FIFA U-17 World Cup: USA hope to maintain heavyweight tag | fifa-u17-world-cup-2017

Having five players in the CONCACAF under-17 championships’ team of the tournament, the USA can justifiably set the bar high. Their best finish till now was in 1999 when they lost to Australia on penalties in the semi-final before going down 0-2 to Ghana in the third place playoff. The 1999 side was captained by former LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan. Since then, they have lost four times in the quarter-finals but in 2015, they managed to get just a solitary point from the three group games.

READ | Players choose Amarjit Singh to lead India in Fifa Under-17 World Cup football

KNOW THE COACH: John Hackworth

The 47-year-old former Major League Soccer (MLS) coach was in charge of the league’s Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union from 2012 to 2014 after being their assistant manager for one-and-a-half years. This is also his second stint as the head coach of the U-17 team as he had previously coached the side during the 2005 and 2007 World Cup finals. Hackworth favours the 4-4-2 formation.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Fourth place: 1999. Quarter-finals: 1991, 1993, 2003, 2005. Round of 16: 2007, 2009, 2011. Group stage: 1985-97, 2001, 2015. Did not qualify: 2013.

Passage to India: USA booked their FIFA U-17 World Cup berth after finishing runners-up in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship 2017. They enjoyed an unbeaten run until the final before losing to Mexico on penalties.

Results in CONCACAF U-17: Bt Jamaica 5-0; bt Mexico 4-3; bt El Salvador 1-0; bt Honduras 3-0; bt Cuba 6-2; lost to Mexico 4-5 on penalties.

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