MONTEROTONDO, Italy – Canada’s first international test is in the books at a two-week men’s U-17 camp in Italy. The Canadian team drew 1:1 with Mexico in a Men’s U-17 International Friendly match on 21 April 2012 at Stadio Fausto. Mexico scored early before Jordan Hamilton equalised late in the first half in Canada’s first U-17 match for this new two-year cycle.
The Canadian team will spend 13 days together in Italy from 18 to 30 April, with participation in the eight-team Torneo della Nazioni beginning Wednesday 25 April.
Canada will face Israel, Italy and Slovennia from Wednesday to Friday in Group B action; the opposite group will feature matches between Croatia, Finland, Mexico and Montenegro. The top-two teams from each group will advance to the semi-final on Saturday and then final and match for third place on Sunday.
The tournament is technically an U-16 tournament, with all players born 1996 or later. The Canadian team "turns" 17 next year when it participates in the biennial 2013 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship. Four teams from CONCACAF will then qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup (also a biennial tournament).
In the Saturday 21 April match against Mexico, Canadian U-17 coach Sean Fleming featured all 18 players from his lineup. With the exception of goalscorer Hamilton and goalkeeper Marco Carducci, 16 players made their debut in a youth match for Canada.
"The team was nervous at the start, but I was happy how the team responded after being a goal down," said Fleming, whose team conceded the goal shortly after a corner kick. "Our team played some good football."
Late in the first half, Hanson Boakai played a ball in between the centre back and fullback to Hamilton who then scored from within the Mexican box.
"We deserved to be tied after the first half after some of the chances we created," said Fleming.
While both teams created chances in the second half, no more scoring would be recorded on the day. Mexico had a good chance that was stopped by goalkeeper Daniel Milton; Andrew Gordon had a chance of his own that almost made it 2-1.
Announced earlier this month, the 2013 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship will run 6-19 April 2013 at the Estadio Rommel Fernández and Estadio Agustin Muquita Sánchez. The 12-team tournament will qualify four teams for the 24-team FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.
GK- Marco Carducci | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
GK- Daniel Milton | CAN / Ajax Thunder
D- Alex Comsia | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Ian Fernandes | CAN / West Rouge SC
D- Jordan Haynes | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Leonardo Kossaka | CAN / AS Sherbrooke Ouest
D- Aron Mkungilwa | CAN / Laser
D- Matteo Restrepo | CAN / Woodbridge SC
M- Billy Bitihene | ITA / Brescia Calcio
M- Marco Bustos | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Mikaël Cantave | FRA / FC Nantes
M- Marco-Leonel Dominguez | CAN / Braves d’Ahuntsic
M- Kianz Gonzales-Froese | FRA / Mainz 05
M- Phillip Makinde | CAN / Brampton Youth
M- Derick Sequeira | CAN / Brampton Youth SC
F- Hanson Boakai | CAN / Xtreme FC
F- Andrew Gordon | CAN / North Scarborough SC
F- Jordan Hamilton | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
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