June 19, 2011
WORLD CUP OPENER
U.S. U-17s kick off against Czechs
The United States will open the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup against the Czech Republic on Sunday June 19, at 7 p.m. ET at Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico. The game will be televised live on on ESPNU and ESPN3, and on tape delay on Galavision.
The USA is the only country to to have qualified for all 14 FIFA U-17 World Cups since 1985, and will be looking to advance to the knock out stages for the fifth consecutive tournament.
In qualifying for Mexico, the Czech Republic tied all three group opponents – Romania, Germany and eventual-champion Netherlands – in the final round of the UEFA U-17 Championship. Though they did not advance to the confederation semifinals, the third place finish in their four-team group was enough to qualify the team to the U-17 World Cup. The Czech Republic boasts a tall, physical team that was one of only two teams to go undefeated during the final round of UEFA qualifying (the other being champion Netherlands). The 2011 event will be only the second for the Czech Republic, who played in 1993 as Czechoslovakia.