BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The United States U-17 national team will have a tough task ahead of them at the U-17 World Cup on Thursday when they take on Germany in the round of 16 at Estadio Corregidora in Queretaro, Mexico.
The United States began the tournament with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic but finished group play with two lackluster performances in a 2-1 loss to Uzbekistan and a 0-0 draw against New Zealand. They finished in second place in Group D.
Germany, on the other hand, are contenders to win the tournament after dominating group play. They have won all three of their games so far and have scored 11 goals while only conceding one.
The United States will be without team captain Marc Pelosi who picked up two yellow cards against New Zealand and left his team to play with only 10 men. Pelosi, who was born in Germany, will miss the encounter and will leave a big void in the midfield.
Also for the Americans, Tarik Salkicic, Zach Carroll, Mobi Fehr and Joe Amon will be playing with a yellow card and will miss the quarterfinals should the team advance and they pick up a yellow against Germany.
Germany will be without starting midfielder Okan Aydin who was given a straight red card in the team's final group match against Panama.
Should the teams deadlocked after 90 minutes they will proceed straight to a shootout as FIFA elected to bypass extra time for this tournament.