JAMIE HILL - Thursday, June 9, 2011
US U-17 national team manager Wilmer Cabrera has announced the final 21-man roster that will compete at the U-17 World Cup this summer in Mexico.
The US team is almost identical to the team that emerged victorious in the CONCACAF U-17 championship in February. However, the squad will compete in the World Cup without the help of Andrew Oliver, their top scorer in qualifying.
The absence of Oliver combined with the long-term injury to Kellen Gulley means that Cabrera will rely on forwards such as Mario Rodriguez, Alfred Koroma, and the LA Galaxy's Jack McBean.
Oliver and Jordan Allen have been replaced by Alessandro Mion and Nico Melo. Meanwhile, Wade Hamilton has joined the team as World Cup participants are allowed to carry a third goalkeeper.
After the triumph in the CONCACAF championship, there will be greater expectations placed on Cabrera's team. During qualifying, a number of players raised eyebrows with their play, including midfielders Alejandro Guido and Marc Pelosi and defenders Mobi Fehr and Kellyn Acosta.
The US team also includes two players attached to foreign clubs. Matt Dunn has been a part of Cologne's U-17 team, while Fehr has spent time in Tokyo Verdy's youth system.
The US has been handed a favorable draw in the World Cup. The team will begin in Torreon, where they will face the Czech Republic on June 19 and Uzbekistan on June 22, before closing group play in Pachuca against New Zealand on June 25.
Kendall McIntosh (San Jose Earthquakes Academy)
Fernando Pina (Houston Dynamo Academy)
Wade Hamilton (Arsenal FC)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas Academy)
Joe Amon (South Carolina United)
Zach Carroll (Vardar)
Mobi Fehr (Tokyo Verdy 1969, Japan)
Alessandro Mion (Kendall SC)
Nathan Smith (Cal Odyssey)
Matt Dunn (FC Cologne, Germany)
Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier)
Nico Melo (Florida Rush)
Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force)
Esteban Rodriguez (Cosmos Academy West)
Tarik Salkicic (Strictly Soccer)
Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy)
Andrew Souders (Columbus Crew Academy)
Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC)
Alfred Koroma (Solar SC)
Jack McBean (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Mario Rodriguez (Central Aztecs)