The US Under-17 national team is now one win closer to qualifying for the U-17 World Cup, and they didn’t have to lift a finger to do it.
Guatemala’s win over Haiti in Panama City on Tuesday night guaranteed the US will advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Richie Williams’ squad can finish no lower than second in Group C, and the top two finishers in each three-team group advance to the knockout rounds.
The US beat Haiti 3-0 in their tournament opener on Sunday and wrap group-stage play on Thursday against Guatemala at Estadio Rommel Fernández (6:30 pm ET, delayed on Fox Soccer at 7 pm ET). They would win the group with a win or a draw in that game.
Advancing to the semifinals won’t be as simple, however – the winner and runner-up in Group C are paired with their opposite numbers from Group D. That would be Mexico and Honduras, who meet on Thursday to decide who wins the group. All four semifinalists at the CONCACAF tournament qualify for this fall’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
The US have never missed a U-17 World Cup, appearing in all 14 editions since the tournament was first held in 1985.