Canada has been drawn into Group E alongside Argentina, Austria and Iran at the FIFA U-17 World Cup set to kickoff on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates.
Four current Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency players were called into the most recent Canadian U-17 camp, including Carducci, and midfielders Marco Bustos, Matthew Chow, and Jordan Haynes.
The Red and White were represented at the draw by Whitecaps FC Residency goalkeeper – and Canadian U-17 national team captain – Marco Carducci.
The Canadians will open the tournament against Austria on October 19, then take on Iran on October 22 and will close-out its group stage with an encounter against Argentina on October 25.
All group matches for the Canadian U-17’s will take place at the Al Rashid stadium in Dubai.
“We knew we would be drawn into a group with three quality opponents, and the draw fulfilled that expectation,” Sean Fleming, head coach for Canada’s U-17s told CanadaSoccer.com from Dubai.
The Canadian U-17 national team will gather for a camp from September 1 to 10 in Mexico. They will then come together again for a pre-World Cup camp from October 7 to 15 before the tournament begins.
“Our first match is against Austria so our immediate focus will be on them, but obviously to have a chance to take on a great footballing nation like Argentina is a special challenge. I know our players will rise up for that one.”
Fleming’s U-17’s made history in 2011 when Canada picked up its first-ever point at a FIFA U-17 World Cup – notching draws against England and Rwanda.
But after the draw Fleming did not want to set a specific goal for his team at the competition, asking his players to instead focus on solely on the team’s performances in October.
“Our team needs to focus on all of the small things that go into putting together a positive performance,” Fleming said.
“We want to remember that this tournament should only be a stepping stone in the careers of these players as hopefully they will go on to represent our men’s national team and play for the country at the highest level.
“The draw here today does not change on our expectation.”