Jamaica’s first Qualification
Posted by Dresonic on January 23, 2007
In 1999 the Jamaican National Under-17 team qualified along with Mexico and the USA from CONCACAF to the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in New Zealand. Jamaica exited in the first round while Mexico was knocked out in the quarter finals by the USA (who went on to finish fourth (4th). Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley of the USA were named among the FIFA Rising Stars from the tournament.
Back then, El Salvador and Jamaica were the host nations for the final stage of qualification. Jamaica was placed in Group A along with USA, Costa Rica and Honduras. The young Reggae Boyz topped the group by defeating Honduras and Costa Rica and playing to a goalless draw with USA.
Mexico’s dominance over the years
Mexico has traditionally performed well at this level. They hold an impressive record at the final stage of qualification to the FIFA U-17 World Cups. This final stage of qualification differs in format now than a few years ago. Since 1999 CONCACAF has used zonal qualifications to determine which teams enter the FIFA World Cup stage. In former years the tournament played via knockout qualification and crowned one champion.
The CONCACAF U-17 Tournament started in 1983 and Mexico won four (4) of the eight (8) tournaments. Mexico’s dominance in CONCACAF at this level is also affirmed by their qualification the FIFA U-17 World Cup nine (9) times, failing to qualify only (3) times.
The 2007 Match-Ups
The 2007 CONCACAF U-17 tournament will be hosted in Honduras and Jamaica. Group A will be played in Honduras and is completed by Mexico Haiti and El Salvador. Group B features Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica (hosts), Trinidad & Tobago and the USA. The top two teams from Group A along with the top three from Group B will qualify to the 2007 FIFA World Cup in South Korea in August.
Jamaica’s Preparation to date
The National U-17 Team has been quite active since 2006. The U-17 team has had the most practice games of all the Jamaican National teams, three (3) international friendly games and ten (10) friendly games against local U-19 school teams such a Norman Manley High, Bridgeport Technical High, Frome Technical High and Godfrey Stewart Technical High among others. Additionally, the team began its qualification for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Mr. David Hunt was appointed as Coach in February.
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