Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, Antonio Briseno, Bobby Wood, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Conor Doyle, Efrain Juarez, Giovani Casillas, Giovani Dos Santos, Joseph Gyau, Omar Salgado, Rose Bowl, Sebastian Lletget, Thomas Rongen
Mexico won its second FIFA Under-17 World Cup title in six years, beating Uruguay, 2-0, in the final in Mexico City. Antonio Briseno, in the 31st minute, and Giovani Casillas, at 90+, scored for the Mexicans. [July 10]
Comment: Mexico’s triumph came just two weeks after the senior Mexican team, featuring Giovani Dos Santos, Efrain Juarez and other graduates of the 2005 U-17 championship side, defeated the U.S., 4-2, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup title game at the Rose Bowl.
The gulf between the Americans and Mexicans isn’t as wide at the senior level as some critics charged after the Gold Cup, but it’s crystal clear that it will grow before it closes. While Mexico was making its run to the U-17 crown, the U.S. was falling in the second round. Worse still, while Mexico heads to Colombia later this month for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the U.S. under-20s are left to contemplate their elimination last March during the CONCACAF qualifiers, the first time in seven tries that they’ve failed to reach the finals and a setback that cost longtime coach Thomas Rongen his job.
The U.S. under-20s feature some bright talents, including midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Joseph Gyau and forwards Omar Salgado, Bobby Wood and Conor Doyle, so a bit of help may be on the way for the U.S. seniors. However, in terms of collective big-game experience and big-game success, the future lies with Mexico.
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