Well, this will be tough.
The U-17 U.S. national team have found out who they will face in the group stage of the 2019 U-17 World Cup in Brazil, as the Baby Nats will face Senegal, Japan and the Netherlands in Group D.
Raphael Wicky’s side, captained by Borussia Dortmund bound Gio Reyna, have plenty of top young talents in their ranks and they will be looking to be the first U.S. U17 side since 1999 to make it past the last eight. Alongside Reyna, Kobe Hernandez, Griffin Yow, Gianluca Busio and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez will lead this team.
If the U.S. make it out of their group there is the potential to play against the likes of Argentina, Spain or Brazil in the Round of 16.
Canada’s youngsters were placed in Group A alongside hosts Brazil, Angola and New Zealand, while Mexico have are in Group F with Italy, Paraguay and the Solomon Islands. Rounding out the CONCACAF representatives, Haiti will face Chile, France and South Korea in Group C.
The tournament kicks off on Oct. 26 and runs until Nov. 17, with games to be played at the Estadio da Serrinha and Estadio Olimpico in Goiania, plus the Estadio Bezerrao in Gama and the Estadio Kleber Andrade in Cariacica.
Below is the group stage draw in full.
It’s been quite the year for Timothy Weah, and on Monday the American youngster received another amazing opportunity.
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The U-17 national team attacker, along with four of his Paris Saint-Germain academy teammates reportedly practiced with Brazil’s national team as the Selecao were shorthanded with several members of the squad out after playing in matches this weekend with their respective clubs.
Weah was joined by Colin Dagda, Claudio Gomes, Moussa Sissako and Loic Mbe Soh of PSG’s youth squad at the Charléty Stadium, according to Le Perisien.
The son of former professional player, George Weah, the 17-year-old led the American team during October’s U-17 World Cup in India with three goals, alongside Josh Sargent (who also scored three).
An exciting first day at the U-17 World Cup saw lots of good play, including the United States, who comfortably handled tournament hosts India.
Meanwhile, fellow Group A side Ghana picked up a win as well to give the Black Stars three points.
In Group B, Paraguay has taken early command of the group thanks to a second-half penalty kick which gave the South American side a win over Mali.
Here’s a look at the action from around the opening day at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Colombia 0-1 Ghana
Sadiq Ibrahim gave the young Black Stars the lead on 39 minutes, but it was certainly a back-and-forth match in the opener. Each goalkeeper was tested on several occasions, with both sides making three saves in the match.
India 0-3 USMNT U-17s — (Match report)
Josh Sargent has been highly-billed amongst Americans, and he delivered on Friday. The soon-to-be Werder Bremen attacker gave the U.S. the lead on half an hour when he was brought down inside the penalty area and subsequently finished his spot-kick. John Hackworth’s side dominated the game’s chances, limiting the hosts to just one shot on target through the first half. Chris Durkin and Andrew Carleton also got in on the scoring for the U.S., giving the Baby Yanks a massive lift to start the tournament.
New Zealand 1-1 Turkey
Max Mata had himself an up-and-down day for the All Whites, but his second-half goal will be his side’s primary care as New Zealand managed a draw against Turkey. The Turks went ahead when Ahmed Kutucu headed home a corner kick in the 18th minute, however, Mata leveled the match 13 minutes into the second stanza. The Onehunga Sports midfielder picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time, though, leaving New Zealand with 10 men to finish the match.
Paraguay 3-2 Mali
It was back and forth for much of the first half, but a penalty kick after halftime helped give Paraguay all three points in their opening match. Alan Rodriguez capitalized from the penalty spot in the 55th minute to break the 2-2 deadlock and gave La Albirroja the lead for good.
Everything went according to plan on Friday for John Hackworth and his U.S. Under-17 Men’s National team, and now the Americans sit in a strong position heading into their next two group-stage matches.
The U.S. U-17s picked up a 1-0 opening day victory over host nation India, giving the Baby Yanks a place at the top of Group A for the time being.
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Josh Sargent — who recently committed to play for Werder Bremen starting in 2018 — gave the U.S. its opener in the 30th minute after the dangerous attacker was brought down inside the penalty area just moments sooner.
The hosts mounted some pressure towards the end of the opening stanza through Aniket Jadhav, but both of his chances in the final minutes of the first half fell short.
Second-half finishes from Chris Durkin and Andrew Carleton sealed the game for the Americans, who currently sit atop Group A on three points and +3 goal differential.
Next up for the U.S. will be Ghana on October 9 before closing out group play three days later against Colombia.
There’s been plenty of buzz surrounding the USMNT U-17 heading into this month’s World Cup in India, and now it’s time for John Hackworth’s side to back up the talk.
Star attacker Josh Sargent will lead the U.S. on Friday as the Baby Yanks take on the tournament hosts in Group A play, and the 17-year-old will look to play a big role for his country ahead of his much-anticipated move to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in January.
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Meanwhile, Hackworth has plenty of other options throughout his talented squad, including a trio of Atlanta United academy players. That includes Andrew Carleton, the speedy winger that has already represented the U.S. at the U-15, U-17 and U-18 levels over the last two years.
In Group A, the U.S. will be joined by African power Ghana and Colombia, while Group B features New Zealand, Turkey, Paraguay and Mali.
All of the day’s matches and the entire competition can be streamed through Telemundo Deportes.
[ WATCH: Every match from the U-17 World Cup in India ]
Here’s the full schedule on Matchday 1 as Groups A and B begin play.
Colombia vs. Ghana — 7:30 a.m. ET
India vs. USMNT U-17s — 10:30 a.m. ET
New Zealand vs. Turkey — 7:30 a.m. ET
Paraguay vs. Mali — 10:30 a.m. ET