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  • Baby steps: Canada can't finish dream run at u-17s


    Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    It took five full games for Canada to allow a goal at the CONCACAF u17 championships, but in the end that was all it took to deny them their first confederation title at the age level. The United States defeated the young Canucks 3-0, with all three goals coming in extra time of the title game.

    The score line flattered the winners, but the (slightly) better team likely finished on top. Team USA wasn't as pretty on the ball as Canada, but seemed more battle ready and were just scrappy enough to know how to win.


    Canada's best chances came in the game's first 30 minutes. However, once the US turned away the initial attacks they grew in strength. The Americans had the majority of the limited chances in the second half. In the extra time, it was all Yank.

    All is not lost for Canadians, however. With the first World Cup qualification in 15 years in the bag, the chance at redemption is a few months away, not a couple years. The World Cup goes from June 18 to July 10. The draw goes May 17.

    There are 24 teams in the u17 tournament. Including the host Mexico 13 teams have booked their trip.

    Uzbekistan, Japan, Australia, North Korea, New Zealand, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Panama, Jamaica and the United States will join Canada there. Four South American teams will be decided March 12-April 9 and six European teams fill out the tournament May 3-15.

    By all accounts, the u17 program is well funded and has received a good level of support. Hopefully that continues as the boys work towards a World Cup appearance. Canada’s history at the Finals is not a source of pride. Any win in Mexico will be a first.

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