Saturday, September 17, 2005

FIFA U17 World Championship

Starts today with the USA facing North Korea, followed by Italy and Ivory Coast. Shouldn't be too hard of a task today, and getting out of the group is pretty much a given. Anything less would be really disappointing. The tough part comes in the quartefinals, where we would likely be facing Brazil or the Netherlands. Get by that round, and the championship could be a reality.

It's hard offer any analysis when I've never seen any of these guys play, but we're pretty much in the same spot as the senior team: Better than most teams, but still below the top tier. If anything, we're better at the youth stage. These guys have been together for a couple years in Bradenton, so they are capable of winning. That's an advantage, because even though other teams might have players with top clubs, we should have a great team. Nobody stands out like Freddy Adu this time, but two MLS players are on the team, Besagno (RSL) and Kirk (LA). Zimmerman is supposed to be a very talented forward, so look out for him. There's always a few guys who turn out to be big stars, so this is a great chance for us to get an early look at what tomorrow may hold. And, of course it's a great opportunity for them as well.

EDIT: Check out this great article from Soccer America on the backgrounds of the players.

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