Canada’s U-17 soccer team to make final player selection on Saturday

Canada’s U-17 team continues its preparations this week in Sunrise, FL in advance of next week’s 2011 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship. Canada is gearing up with a nine-day training camp in USA before heading south to Jamaica on Sunday 13 February.

Coach Sean Fleming has some tough decisions ahead of him. With 23 players in camp, he needs to trim the roster down to 20 players by week’s end. Coach Fleming is expected to make those decisions on Saturday.

"It has been a very competitive camp with some great performances," said national U-17 coach Sean Fleming. "It should hopefully bode well for some good performaces next week at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship."

The 2011 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship runs 14-27 February in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The 12-team competition is divided into four groups of three teams. Canada’s group matches are 17 February against Barbados (12.30 local kickoff) and 19 February against Honduras (12.30 local kickoff). Both matches will be played at Catherine Hall Stadium.

Should Canada finish first or second in its group (Group D), it will face either the second- or first-place team from Group C (either Jamaica, Guatemala or Trinidad and Tobago) in the quarter-final stage. The winner of the 23 February quarter-final not only advances to the semi-final stage, but also qualifies for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.

The final four teams in the 2011 competition will play 25 February (semi-final stage) and 27 February (third-place match and championship final). All matches from the quarter-final stage through to the final will be played at Catherine Hall Stadium. While Canada plays its group matches at Catherine Hall Stadium, other group matches will be played at Jarrett Park.

Canada has participated in four editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It last qualified for the global event in 1995. With improved competition in the region, the 2011 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship has expanded from eight to 12 teams, with four teams advancing to the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 (plus a fifth team in host Mexico).

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