Canada’s U-17 national team has a better idea of where they need some work as they continue preparations for next April’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the tournament that doubles as qualifying for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The Canadians picked up a win, a draw and three losses in the AGS Cup in Spain that wrapped up over the weekend. It was the second time the U-17s have assembled in preparation of qualifying after playing in a tournament in Italy and Slovenia in April.
Two MLS academy products helped Canada storm out to a 2-0 lead over Azerbaijan on Sept. 29 as Toronto FC’s Jordan Hamilton and Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Kianz Froese both scored. But the Canadians couldn’t hang on as the Azerbaijanis came back to earn a draw.
Hamilton scored again the next day, however, as 10-men Canada earned a victory over Morocco. Fellow TFC Academy member Elias Roubos also scored, as did FC Edmonton reservist Hanson Boakai in the 3-2 win.
But that was as good as it got as the Canadians dropped their next three games, 3-1 to defending U-17 World Cup champions Mexico, 2-1 to the United States and 2-1 to the United Arab Emirates.
Still, the showing left head coach Sean Fleming encouraged.
“We got better each game,” he said in a statement. “We’re creating good chances in each game but we’re not finishing like we have to.”
Canada are hoping to get back to the U-17 World Cup after earning their first-ever points in the 2011 edition, when they earned ties with both England and Rwanda.