Wilmer Cabrera U17 National Coach
Youth Soccer News: U.S. U17 MNT Notes USA vs. Uzbekistan
UPDATE on USA U17 Team in FIFA WORLD CUP Loss
ARRIOLA’S LESSONS: U.S. U-17 MNT forward Paul Arriola has earned a place on the FIFA U-17 World Cup despite not playing a minute at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship due to a nagging injury. Now, back to 100 percent, Arriola started the USA’s opening match in Mexico, notching an assist in the 3-0 win against Czech Republic. ussoccer.com chatted with the Chula Vista, California native about his time between Jamaica and Mexico and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
For Arriola's views on what has been happening, here is an excerpt from U.S. Soccer:
ussoccer.com: You had a bit of an injury during the qualifying tournament. How difficult was that for you to deal with?
Paul Arriola: “Going into Jamaica, it wasn’t really much of an injury and I was looking forward to playing. The injury came up and I wasn’t able to play. It was tough mentally and I was struggling a lot with the situation, but my teammates got me through it. It definitely helped me grow as a player and realize that I need to take care of my body. Soccer players don’t get to play for very long in their careers so it’s important to take of your body and to do everything to help yourself out.
ussoccer.com: How has that experience helped you grow as a person?
PA: “I make sure I’m eating well and that if I pick up a little knock, I’m taking care of it, getting treated and making sure I’m 100 percent. I think now I’m mentally stronger. Throughout Residency, since I got here, just battling for spots on rosters and working through tough situations has really helped me just to push through.”
ussoccer.com: You were one of the most experienced players on the team of players born in 1995 that went to France in May. What was that experience like?
PA: “We went to France for the Mondial Minimes and we faced Portugal, France and Japan in the group, so it was the tougher of the two groups. The group of ‘95s that were there I think was a little inexperienced, so the fact that I was at qualifying and had been through some friendlies, I was able to take more of an important role in leading that team. I tried to do that and I think I did okay with it.”
ussoccer.com: What did you tell your teammates going into that tournament, and what did you take away from that role?
PA: “What I told them was that you can’t underestimate teams, or think that a team isn’t that good because they lost to another team. Just to play and make sure we weren’t scared when we stepped on the field. There were a lot of people in France watching so you looked out in the crowd and it was a bit intimidating. We just had to try to stay calm and play the way we normally play. I think I’m more confident after that experience, both on and off the field. I had a pretty good tournament and so that gave me a bit of a boost.”
ussoccer.com: How did you find out that you were going to be part of this World Cup team?
PA: “Playing in Bradenton and practicing every day, even though there were signs that I was going to have a chance to be with this team at the World Cup, you have to just keep playing. We just had to play well and after that (Coach Cabrera) let us know.”
ussoccer.com: What is it like to finally be here in Mexico?
PA: “It is amazing. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. Coming into Residency, we always talked about the World Cup, but you never really think that you’re going to be there. When I found out I was coming, it was just amazing. I couldn’t believe it. Sometimes, still, I lay in my bed and think ‘wow, I’m at the U-17 World Cup.’ I’m just really excited to play. Not getting to play during qualifying, now I just can’t wait to get on the field and be able to be a part of the World Cup. I remember a couple of years ago, being at home and watching the U.S. play Spain in Nigeria, and I remember thinking that maybe I’d be doing that. But, it was a long way away then, and now that I’m here it’s just amazing.”
ussoccer.com: What is the feeling on the team right now?
PA: “It’s crazy. All the work that everybody has put in, we’ve been waiting so long. Some of the guys have been here for two years, I’ve been here for one year and some guys have been here for six months. It doesn’t matter though. We always work hard and we always dream. This has been a dream of mine to go to a World Cup and to know that I’ve made my dream come true is just a great feeling.”
UZBEKS ON TAP: After Sunday’s convincing 3-0 win against Czech Republic, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team finds itself tied for first place in Group D of the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The young Americans continue their campaign in their second group match against Uzbekistan on Wednesday, June 22, at 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET). That game from Estadio Torreon will be shown live on ESPN3 and Galavision, and on tape delay on ESPNU.
THE SCENARIOS: If New Zealand defeats or draws the Czech Republic on Wednesday and the U.S. tops Uzbekistan, the U.S. would be assured a top two finish in the group, and a place in the Round of 16. If Czech Republic beats New Zealand and the U.S. beats Uzbekistan, six points would likely be enough to send the USA to the knockout stage. The United States would also still be alive in the group with a draw or even a loss on Wednesday.
Group D Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 3
United States 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 3
Uzbekistan 1 0 1 0 1 4 -3 0
Czech Republic 1 0 1 0 0 3 -3 0
Group D Results
Date Match Kickoff (local/ET) Venue
June 19 New Zealand 4, Uzbekistan 1 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 19 USA 3, Czech Republic 0 -- Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 22 USA vs. Uzbekistan 3 p.m. / 4 p.m. Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 22 New Zealand vs. Czech Republic 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
June 25 USA vs. New Zealand 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. Estadio Hidalgo; Pachuca, Mexico
June 25 Czech Republic vs. Uzbekistan 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. Estadio Torreon; Torreon, Mexico
Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh has yet to give up a goal in a game he’s started in 2011, posting four shutouts in four starts. His lone goal allowed was a penalty kick after he entered the game against El Salvador on Feb. 22 as a sub.
Esteban Rodriguez continued his streak of playing every minute of official competitions this year, with his 510 minutes from the qualifying tournament combining with 90 minutes in the World Cup opener.
Rodriguez, Mobi Fehr and Alfred Koroma are the only players to appear in all 11 U.S. international matches in 2011.
Alejandro Guido’s fifth-minute goal against the Czech Republic marked the second straight time that the U.S. has scored within five minutes of the opening whistle of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
- With the win, the U.S. improved its record against European teams at the U-17 World Cup to 6-8-2.
- It was the first time the U.S. has won its opening game at the U-17 World Cup since 2005.
- The U.S. was the first team to post three goals against the Czech Republic since Turkey on Sept. 27, 2010, a 1-6 Czech loss.
- Sunday’s 3-0 win was the first shutout by a U.S. team in the opening game of the U-17 World Cup since 1991, when the U.S. topped Italy 1-0.
- The match against the Czechs was also just the fourth time in 49 games at the FIFA U-17 World Cup that the United States won by three or more goals.
- The U.S. also won the CONCACAF U-17 Championship game 3-0 against Canada on Feb. 27, with goals from Nate Smith, Andrew Oliver and Alfred Koroma.
- Cabrera’s lineup had four changes from that championship game, with Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Mobi Fehr and Alejandro Guido stepping into Sunday’s starting lineup.
- Both players on the U.S. roster born in 1995 – Arriola and Acosta – earned the start against the Czech Republic.
- Seven players representing U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs started the opening game.
- U.S. captain Marc Pelosi earned his 27th career cap on Saturday, adding to his team high.
- There are 18 players on the roster who lifted the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship trophy in February.
FOURTH BY THREE: The win against the Czech Republic on June 19 was the first U.S. win by three goals or more at this event since a Freddy Adu hat trick helped the 2003 team top Korea Republic 6-1 in Finland. The only other wins by three or more came on Sept. 11, 1997, against Australia (4-0) and Aug. 26, 1993, against Qatar (5-1).
A LOOK AT THE U.S. ROSTER: Head coach Wilmer Cabrera named his 21-player roster on June 9, the day before the team traveled to Torreon to begin training. The U.S. roster features 18 players who took home the regional crown at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in February. There are 15 players representing 14 different clubs in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, with Arsenal FC the only club to send two players to Mexico in Paul Arriola and Wade Hamilton.
U.S U-17 Men’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC; Murrieta, Calif.), 1-Kendall McIntosh (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 12-Fernando Piña (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy; Plano, Texas), 4-Joe Amon (South Carolina United; Summerville, S.C.), 2-Zach Carroll (Vardar; Grand Blanch, Mich.), 6-Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969; Tokyo, Japan), 15-Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), 3-Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey; Clovis, Calif.),
MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Matt Dunn (FC Cologne; Dallas, Texas), 10-Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), 13-Nico Melo (Florida Rush; Kissimmee, Fla.), 11-Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), 8-Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West; Palmdale, Calif.), 14-Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer; Pinellas Park, Fla.), 17-Andrew Souders (Crew Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio), 20-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (4): 18-Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), 7-Alfred Koroma (Solar SC; Arlington, Texas), 19-Jack McBean (Los Angeles Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.) 9-Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs; North Hollywood, Calif.)
FIRST GAMES COMPLETE: The first set of games wrapped up Monday night as Groups E and F were the last to play. Germany was the biggest winner of the first round, topping Ecuador 6-1. France topped Argentina 3-0 in one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Uruguay and Brazil also won 3-0 against Canada and Denmark, respectively. Overall, the five CONCACAF teams (USA, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama) have won three games and dropped two.
IN FOCUS: UZBEKISTAN Head Coach: Aleksey Evstafeev
FIRST TIME OUT: Uzbekistan qualified for their first-ever FIFA event by finishing as runners up at the 2010 AFC U-16 Championship, posting a narrow 0-2 defeat in the final to Korea DPR. Uzbekistan won its group ahead of Jordan, Indonesia and Tajikistan by scoring 11 goals and allowing just one. Uzbekistan, which hosted the tournament, moved on to defeat Syria 2-1 in the all-important quarterfinal game to seal their place in Mexico, and topped Australia in the semifinal by the same score.
Uzbekistan AFC Championship Results
Date Opponent Result Uzbekistan Goalscorer(s)
Oct. 24 Indonesia 3-0 Sardor, Timur (2)
Oct. 26 Jordan 0-0 --
Oct. 28 Tajikistan 8-1 Abbosbek, Azizbek, Timur (2), Javlon, Nodirhon, Jasurbek
Nov. 1 Syria 2-1 Abossbek, Timur
Nov. 4 Australia 2-1 Makhstaliev (2)
Nov. 7 Korea DPR 0-2 --
Uzbekistan Republic Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Sergey Smorodin, 12-Ganisher Kholmurodov, 21-Abdumavlon Abduljalilov
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Mirzamurod Jurabaev, 3-Sardor Rakhmanov, 4-Ravshanjon Haydarov, 5-Asiljon Mansurov, 14-Javlon Mirabdullaev, 16-Khasan Askarov
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-Abbosbek Muratov, 7-Azizbek Muratov, 8-Sardor Sabirkhodjaev, 9-Kholmurod Kholmurodov, 13-Bobir Davlatov, 17-Dior Usmankhodjaev, 18-Muhsinjon Ubaydullaev, 20-Davlatbek Yarbekov
FORWARDS (4): 10-Nodirhon Kamolov, 11-Timur Khakimov, 15-Jasurbek Khakimov, 19-Zabikhillo Urinboev
HIGHLIGHTS FROM EVERY GAME: For exclusive highlights of every game in Mexico, check out the highlights section of FIFA.com. Check out the competition, all the goals and the best saves on FIFA’s tournament page.
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