foe before Dominic Solanke leveled things up for England in the 66th minute.
Ademola Lookman and a second finish from Solanke completed the comeback for England, who scored three goals for the first time since their opening match against Argentina.
The semifinals are set at the U-20 World Cup in South Korea, and it’s going to be CONMEBOL versus UEFA for the title come Sunday in Suwon.
[ MORE: Latest U-20 World Cup news ]
Uruguay and Venezuela booked their date in the semi on Sunday, and are going to be joined by two of the bigger names in European football.
Mexico 0-1 England
Soon-to-be Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke scored the lone goal as England set-up a Thursday semifinal against Italy in Jeonju.
Italy 3-2 Zambia
It took extra time for Italy’s 10-man squad to take care of the last remaining CAF squad. AC Milan’s Luca Vido nabbed the winner in the 111th minute after Federico Dimarco (Inter Milan) and Riccardo Orsolini (Juventus) scored in regulation.