Canada Soccer’s young players will have an opportunity to test themselves against the best in the region this May when they compete in the 2019 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship. It’s an important competition which will also provides the Men’s EXCEL Program with the chance to lay the foundation for Canada’s cultural and tactical identity on the pathway to the Men’s National Team.
Canada will face USA, Guatemala and Barbados in the Group Stage of the 2019 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship from 2-6 May at the IMG Academy Center in Bradenton, FL, USA. The Group Stage in May features the 16 top-ranked nations drawn into four groups, with Canada drawn into Group F. Canada’s three match dates are 2 May against USA, 4 May against Guatemala, and 6 May against Barbados.
“We are at the beginning of introducing a new philosophy, system and approach for these young Men’s EXCEL players, but I am sure the will enjoy and grow from the experiences we have lined up,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL U-14 to U-17 Program Director. “Through our Men’s EXCEL programming and the upcoming Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship, our U-17 age group will experience a program that is fully aligned to the Men’s National Team tactical and cultural frameworks which is an important step for our future.”
Beyond the Group Stage, the Round of 16 will feature 12 nations from the four groups played in May (top three nations from Groups E-H) along with the four nations that won their respective Qualifying Stage groups from 16-25 March (Groups A & C) and 1-9 April (Groups B & D). The Round of 16 features eight knock-out matches played across two days: 8 May (1st in Group E v 1st in Group D; 2E v 3G; 1G v 1B; 2G v 3E) and 9 May (1F v 1C; 2F v 3H; 1H v 1A; 2H v 3F).
The Quarter-finals are scheduled for 12 May followed by the Semi-finals on 14 May and the Championship Final on 16 May. The four nations that win their Quarter-final matches on 12 May will also qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2019.
Ahead of the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship, Canada have been diligent in synergizing its Men’s EXCEL Program with the professional clubs in Canada, formalising the monitoring and tracking systems, periodising competition programs, and aligning calendars ahead of the international competition in May. Canada Soccer have worked hand-in-hand with the clubs in their own environments, evaluating a wider base of players while working together with the clubs to develop players both on and off the field on the pathway to the Men’s National Team.