Canada opens against Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship
Posted on 21 April 2017 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-14 to U-17
Canada will kick off the 2017 CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship with a tough Saturday test against Central American winners Costa Rica. The two nations will go head-to-head on Group B's opening day as CONCACAF's 12 remaining nations fight for four berths to the FIFA U-20 World Cup India 2017.
All of Canada's competition matches are scheduled to be broadcast live on CONCACAF's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/concacaf), with the 22 April Canada-Costa Rica match kicking off at 15.00 local / 16.00 ET / 13.00 PT. Canada Soccer will provide in-match coverage from Estadio Maracaná Panama via Canada Soccer's digital channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Flickr.
"We have a good group of players and we have all the belief in the world in them, their quality, and their ability to go out and perform at the highest level," said Paul Stalteri, Canada Soccer's Men's National U-17 Team Coach. "We have had the group here in Panama this week getting used to the conditions, be it the changing of the weather, the humidity, the heat, and all the different factors. Our focus right now is the first match and all the preparation that goes into that."
Canada is in a deceptively tough group featuring Costa Rica, Cuba, and Suriname. The four nations will face each other in a round-robin format from 22-28 April. After playing three matches each, two nations will advance to the second round while two nations will head home eliminated.
"At any level, the quality in CONCACAF has risen in the last 10 years, so there are no easy games to be played here," said Stalteri. "We are looking at the entire tournament expecting no easy games or no easy opponents. It will be a tough go in every single match."
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. Of importance at the end of the group phase, the first tie-breaker between two tied nations will be the head-to-head result (greater number of points in matches between the tied teams).
Fans can follow Canada throughout the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship in Panama, with group matches on 22 April (Costa Rica), 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. By the time Canada faces Costa Rica on the opening day, this group will have 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.