A 21-member United States football team has arrived here to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, beginning on October 6.
The team, coached by John Hackworth, landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport at around 10 p.m. on Sunday and straightaway proceeded to the team hotel.
The US team came from Dubai where it had a seven-day camp, preparing for the marquee event. It is in Group A where it will open its campaign against host India on October 6, followed by matches against Ghana on October 9 and Colombia on October 12.
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The first two encounters will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, while the final group game will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
The US Soccer Federation had named 17 players who were part of the team that played in the qualifying tournament – 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April – in which the team came second.
Prominent players in the side include Josh Sargent and Tim Weah. Sargent will sign with Bundesliga (German League) club Werder Bremen next February when he turns 18. He also played at the U-20 World Cup in Korea earlier this year, in the process becoming the first US player since Freddy Adu in 2003 to play in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same year.
Weah, son of former FIFA World Player of the Year and Liberia great George Weah, signed with Paris Saint Germain earlier this year.
In all, 12 of the 21 players on the roster come from Major League Soccer clubs.
USA has participated in 15 of the 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having only missed out in 2013. Its best showing came in New Zealand in 1999, when Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu helped it to a fourth-place finish, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final after losing to Australia on penalties in the semifinals.
The Americans reached the quarterfinals on four other occasions, most recently in Peru 2005. Last time in Chile two years ago, USA failed to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2001.
The USA Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces.
Defenders: Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts.
Midfielders: George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev.
Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.