Canada will kick off the 2017 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship with a tough Friday test against rivals Honduras. The two sides will meet in the competition’s opening match as CONCACAF’s 12 remaining nations fight for four berths to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.
“There is good experience in the group along with our Canadian resilience and character, but we also feel that we are 20 players strong and that anyone can contribute when called upon,” said Rob Gale, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National U-20 Team Coach. “Our boys feel that we can mix it with anyone of our opponents at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship, so this competition is important to them and it does matter that we are here representing Canada.”
Canada, Honduras, Mexico, and Antigua & Barbuda are the four nations that will face each other in a round robin format from 17-23 February. After playing three matches each, two nations will advance to the second round while two nations will head home eliminated.
While each nation’s ultimate fate will be decided across three matches, each nation also recognises the importance of kicking off with a strong performance.
“We know Honduras will be a tough opposition as they are strong and direct in their play,” said Gale. “We need to match them and be creative at the other end. We have to make sure we are physically ready, take our chances, and execute our game plan.”
Fans can follow Canada throughout the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica, with group matches on 17 February (Honduras), 20 February (Mexico), and 23 February (Antigua & Barbuda). The 12-nation competition continues through to the championship final on 5 March.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.