North Carolina FC defender Adam Armour has been named to the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, which will take place from Oct. 26-Nov. 18, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday.
A leading example of NCFC’s youth-to-pro pipeline, the 17-year-old Armour signed an Academy contract with NCFC in April, making him available for first-team matches while maintaining his college eligibility. Armour has also trained with the first team throughout the 2019 season. The Cary native has starred for the NCFC Academy's U-18/19 squad and also saw the field for head coach Tom Harris’ NCFC U-23 squad this past summer in USL League Two action.
Armour, one of the 21 players selected for the upcoming tournament by head coach Raphael Wicky, has 18 U-17 caps and will be part of the U.S. squad that takes on Senegal (Oct. 27), Japan (Oct. 30) and Netherlands (Nov. 2) in the group stage.
2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.; 4/0), 1-Damian Las (Fulham/ENG; Norridge, Ill.; 19/0), 12-Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; London, England; 7/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 15-Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 4/0), 13-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.; 18/0), 3-George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.; 8/1), 4-Nicolas Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 3/0), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.; 17/0), 5-Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.; 23/3), 2-Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.; 19/1)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 18-Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg/GER; Frankfurt, Germany; 2/0), 17-Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.; 3/0), 8-Bryang Kayo (Orange County SC; Poolesville, Md.; 8/1), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.; 7/0), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.; 25/2)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.; 15/7), 20-Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.; 11/1), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Merced, Calif.; 24/9), 9-Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 15/5), 10-Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; Bedford, N.Y.; 15/8), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.; 12/7)
ABOUT THE U-17 MNT
Twenty of 21 players on the roster have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including every player born in the U.S. Thirteen players have logged professional minutes this season in Major League Soccer or USL League One.
Fourteen players return from the USA’s 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship squad that clinched the Stars and Stripes’ record 17th trip to the U-17 World Cup. Four players were named to the Best XI at the regional championship: defender Kobe Hernandez-Foster, midfielder Daniel Leyva and forwards Gianluca Busio and Gio Reyna – all of whom have been selected for the World Cup roster.
Reyna is the U-17s’ leading scorer this year and moved to Germany’s Borussia Dortmund over the summer to launch his pro career overseas. The son of U.S. Men’s National Team legend Claudio Reyna, Gio will play in the U-17 World Cup 30 years after his father did so at the 1989 tournament in Scotland. Busio will be the most experienced professional to ever take the field for the USA at a U-17 World Cup after making 26 league appearances for Sporting Kansas City over the last two seasons.
Since the start of this U-17 cycle in December 2017, the U.S. has put together a 17-8-5 international record, testing themselves against national teams from 18 different countries.
AT THE 2019 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP
The 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup features 24 nations divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-placed teams advance to the knockout round. All 52 matches of the tournament will be played in four venues across Brazil.
2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup – USA Group D Schedule
|Date||Match||Kickoff (ET)||Venue||TV Info|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||USA vs. Senegal||3:50 p.m.||Estadio Kleber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil||FS1, Telemundo|
|Wed., Oct. 30||USA vs. Japan||6:50 p.m.||Estadio Kleber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil||FS2, Universo|
|Sat., Nov. 2||USA vs. Netherlands||6:50 p.m.||Estadio da Serrinha; Goiania, Brazil||FS2, Universo|
The USA has qualified for a record 17 U-17 World Cups and is one of just seven countries to qualify for the last three tournaments.
The roster features 16 17-year-olds and five 16-year-olds.
Seventeen players compete domestically, while four are based internationally in England (two players) and Germany (two players).
Nine players have been signed to MLS Homegrown contracts.
Twelve different states are represented on the roster, with the most players coming from California and New York (three each).
This will be head coach Raphael Wicky’s first World Cup at the helm of the U-17 USMNT. He played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup for Switzerland, making four of his 75 appearances for the Swiss National Team during that tournament.
Wicky brings 27 years of experience as a player and coach in Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United States to U.S. Soccer. Prior to joining the U-17s, he coached FC Basel to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 after rising through the ranks of the club’s youth system.
Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez enters the tournament as the U-17s’ leading scorer with nine goals.
Adam Saldana is the team’s most experienced player with 25 caps. Both Saldana and goalkeeper Damian Las have participated in all fourteen U-17 training camps/events in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Seven players represented the USA at the 2017 Concacaf Boys’ U-15 Championship: Las, defenders George Bello and Joe Scally, Saldana and forwards Gianluca Busio, Ocampo-Chavez and Gio Reyna.
Three players earned their first U-17 caps at the team’s final preparation camp in September during the 4 Nations Tournament in the Netherlands: defender Nicolas Carrera and midfielders Maximilian Dietz and Ethan Dobbelaere.
Las made his debut for Fulham on Sept. 21, keeping a clean sheet at Aston Villa in a 3-0 win.
Scally scored his first goal for New York City FC U-18/19 since the 2017-18 season on Oct. 5 at New England.
Midfielder Daniel Leyva netted his first pro goal on Oct. 5 for the Tacoma Defiance at Fresno. Ocampo-Chavez also scored, his sixth of the season for Tacoma.
Bello scored his first goal of the 2019 season for Atlanta United II on Wed. night in a 5-2 win against Bethlehem.
Busio finished the 2019 MLS season with 22 appearances, the fifth-most in the league for a teenager. He was the only 17-year-old with more than 15 appearances on the year.
Forward Ricardo Pepi finished the inaugural USL League One campaign as the league’s fifth-leading scorer. He helped North Texas SC top the regular season table and the No. 1 seed in the postseason.
In the U-19 Bundesliga, Reyna has started all seven games for Dortmund to start the season, while Dietz has appeared in all seven matches for Freiburg.
Midfielder Bryang Kayo recently signed his first professional contract with USL Championship side Orange County SC.
Twenty of the 21 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
In addition to the 14 players from MLS clubs who came up through their respective academies and North Carolina FC’s Adam Armour, the remaining five players last played for the following DA teams: Aaron Cervantes (Pateadores), Kayo (D.C. United), Las (Chicago Fire), Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Reyna (New York City FC).
Three players have won Academy Player of the Year honors- defender Kobe Hernandez (West, 2019), Reyna (East U-16/17, 2018) and Bello (East U-15/16, 2017).
Four players were named to Academy Best XIs at the end of last season- Armour (East), Tayvon Gray (East), Hernandez (West) and Kayo (East).
Gray and forward Andres Jasson are two-time Academy champions with New York City FC U-18/19 (2018 and 2019). Reyna and Scally were also a part of NYC’s 2018 national champion squad.
Jasson won the Golden Boot as the 2019 postseason’s leading scorer, netting six goals.
Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez won the 2018 U-16/17 Academy Championship with Seattle Sounders FC.
Bello helped Atlanta United U-15/16 take home the 2017 U-15/16 Academy Championship.