The Under-17 men's national teams of Canada, the United States and 22 other nations learned their group assignments for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup on Thursday, and it was a case of good news/bad news for both of MLS's home countries.
Canada were drawn into Group A of the tournament alongside hosts Brazil, New Zealand and Angola, setting the young Canucks up for a daunting meeting with the host nation on opening day, set for Oct. 26. It should get easier from there, however, with Canada still carrying realistic hopes of advancement to the knockout round against less-forbidding opposition from Oceania and Africa.
It's a comparable picture for the US U-17s, who were drawn alongside European royalty the Netherlands in Group D, as well as Japan and Senegal. Coach Raphael Wicky's Yanks finished second in Concacaf qualifying earlier this year, falling 2-1 to Mexico in the tournament final.
Led by dual-eligible LA GalaxyHomegrown talent Efrain Alvarez, who assisted on El Tri's opener vs. the country of his birth in the Concacaf final, that Mexican side was drawn into Group F alongside Italy, Paraguay and Oceania upstarts the Solomon Islands. Concacaf's fourth qualified nation, Haiti, will face South Korea, France and Chile in Group C.