Canada have advanced to the semifinals after back-to-back wins at the CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship.
The Red and White finished second in their group following a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday morning at the IMG Center in Bradenton, FL, USA. Whitecaps FC Residency defender Nathan Demian captained the team, while Residency newcomer Tomas Ribeiro also got the start for a second straight match.
Canada will next face Mexico on Thursday, August 17 in the first of two semi-final matches followed by USA v Panama in the other Thursday semi-final. Fans can follow Canada’s team at the 2017 CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including in-match updates on Twitter.
“It will be a tough match, but it will be a very good test for our boys to see where they are in their development,” said coach Paul Stalteri. “It is great to have this competition and if you win (against Mexico) you are in the final.”
Over three matches in four days, Canada won two matches to finish second in Group B of the CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship Division 1. After an 2-0 loss to USA on Sunday, Canada won 3-0 over Costa Rica on Monday and 3-0 over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.
“Each match has provided our players the chance to play together, to get to know each other, and for the coaches to get to know our players,” said Stalteri. “They have had three matches in four days in the heat, but the boys have handled the week very well and managed to score six goals in the last two matches.”
Malik Henry, Matthew Radivojsa, and Sean Rea scored against Costa Rica while Jérémie Omeonga-Nkoy (two) and Cameron Da Silva scored against Trinidad and Tobago. Goalkeeper Marc Kouadio posted back-to-back clean sheets. All 18 Canadian players featured across the three matches, with each match 70 minutes in length. The competition features players born 2002 or later, which means the players are eligible for FIFA/CONCACAF competitions at the U-17 level in 2019, the U-20 level until 2021, and the Olympic/U-23 level until 2024.
“This is an important age group as the players are at an age that you can affect positively over the coming years,” said Octavio Zambrano, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Program Head Coach. “It is the right opportunity to share the philosophy as to how we want them to play as well as the methodology as to how we want them to train."
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 territory 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.
CANADA IN TORONTO ON 2 SEPTEMBER
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team returns to Toronto to face CONCACAF Gold Cup finalists Jamaica on Saturday, September 2. The Toronto match serves as a re-match from the Canada-Jamaica quarter-final match at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Tickets to the Men’s International Friendly match start as low as $20 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster.ca, by phone at 1.855.985.5000, or in person at the BMO Field Box Office. As the match takes place during the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), all match tickets include free admission to the CNE grounds on match day. The September 2 match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT with complete ticket details at canadasoccer.com/tickets.