Whitecaps FC Development Squad goalkeeper Chituru Odunze has been named to the United States U-17 men's national team roster for next month's 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. The tournament is set for May 1 to 16 in Bradenton, Florida. The four semifinalists will qualify for this fall’s 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil as representatives of Concacaf.
The 6-foot-7 Odunze recently starred for the 'Caps U-17 academy team at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, conceding only one goal in five matches and coming up with several highlight reel saves.
This year’s tournament brings a new format, as 20 nations participate in the competition. The USA was drawn into Group F and kicks off its tournament against Canada on Thursday, May 2 at 3 p.m. PT. The U.S. then faces Barbados on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m. PT and finishes group play against Guatemala on Monday, May 6 at 3 p.m. PT. All three of the USA’s group stage games will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and the Concacaf GO app, available on iTunes, Google Play and online.
“I’m very excited about the team we’ve put together for this World Cup qualifying tournament,” Wicky said. “There’s a lot of very good quality in this group. We brought together a strong roster for the mini-camp earlier this month, and now we’ve added a few more pieces with a lot of good characteristics. The players have brought a great mentality and we’re excited and ready for a number of interesting games ahead.”
2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.; 13/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alta.; 4/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.; 14/0), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 11/0), 13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 2/0), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 10/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 14/1), 2-JosephScally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 14/1), 15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.; 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 7/2), 20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.; 13/0), 8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.; 0/0), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.; 0/0), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 17/1)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.; 0/0), 17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.; 3/1), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Tacoma Defiance; Kent, Wash.; 14/5), 9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas; 6/1), 10-Giovanni Reyna
(Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.; 8/1), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 6/3)
The new Concacaf U-17 Championship format featured four qualifying groups and four main groups drawn directly into the tournament proper. The qualifying groups played in round-robin competition from March 16 to 25 and April 1 to 7 with the four group winners (Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico) advancing directly to the Round of 16. The top three finishers from each of the main groups will also advance to the Round of 16. From there, it’s a single-elimination bracket that will qualify four semifinalists to the U-17 World Cup as well as crown a confederation champion.