What USA need to do to advance in 2019 U17 World Cup

Kobe Hernandez-Foster - US U-17s - Close up

Through two matchdays at the 2019 U-17 World Cup, the US national team still has a chance of advancing, despite a slow start.

The USA sits in third place in Group D and will be aiming for a win in its final group game to advance:


The Americans have one point through two games in Group D, losing to Senegal and drawing Japan. Their final game is against the Netherlands —who sit last after dropping both their games so far — on Saturday (7 pm ET | FS2, Universo).

If the US draw the Dutch, two points to finish the group stage make it highly unlikely, but not impossible, to advance. In six 24-team U-17 World Cups, only Mexico in 2017 advanced as one of the best third-place teams with two points in the U-17 World Cup, and it has never happened in 24-team World Cups at other levels.

However, if the USMNT beat the Netherlands, four points to advance as a third-place team is pretty likely, based on past history. Every team to get to four points at the U-17 World Cup in the 24-team format previously has advanced. It's also happened at both 24-team Women's World Cup tournaments to date, as well as 10 of 12 U-20 World Cups with 24 teams.

If the US win, they also have a chance to finish second in Group D, if Japan lose to Senegal and the US make up the goal difference between them and Japan, currently a six-goal swing. Of course, if they manage to finish second, that placement will guarantee the US advancement to the Round of 16 knockout stage.


Canada had a tougher road to advance going into their final group match. On zero points in Group A through two games after losing to Braziland Angola, they needed a win at all costs against New Zealand to even have a hope of qualifying as one of the best third-place teams.

However, the Canadians lost 1-0 to New Zealand to finish the tournament without a point.

Third-Place Tracker (best 4 advance)

Team (Group)PtsWLDGFGAGD
Australia (B)4111550
Chile (C)312056-1
Tajikistan (E)311025-3
New Zealand (A)312025-3
Mexico (F)101112-1
USA (D)101114-3