This is the first of a 4-part series that will recap the results of our National Team’s 2009 results.
We start out by examining the U-17s. Usually the players on this squad form the foundation upon which the U-20s and the senior team are built. So if you want to look at the likely future of our country’s soccer, this is a good place to start.
The boys finished off the year with a 18-7-6 record. Not too shabby huh? Well, on the surface it is a respectable showing, but looking deeper we see this generation is not on par with the A-list teams of the world.
(0-6-1) vs A-list Teams
The top-notch sides they faced during 2009 were Spain, Argentina, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, and the Netherlands.
(2-1-3) vs B-list Teams
The B-listers were comprised of Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Colombia.
(16-0-2) vs Soccer Minnows
All their wins came from CONCACAF, lowest level CONMEBOL countries, the UAE & Malawi in the World Cup, and regional Club teams.
On a bright note, there was a revelation in Luis Gil. The 16 year old does have quality, and if nurtured properly he can not only become a great player for the US, but internationally as well. We are certainly not the only ones to notice. He has trialed with premier league side Arsenal, and MLS seems to be in hot pursuit to sign him in this years draft. My hope is he rejects any MLS offer and stays in Europe – the current American game will ruin him!
Complete U-17 Team Results
- La Serena Cup (3-0-1)
- Friendly (2-3-1)
- CONCACAF (3-0)
- Friendly (2-0)
- Copa XIII Macae Sub-17 (5-0-1)
- Friendly (1-0-2)
- U-17 World Cup (2-2)
- Nike International Friendlies (0-2-1)
I don’t want to take away from the kids. I know they work hard representing the country and are pursuing their dreams, but something keeps us from cracking that A-list! What is it? Answering that question and offering potential solutions is a big reason for the existence of this blog …