The group stage is over in the CONCACAF Under 17 Championship and the United States Men’s National Team is dominating. They are currently a perfect 3-0-0 through the group stage and are moving on to the Classification Stage.
The group stage had three groups and 12 teams. After each team played their three group stage games, six of those teams have moved on. Only Costa Rica matched the USMNT by not losing, but they didn’t have to face Mexico. If you haven’t already seen it, the US won a 4-3 thriller over Mexico, who were (and may still be) the favorites to win the whole thing.
If you are wondering how Sporting Kansas City figure into this, they have a young defender named Jaylin Lindsey who has been a regular starter for the U-17 team and is one of the better prospects in the SKC Academy. Lindsey is a right back, which is suddenly a very crowded position on the senior team roster (Graham Zusi, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Igor Juliao and Colton Storm) and has played 90 minutes in each of the two games he started. He rested against El Salvador, a game in which the US didn’t need to even earn a draw to advance to the Classification Stage.
How to Watch
If you are sad you missed out on the first three games (it’s not too late to watch that US/Mexico game), don’t miss out on the next two (or three). The games can be watched in English on the CONCACAF YouTube page. Here is the upcoming schedule courtesy of CONCACAF.com.
The teams are broken into two groups for the Classification Stage. The United States are grouped with Cuba and Honduras while Mexico is in Group E with Costa Rica and Panama. Cuba and Honduras both finished second in their group, so the US would appear to have the easiest path to the final. The top two teams from these two groups will go to the U17 World Cup (four teams total) but the winners of the groups will play in the CONCACAF Championship. Could a US/Mexico rematch be in order?
Another reason to watch is because Sporting KC Homegrown target, Josh Sargent, has been looking like a future superstar. It seems unlikely Sargent would end up signing a Homegrown deal, but if Seattle could sign Jordan Morris to a record deal, there is no reason SKC couldn’t do an even bigger deal for Sargent.
If nothing, seeing the United States men play so well is nice. The future seems bright (side note: The U15 Championship is coming as well and should feature at least one SKC Academy member.)
Because I know you aren’t going to go watch that United States / Mexico game, here are the highlights (and ironically Lindsey had a rough moment).
Updated 5/5/17 at 2:55 pm: