The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, coming off a 2-2 draw against Honduras, heads into the final Group A match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a two-point, first-place lead. A USA victory against Jamaica in Wednesday’s group finale would earn the top spot in the group and a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
The USA and Jamaica kick off at 7 p.m. ET at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The match is live on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO and Univision Deportes.
The U-17 MNT could earn first place in the group with a draw against Jamaica, even if Honduras defeats Guatemala. The USA would need to maintain its superior goal differential, which is currently at plus-10, compared to Honduras’ plus-4.
The CONCACAF U-17 Championship group winners earn an automatic berth to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to the title game of qualifying on Sunday, March 15, at Estadio Francisco Morazán. (Please note: The game originally was scheduled to be played at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano.)
The second- and third-place finishers of each group will advance to the tournament’s Playoff stage, where they will be reseeded and compete for the final two World Cup berths out of CONCACAF.
The top three Group A teams have all clinched at least a spot in the Playoff stage of qualifying, with the USA on top at 3-0-1 (10 points), followed by Honduras (2-0-2, 8 points) and Jamaica (2-1-1, 7 points). Even if Jamaica falls to the USA and fourth-place Guatemala (1-2-1, 4 points) defeats Honduras to tie in points, Jamaica holds the tiebreaker for earning a 2-1 win against Guatemala earlier in the tournament.
The USA is coming off a 2-2 draw against host Honduras in a wild affair. After falling behind early, Luca de la Torre and Josh Perez scored a goal apiece to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. However, Honduras’ David Sanchez scored an 88th-minute equalizer to put a hold on the USA’s quest for a World Cup berth.
Jamaica recently stormed past Trinidad & Tobago for a 5-1 victory. Second-half sub Tajea Brown led the charge with three goals in a 20-minute span, while Peter Vassell and Nathaniel Adamolekum scored first-half goals for Jamaica.
Here is a look at the USA’s history against Jamaica in qualifying at this age group:
- The USA is 3-1-1 all-time against Jamaica in this tournament.
- The U.S. first faced Jamaica at the 1999 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament on Feb. 28 in Group A play, resulting in a scoreless draw. Jamaica held off the USA to win the group, so the U.S. had to play Group B runner-up El Salvador in a two-game series to determine the third CONCACAF berth for the World Cup. The U.S. would win both games to advance.
- At the 2001 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, the USA rallied to defeat Jamaica 2-1 on April 18 in group play. Santino Quaranta’s second-half penalty kick tied the score at 1-1, and Chad Marshall scored the winner in the 76th minute.
- The USA blanked Jamaica 3-0 on March 5, 2003, in the group stage of the CONCACAF U-17 Tournament. Corey Ash, John DiRaimondo and Freddy Adu each tallied a goal in the USA’s tournament opener.
- Jamaica earned its lone win against the USA in Group B play at the 2007 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, as the U.S. dropped a 3-2 decision on May 4. The USA built a 2-0 lead on first-half goals by Sheanon Williams and Alex Nimo. But Jamaica responded with three late goals, including John Ross Doyley’s penalty kick winner in stoppage time.
- The U.S. and Jamaica last met up at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, with the USA earning a 2-0 victory in the semifinals on Feb. 25. Marc Pelosi scored off of an Alfred Koroma assist, and then Pelosi set up an Andrew Oliver tally in second-half stoppage time. The USA advanced to the title game, where it defeated Canada 2-0 in overtime.