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The U.S. U-17 MNT faces Malawi Thursday in the second game of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup

October 27, 2009 10:00 PM
By Michael Anderson,

The United States team has high expectations for their trip Nigeria for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Considered one of the better youth national teams in recent years, this year's U-17 World Cup roster features players from 13 different states with loads of experience. Eighteen of the 21 players, including all 11 starters from Monday's game against Spain, participated in the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP). Six of those players have logged at least 25 games with the U-17 Men's National Team, and 10 players have been in the U.S. Soccer residency program since the fall semester of 2007. With only four losses in its last 18 games, Coach Wilmer Cabrera is hoping for a long stay in Africa.

The U.S. suffered a disappointing loss to European power Spain on Monday in the opening game of the tournament, but the U.S. will face Malawi on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. EST with plenty of optimism about advancing to the knock out stages. Despite the loss, 16 of the 24 teams in the tournament will advance to the second round, and Spain is regarded as the toughest opponent in the group. If the U.S. can manage at least a point from Thursday's contest, they should be in a good position to advance heading into their final group match versus the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast on ESPNU. For U.S. Soccer's Malawi preview click here.

On Monday, the United States put on a strong performance against the Spanish as they held a one goal lead and a man advantage after the first five minutes. Forward Jack McInerney (Alpharetta, Ga. /Cobb FC) scored his team leading 10th goal of the year.  Despite controlling possession and creating numerous chances, Spain showed their class in overcoming the deficit with two outstanding first half goals. For a complete match report from U.S. Soccer click here.

For complete FIFA U-17 World Cup standings and results, click here.



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