Canada will feature against host Brazil in the opening match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 this Saturday in Brasilia. The tournament opener marks a major milestone in the soccer careers of these young footballers as they continue their journeys to the Men’s National Team. It is also provides a big opportunity for the Men’s National Team Program as the group strives to become the first Canadian team to reach the knock-out phase at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 opening match kicks off at 17.00 local at the Estádio Walmir Campelo Bezerra in Brasilia, Brazil. In Canada, fans can watch the match live via TSN and RDS at 16.00 ET / 13.00 PT. Extended match day coverage will be featured across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans are encouraged to follow Canada Soccer’s Men’s U-17 National Team every step of the way by using their social media handle, #canm17.
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 is an important part of the pathway to the Men’s National Team,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL U-14 to U-17 Program Director. “What an opportunity for this group to play Brazil in Brazil in the opening match on Saturday. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the players and the Men’s National Team Program.”
The FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 will provide Canada’s young players with a chance to take part in meaningful international competition, which provides an important step in the development pathway while also allowing Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program to identify future players for the Men’s National Team.
“It’s been a big year for our Men’s EXCEL Program with semi-final finishes at both the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship and Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship,” Olivieri said.
ROAD TO THE FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2019
Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 after winning 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark over Concacaf rivals Costa Rica on 12 May. After 120 minutes in the Florida heat with no winner from a 1:1 draw, Canada won their ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in six years.
This marks the seventh time that Canada advances to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the biennial competition that was initially launched as the FIFA U-16 World Tournament in 1985. Canada were the second hosts of the competition in 1987.
“The Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship was an exciting next step to the NEX-PRO integration strategies that we launched with our MLS academies, but it also represented the type of pinnacle event where success in meaningful matches will put us among Concacaf’s top nations,” said Olivieri. “The big objective was to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup which we have done and this now allows us to accelerate the development for players in this age group.”
FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2019
Brazil’s experience as a host of global football competitions dates back almost 70 years to the 1950 FIFA World Cup™. More recently, the nation staged the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, which drew almost 3.5 million fans to packed stadiums in 12 Host Cities around the country. While recent major events held in Brazil have featured stars at the height of their careers, the FIFA U-17 World Cup brings together the best young footballers in the world for a unique opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage.
Through the group stage, Canada will face Brazil on 26 October, Angola on 29 October and New Zealand on 1 November, with all three matches to be played at the Bezerrão in Brasilia. The Knockout Phase runs from 5 November through to the Final on 17 November.
This will mark Canada’s seventh participation at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and first since 2011. From past editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Canadian youth players that went on to represent the Men’s National Team include Paul Peschisolido (Canada 1987), Mauro Biello (Scotland 1989), Jim Brennan (Japan 1993), Paul Stalteri (Japan 1993), Patrice Bernier (Ecuador 1995), Maxime Crépeau (Mexico 2011), Samuel Piette (Mexico 2011), and Marco Bustos (UAE 2013).
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM
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 territory 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.