Move over, Thierry Henry — you’ve got another World Cup winner joining you in Major League Soccer.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sánchez helped Mexico topple Uruguay 2-0 in front of a packed home crowd at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City in Sunday’s U-17 World Cup final.
Team captain Antonio Briseño volleyed home a Carlos Fierro cross in the 31st minute, while Giovani Casillas poked home an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time to give Mexico their second major trophy in two weeks, following the senior side’s second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
Young FCD ‘keeper Sánchez wasn’t tested often in Sunday’s final, but did survive a scary moment in the first half when he and Uruguay striker Rodrigo Aguirre met in a head-to-head collision. Aguirre had to be stretchered off the pitch.
Ironically, it was his substitute, Juan San Martín, who nearly got the best of Sánchez in the 61st minute when he sent a would-be equalizer off the post. Eight minutes later, the FC Dallas Academy product was tested again when Elbio Álvarez took a rip from 20 yards out, but Sánchez made a terrific save to parry it away and help preserve the crown.
It marked a highly successful run in the tournament for the Dallas-raised teenager, who backstopped Mexico through six matches without a loss at the U-17 World Cup and posted two clean sheets, both of which were in the knockout rounds.
Sunday’s victory marked Mexico’s second U-17 World Cup title in six years; the ’05 championship squad featured current senior-team stars such as Giovani dos Santos, Carlos Vela, Efraín Juárez and Héctor Moreno.