Ghana and United States football teams have arrived here to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, beginning on October 6. The US team landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport at around 10pm last night while the Ghana side arrived in New Delhi at 3pm on Monday. Both teams straightaway proceeded to their team hotels.
The 21-member US team came from Dubai where they had a seven-day camp, preparing for the U-17 World Cup. The Ghana team, on the other hand, reached New Delhi from Abu Dhabi where they had based for training ahead of the U-17 World Cup.
Both USA and Ghana are in Group A along with hosts India and Colombia. USA 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.
Ghana opened their campaign against Colombia on October 6, followed by matches against USA (October 9) and India (October 12). They will play all their group matches at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
The US Soccer Federation had named 17 players who were part of the team that played in the qualifying tournament — 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April — in which it had finished second.
Prominent players in the team include Josh Sargent and Tim Weah. Sargent will sign with Bundesliga (German League) club Werder Bremen next February when he turns 18. He also played at the U-20 World Cup in Korea earlier this year, making him the first US player since Freddy Adu in 2003 to play in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same year.
Weah, son of former FIFA World Player of the Year and Liberia great George Weah, signed with Paris Saint Germain earlier this year. In all, 12 of the 21 players on the roster come from Major League Soccer clubs.
USA have participated in 15 of the 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having only missed out in 2013. Their best showing came in New Zealand in 1999, when Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu helped the Americans to a fourth-place finish, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final after losing to Australia on penalties in the semi-finals.
The Americans reached the quarter-finals on four other occasions, most recently in Peru 2005. Last time in Chile in 2015, USA failed to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2001.
Ghana, two-time champions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1991 and 1995, are looking to end their 22-year trophy drought. This will be Ghana’s ninth appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and are one of the favourites considering their performance in the CAF qualifiers.
Besides the two titles, they have finished runners-up twice (1993 and 1997) while finishing third in the 1999 edition.