Group C of the 2017 CONCACAF Men's U-17 Championship gets underway with the USA vs Jamaica. The top two teams from the tournament's three four-team groups advance to the Classification Stage - from which the region's four 2017 U-17 World Cup qualifiers will emerge.
The US team is a heavy favorite to be one of CONCACAF's representatives in India this October. The U-17 squad features New York Red Bulls Academy prospect Chris Gloster, and former RBNY Academy player Tim Weah, now in Paris Saint-Germain's youth set-up. There are also several players already on pro contracts in MLS, such as Atlanta United's Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin, and D.C. United's Chris Durkin. But one of the Americans most likely to make a big impact at this tournament, Josh Sargent, isn't affiliated with a pro club at all. Sargent has emerged from the respected Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, based in St. Louis. This tournament and the World Cup the USA is expected to play in later this year will surely have some effect on Sargent's pro team options.
The Jamaica roster doesn't have the same star power as the American squad. Almost all the players are still primarily affiliated with their high school teams, and not one is well known outside Jamaican soccer circles. The team is expected to struggle in a group that includes the two teams favored to win the CONCACAF title (the USA and Mexico) - and even a point in this game would be exceeding most predictions for Jamaica's performance at this tournament.