Canada will look to build on their positive play from the opening match when they face Cuba on Tuesday at the 2017 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship. The two nations will go head-to-head in the Panama heat with a 14.00 local kick off at Estadio Maracaná Panama.

Canada must earn a point or better against their opponents as they continue their qualification route to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.

“We will prepare our boys for exactly what we want to do and have them ready for Tuesday,” said Paul Stalteri, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National U-17 Team Coach. “We have an idea of how Cuba likes to play and what they like to do, so we have our plan set up and we will attack them accordingly.”

Canada opened their competition play on Saturday, going down to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining and then falling 1:2 on a last-minute goal by Costa Rica. Canada will be without their centre back Antonio Rocco Romeo for the Cuba match as the Canadian goal scorer was shown a red card. The tall Romeo had scored Canada’s second-half goal on a header from a Jordan Faria corner kick.

“It was a tough, gut-wrenching way to end that game in the last second of the match with no chance to get the goal back,” said Stalteri. “We have to build the spirits back up and look forward to the next match against Cuba. Hopefully we can maximize our points and move on from there.”

Fans can follow Canada throughout the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship in Panama, with upcoming matches on 25 April (Cuba), and 28 April (Suriname). The 12-nation competition continues through to the championship final on 7 May.

The CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship provides an important opportunity for player development along the Canada Soccer Pathway. The Canadian program aims to develop players that are adaptable to play against any opponent while also expanding the players’ knowledge of CONCACAF environments and opponents.

Alongside their time with clubs, all 20 players have experience in Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program. Through to the start of this competition, this group has accumulated more than 1,000 days in national youth camps.

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.