Fort Wayne native and former Fort Wayne United FC player, Akil Watts and the U-17 USMNT play their first World Cup game this Friday.
USA is in Group A along with hosts India, Colombia and Ghana. They will open their campaign against India on October 6, followed by matches against Ghana on October 9 and Colombia on October 12.
The first two matches will be played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, while the final group game will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
All group games will be on FS2. For a complete tournament schedule, click here.
2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup Groups:
Group A: India (host), USA, Colombia, Ghana
Group B: Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand, Turkey
Group C: Iran, Guinea, Germany, Costa Rica
Group D: Korea DPR, Niger, Brazil, Spain
Group E: Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, France
Group F: Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England
2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup Group A Schedule:
Oct. 6, 10:30 a.m. ET: India vs. USA; Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Oct. 9, 7:30 a.m. ET: Ghana vs. USA; Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Oct. 12, 10:30 a.m. ET: USA vs. Colombia; Dr. DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
U.S. U-17 MNT Group A Opponents:
India has reached the U-17 World Cup for the first time in its federation’s history. The Blue Tigers only previous major FIFA tournaments came in the 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960 Olympic tournaments. The nation’s best finish was a fourth place showing in 1956. As hosts, India will look to capitalize on home field advantage and national support.
Colombia earns its sixth U-17 World Cup berth, and first since 2009. The team’s best finish came in 2003 and 2009, when they finished fourth in both tournaments. In their five tournament appearances since 1989, Columbia has posted a 7-9-7 overall record across 23 matches played.
Ghana makes their ninth U-17 World Cup appearance, and first since 2007. Qualifying for the World Cup by finishing second to Mali at the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations, the Black Stars have taken home the championship hardware twice in program history, 1991 and 1995 and come up just shy twice, taking silver in 1993 and 1997. In 43 games played from 1989 to 2007, Ghana has posted a 27-6-10 record, scoring 86 goals to 36 allowed. The Black Stars will present an athletic threat to the USA, as the two nations continue to build a special rivalry stemming from recent senior Men’s National Team World Cup encounters.