U.S. U-17 men's national team head coach Wilmer Cabrera has named 20 players to represent the U.S. at the 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The tournament will run from April 21 to May 2 in Tijuana, Mexico. The four semifinalists from the tourney will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is slated for Nigeria from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15.
"We have been working for a year and a half on this roster," said Cabrera in a USSF press release. "At this point, the players have really decided for themselves who is going based on their performance. It's difficult with 40 players and we had some tough decisions to make, but we did what we felt was best for the team."
The U.S. will open its campaign against Cuba on April 21 at 4 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) at Estadio Caliente. The U.S. will play Canada on April 23 and round out Group A play against Honduras on April 25, with those games also slated for 4 p.m. local time.
The top two finishers in Group A will advance to the semifinals of the tournament and play one of the top two teams from Group B. Group B is comprised of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. The semifinals will be played on April 29, with the final and third-place match played on May 2.
Earl Edwards, who has started seven of the team's nine international games this year, is likely to be the starting goalkeeper. The U.S. attack will be led by Jack McInerney, who has scored four goals in four games this year and 11 goals in 20 career U-17 internationals.
All 20 players on the roster are currently part of U.S. Soccer's U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. is the only country to have qualified for all 12 FIFA Under-17 World Championships.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Earl Edwards, Spencer Richey.
DEFENDERS (7): Zachary Herold, Perry Kitchen, Emilio Orozco, Tyler Polak, Alex Shinsky, Jared Watts, Eriq Zavaleta.
MIDFIELDERS (6): Andrew Craven, Bryan Duran, Luis Gil, Sebastian Lletget, Carlos Martinez, Nicholas Palodichuk.