Sunday, Nov. 12
France 3, Burkina Faso 0
USA 3, Korea Republic 1
STRONG START IN INDONESIA
The U.S. got its World Cup campaign off on the right foot with a 3-1 victory against Korea Republic, boosted by a brace from forward Nimfasha Berchimas, the USA’s youngest player at this tournament in 20 years. The 15-year-old got the U-17s started fast, sending an impressive driving shot just under the crossbar in the seventh minute. Korea pushed hard for an equalizer and while goalkeeper Adam Beaudry and the U.S. defense held strong during a number of waves of Korean pressure, the Taeguk Warriors broke through in the 37th, hammering in a rebound after Beaudry made an initial long-distance save.
Renewed after the break, Berchimas had a shot deflected by the Korea goalkeeper in the 49th minute that midfielder Cruz Medina was well-positioned to put the rebound in the back of the net. Berchimas capped off the scoring in the 73rd, tallying from the top of the box to put the game on ice.
TOUGH START FOR LES ETALONS
Burkina Faso fell 3-0 to France in its opening match, holding strong for just over a half before conceding three goals after the break. While France held the majority of possession, Les Etalons held tough in the first half but the Europeans found a breakthrough in the 49th as Mathis Lambourde scored on a shot through goalkeeper Isidore Traore’s legs. The next two French goals came on penalties, with Joan Tincres and Tidiam Gomis netting in the 81st and 87th, respectively.
USA ROSTER NOTES:
- CAUTION WATCH: Defenders Noahkai Banks and Aiden Harangi plus forwards Micah Burton and David Vazquez all picked up yellow cards vs. Korea Republic. Should any of them be shown a second caution against Burkina Faso, they will be suspended for the group stage finale vs. France.
- Goalkeeper Duran Ferree served the one-game suspension he was given after being sent off during February’s Concacaf U-17 Championship Final and will be eligible for selection vs. Burkina Faso.
- Forward Nimfasha Berchimas’ brace made him the fifth player to put together a multi-goal game for the USA at the U-17 World Cup following Judah Cooks (three goals vs. Qatar in 1993), Taylor Twellman (two goals vs. Austria in 1997), Adu (three goals vs. Korea Republic in 2003) and Tim Weah (three goals vs. Paraguay in 2017).
- He’s the second-youngest player to score multiple goals in a single U-17 World Cup game behind Adu’s 2003 effort.
- Berchimas (15 years, 267 days) is the fourth-youngest player to score for the U.S. at this tournament, behind Freddy Adu (14 years, 76 days; three goals vs. Korea Republic in 2003), Imad Baba (15 years, 91 days; one goal vs. Brazil in1989) and Jason Moore (15 years, 148 days; one goal vs. Qatar in 1993).
- Berchimas’ two goals were his third and fourth U-17 goals in his fifth appearance. He also bagged a brace in the USA’s come-from-behind victory against Ukraine on Sept. 6 — his debut with the U-17s.
- Medina’s goal was his seventh of the U-17 cycle, good for second on the team.
- Medina and midfielder Paulo Rudisill made their cycle-leading 19th appearances.
- Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2006 are age-eligible for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Segares called up 17 players born in 2006, four born in 2007 and one born in 2008.
- The roster features players from 17 clubs, including 10 from Major League Soccer. Two players each come from the Colorado Rapids, Inter Miami CF and the San Jose Earthquakes. Four are based abroad in Germany (two), England and Spain.
- Three players have appeared in nine of the 11 training camps since the cycle began: Micah Burton, Tyler Hall and Medina.
- The USA clinched its record 18th FIFA U-17 World Cup berth with a runner-up finish at the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship.
- Forward Keyrol Figueroa, who finished second at the tournament with seven goals, and Medina were named to the competition’s Best XI.
- Thirteen players from the team’s Concacaf U-17 Championship squad return for the World Cup: Adam Beaudry, Micah Burton, Duran Ferree, Figueroa, Tyler Hall, Aiden Harangi, Taha Habroune, Stuart Hawkins, Medina, Paulo Rudisill, Pedro Soma, David Vazquez and Oscar Verhoeven.
- The U.S. has faced 18 different nations since kicking off the cycle during the Youth National Teams’ return to programming in November 2021, compiling an 12-8-0 record.
USA VS. BURKINA FASO
- Wednesday marks the first meeting between the USA and Burkina Faso at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It’s the USA’s 42nd different opponent at the tournament.
- Overall, the U.S. is 3-8-1 against African opposition at the U-17 World Cup.
- This year marks Burkina Faso’s fifth appearance at the tournament. Its best-ever finish came at Trinidad and Tobago 2001, a third-place showing. Les Etalons fell to Nigeria 1-0 in the semifinals before topping Argentina 2-0 in the third-place match.
- In its last appearance in 2011, Burkina Faso finished fourth in its group behind Germany, Ecuador and Panama.
- Twenty of 21 players on the Burkina Faso roster are based domestically at nine different clubs, including five in the Burkinabe Premier League. The most players, five, come from Rahimo. Midfielder Abdoul Sambare plays at Belgium’s Charleroi.
- Forward Souleymane Alio was named as one of 10 nominees for CAF’s Young Player of the Year award earlier this month.
- Head coach Brahima Traore made 38 appearances for Burkina Faso as a player, representing Les Etalons at the 1996, 1998 and 2000 African Cup of Nations. The 1996 tournament marked the nation’s first AFCON as Burkina Faso after one participation as Upper Volta and the West African country hosted the 1998 edition, taking fourth place in one of its best-ever finishes.
BURKINA FASO – 2023 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 16-Abdoulaye Traore (Association Nassara FC), 1-Isidore Traore (Vitesse), 21-Amine Compaore (KOZAF)
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Aly Sokondou (Real du Faso), 12-Faycal Traore (ASF Bobo Dioulasso), 5-Junior Traore (News Stars FC), 2-Hamzah Traore (Rahimo), 14-Lassina Traore (Rahimo), 17-Landry Yameogo
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Balde Bah (News Stars FC), 10-Cheick Camara (Vitesse), 8-Arouna Ouattara (Vitesse), 20-Emmanuel Ouedraogo (Rahimo), 19-Bougasse Pouabizan (Salitas), 13-Abdoul Sambare (Charleroi/BEL), 15-Idrissa Sore (Real du Faso)
FORWARDS (5): 18-Souleymane Alio (News Stars FC), 11-Appolinaire Bougma (AS ECO), 3-Aboubacar Camara (Rahimo), Ousmane Camara (Rahimo), Jack Diarra (Salitas)
HOW THEY GOT HERE
- Burkina Faso finished third at the 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations to earn one of four World Cup berths at stake.
- Les Etalons earned their spot in the continental championship by topping its group of West African competition (Ivory Coast, Benin and Niger) and winning the pre-qualifying semifinal vs. Ivory Coast, 3-1.
- Burkina Faso finished second in its group at the Africa Cup of Nations, falling 1-0 to Mali and topping Cameroon 2-1.
- The Burkinabes topped regional power Nigeria 2-1 in the quarterfinals before falling in penalty kicks to Senegal in the semis.
In the third-place match, Burkina Faso topped Mali 2-1 to secure its best finish at the tournament since winning in 2011.
- Forward Souleymane Alio was named the tournament’s best player. He scored two goals, tied with Aboubacar Camara for most on the team.
- Defender Lassina Traeore and midfielder Rachid Ouedraogo were also named to the tournament best XI.
U.S HISTORY AT THE U-17 WORLD CUP
The USA has qualified to a record 18 of 19 FIFA U-17 World Cups all-time and has reached the knockout stage at nine of 17 previous tournaments. Its best finish came at the 1999 tournament, a fourth-place showing in New Zealand led by a number of future USMNT stalwarts. Landon Donovan kicked off his legendary international career by winning the Golden Ball as the competition’s best player while future four-time senior World Cup selection DaMarcus Beasley also represented the U.S. After a 3-2 victory vs. Mexico in the quarters, the USA fell in penalties to Australia in the semifinals and lost 2-0 to Ghana in the third-place match.
The red, white and blue’s last knockout stage run came at the 2017 tournament, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion England, 4-1. The U.S. opened the competition with a 3-0 win against host India in front of more than 46,000 fans. In the Round of 16 against Paraguay, Tim Weah netted a hat trick, becoming the first U.S. player to accomplish the feat in the knockout stage of a men’s World Cup.
SENIOR SQUAD LAUNCHPAD
A number of stars for the senior USMNT have launched their international careers at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and since the USA failed to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the last three cycles have been markedly successful in progressing players to the senior USMNT. Twenty players from the previous three cycles have made their full team debuts, with 10 players from the USA’s 2022 FIFA World Cup roster having represented the U.S. at a U-17 World Cup: Kellyn Acosta (2011 U-17 WC), Tyler Adams (2015), Luca de la Torre (2015), Sergiño Dest (2017), Christian Pulisic (2015), Gio Reyna (2019), Josh Sargent (2017), Joe Scally (2019), Haji Wright (2015) and Tim Weah (2017).
In total, 59 players named to a U-17 World Cup roster have been capped by the senior USMNT, while 26 have been called to a senior World Cup. The competition has long been a launchpad for future USMNT stars. Landon Donovan, DaMarucus Beasley and current U.S. Soccer Vice President of Sporting Oguchi Onyewu helped the U.S. finish fourth at New Zealand 1999. Future 100-cap club members Claudio Reyna and Tim Howard represented the U.S. at Scotland 1989 and Ecuador 1995, respectively.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP WITH MLS NEXT PRO
Several members of the squad played key roles for their clubs during the recently completed second season of MLS Next Pro as nine players logged more than 1,100 minutes on the year. Forward Micah Burton helped Austin FC II lift the championship trophy, while midfielder Taha Habroune parlayed his standout performance in World Cup qualifying into a key role with runner-up Columbus Crew 2. Goalkeeper Adam Beaudry was one of four finalists for the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. In total, seven players made their pro debuts this season in the league designed to bridge the gap from the academy ranks to first-division Major League Soccer.
The 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup features 24 countries divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. From there, the tournament will feature a knockout bracket to the tournament final.
All three of the USA’s group stage games are set for the 82,000-seat Jakarta International Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city and the largest city in Southeast Asia. Bandung, Surabaya and Surakarta will also serve as host cities for the competition, all located on Indonesia’s largest and most populated island, Java.