BRENT LATHAM – U.S. under-17 coach Wilmer Cabrera has revealed that the squad he’ll take to Mexico next month for the under-17 World Cup won’t have any surprises.
The coach said that the 30-man provisional roster he submitted to FIFA last week listed only players from the Bradenton residency program, meaning the coach has opted not to include any new names among those who will attempt to improve on the Americans’ best-ever fourth place finish at the event.
Cabrera said that the coaching staff had run the rule over a number of possible new inclusions, but decided the original player pool had all the quality they would need. Cabrera will instead choose his 21 players from the 30 Bradenton residents on the provisional list.
The ex-Colombian international also confirmed that the team’s leading scorer during qualifiers, Andrew Oliver, would definitely not be rejoining the team, after being removed from residency last month for disciplinary reasons.
“He cannot return because he is not on the list that we sent to FIFA,” Cabrera said. “That was sad, it’s very disappointing, but at this point it’s a good life lesson for him, that helps for him to try to do the right things and try to commit, do the sacrifice and work on discipline to make any other national team. But at this stage he’s not with us and he won’t be with us.
“In order for you to be best, you need to show sacrifice, you need to show discipline, and you need to do what you need to do to make the U.S. national team.”
On the draw, Cabrera said the event came a little late in the game as far as preparing for the tournament.
“When you don’t know who you have to play and what kind of countries from what area, you are waiting, waiting, and then everyone is going to rush,” he said. “It happened to us and I imagine it happened to everyone. We should have a little more time to prepare, all the teams.”
The U.S. will play a series of scrimmages in Bradenton before embarking for Mexico in two weeks’ time.