2019 U-17 World Cup

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Watch: Galaxy’s Alvarez scores twice as Mexico move on in U-17 World Cup

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He’s been called the “best talent in MLS by far” by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Efrain Alvarez scored two goals and added as many assists, as Mexico rolled past Solomon Islands 8-0 on Sunday, clinching the final spot in the 2019 U-17 World Cup’s Round of 16. It was the first win for El Tri, who drew against Paraguay and lost against Italy in stoppage time to start the tournament.

The Los Angeles Galaxy winger, who reappeared on Mario Arteaga’s XI after starting on the bench against Italy, has scored three goals in three games, and stands only a goal behind the tournament’s current leading goalscorer, Australia’s Noah Botic.

Born in Los Angeles, California to Mexican parents, Alvarez originally began his youth international career representing the U.S. U-15s in 2016, only to make a switch to the team south of the border months later. The fallout between the player and the U.S. happened after they decided to omit him from a camp for “whatever reason,” Alvarez’s former coach, Mike Munoz, said.

In 2019, the 17-year-old assumed a first-team role in Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s Galaxy, appearing in 14 regular season games and assisting on three occasions. Speaking to ESPN’s Tom Marshall in September, Alavarez stated that “the focus right now is Mexico,” amid interest from the U.S. men’s national team, specifically from coach Gregg Berhalter.

The focus will have to remain Mexico, who travel to Brasilia to take on Group D winners Japan on Wednesday.

Watch the full highlights below:

Watch: Dull US fall to Netherlands, crash out of U-17 World Cup

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The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has been eliminated from the 2019 U-17 World Cup, after losing to the Netherlands 4-0 at the Estadio da Serrinha.

The Stars and Stripes bottomed Group D with a single point, which came from the team’s scoreless draw against Japan. Gianluca Busio’s goal against Senegal was the team’s first and only goal of the tournament. Throughout the span of the tournament, the U.S. conceded five goals.

On Sunday – more than ever before in this tournament – the deficiencies of the U.S. were on full displayed. The Netherland’s Sontje Hansen ripped the backline apart, scoring twice and assisting on one occasion. Jayden Braaf added a well-earned fourth for the European side. When in the attack, the U.S. relied on their go-to: Giovanni Reyna. The Borussia Dortmund player had a couple of scoring chances, including a close-range header that went inches wide in the seventh minute.

Raphaël Wicky, who boasted a squad with plethora of players playing abroad and for first teams in MLS, like Reyna, Chituru Odunze, Busio, and George Bello, among others, has serious questions to answer following three-and-out showing from a highly-touted American side.

Watch the video highlights of the match below:

 

Lackluster U.S. draws Japan, U-17 World Cup hopes in jeopardy

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The United States’ U-17 World Cup hopes are in serious trouble of dying at the group stage.

Raphael Wicky’s Baby Yanks have just one point after two matches following a 0-0 draw with Japan in Cariacica, Brazil, with Leicester City goalkeeper Chituru Odunze saving the point with a magnificent late save.

The point keeps the U.S. above pointless Netherlands, who it faces Saturday in Goiânia. A win would be enough to send the U.S. through as a third-place into the knockout rounds, and a draw could be enough, too.

Senegal is now 2-0 after beating the Dutch, who also lost to Japan.

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Ex-Basel manager Wicky stunned many when he left Borussia Dortmund starlet Giovanni Reyna on the bench for the first hour.

Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC) showed first half flashes though perhaps tried to do too much to enliven a lackluster first half for both sides.

Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) had the ball in the net when he was on the spot for a rebound, but his sheepish reaction beat the linesman’s flag to announcing his offside.

Pepi came off in the 55th minute for Giovanni Reyna, a surprise scratch from the Starting XI.

All of the action in the first hour belonged to the Baby Yanks, but Japan awoke and took hold of the match.

Jun Nishikawa just missed the bar with an inspired effort, then later turned and fired but missed the near post as Japan threatened to take all three points.

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Reyna tried his luck at catching the keeper off his line in the 72nd minute, but a long free kick effort sailed over the cross bar.

The U.S. then needed a bail out when Odunze made an incredible close range save in the 74th.

Joe Scally (NYCFC) had some good moments and redirected an 84th minute free kick away from danger.

Reyna nearly dribbled the entire left side of the Japan defense to score in the 85th, but saw his shot partially blocked.

Odunze made a fantastic save in stoppage time on Yamato Wakatsuki to preserve the point.

Watch: U.S. U-17 MNT fall to Senegal in World Cup opener

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The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team came out firing in their 2019 World Cup opener against Senegal, as Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio put the Stars and Stripes up a goal only three minutes into Sunday’s bout.

That spark, the hunger and, most importantly, the lead wouldn’t hold up until the final whistle, however. With three goals in the second half, Senegal stunned Raphaël Wicky’s side 4-1 at the Estádio Kléber Andrade.

Whether it was due to the U.S. resting on their laurels or lacking luck, the second half was shockingly poor from the Concacaf side, especially when defending. Two of final three goals scored by Senegal came from second-chance opportunities. Senegal’s fourth came via a direct free-kick, highlighting the U.S.’ inability to keep the opposing side at bay.

Up next for Giovanni Reyna and company is Japan midweek in what will be a must-win for the Americans.

Watch the video highlights of the match below:

Giovanni Reyna, United States begin U-17 World Cup run

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The U-17 World Cup began Saturday in Brazil, with the next generation of world stars taking the stage.

All eight teams to play scored, with Brazil’s Joao Peglow (Internacional) and Nigeria’s Samson Tijani accounting for two goals each.

The United States begins its run on Sunday with a 4 p.m. ET kickoff in Cariacica against Senegal, one of three tricky opponents in Group D with Japan and the Netherlands.

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Raphael Wicky’s U.S. roster has a clear standout in Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, the son of legendary USMNT midfielder Claudio Reyna.

Giovanni is one of four Europe-based players on the squad, joined by Fulham goalkeeper Damians Las, Leicester goalkeeper Chituru Odunze, and Freiburg mid Maximillian Dietz.

Gianluca Busio of Sporting KC is an exciting player to watch with plenty of first team experience, and Griffin Yow (DC United), Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids), and Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) also have broken into their MLS sides.

New York City FC has put three players on the roster, matching Seattle Sounders for the most.

The U.S. is joined as a CONCACAF entrant by Canada, Haiti and Mexico. The Canadians lost 4-1 to hosts Brazil while Haiti starts play Sunday v. South Korea and Mexico begins Monday versus Paraguay.

Saturday’s U-17 World Cup results

Nigeria 4-2 Hungary
New Zealand 1-2 Angola
Brazil 4-1 Canada
Ecuador 2-1 Australia

Sunday’s U-17 World Cup fixtures

France v. Chile — 4 p.m. ET
U.S. v. Senegal — 4 p.m. ET
Japan v. Netherlands — 7 p.m. ET
South Korea v. Haiti — 7 p.m. ET