There's been plenty of action on the youth front lately, with several Chivas USA players, present and past alike, involved on the international front.
First, United States U-15 coach John Hackworth called up 36 players for a training camp in Florida that began on Saturday. Three of those players are currently with the Chivas USA Academy: Defender Kelee Cornfield-Saunders, midfielder Carlos Anguiano, and forward Misael Becerra. I don't believe there are really competitive games at the U-15 level, but the opportunity gives players a chance to get more training time and instruction and to impress coaches in the national team program. Congrats to Kelee, Carlos and Misael!
In other news, the CONCACAF U-17 Championship continues in Honduras, and after sitting on the bench the second and third games of the tournament, CUSA Academy midfielder Ivan Gutierrez came off the bench and played the second half for Mexico in their 2-0 win over Haiti. Gutierrez notched two shots on goal in the game. Mexico's Group B finale will be Thursday against Costa Rica. At present, El Tri sits in first place with the final matchday to go, level with Canada on points but ahead on a tiebreaker. If Mexico win the group, they will gain an automatic berth to the U-17 World Cup this fall in Chile, and will go straight to the CONCACAF U-17 Championship final, where they'll play the winner of Group A.
The other main player in the region, the United States, featuring two former Chivas USA Academy players, attacker Josh Perez and defender Hugo Arellano, were cruising, beating Trinidad & Tobago 2-0, Guatemala 4-1 (with a first half hat trick from Perez), and drawing the host country Honduras 2-2 (Perez scored the go-ahead goal, but Honduras scored a late equalizer). But on Wednesday, the U.S. lost their first game of the tournament, to Jamaica by a 1-0 scoreline. Perez and Arellano both started the game. The U.S. now has to go to a playoff game against an undetermined opponent to figure out if they'll clinch a spot for the World Cup.
On the actual Academy front, Chivas USA continues to be on a general uptick since 2015 began. The U-16s have climbed into USSDA playoff position and remained there for the time being, their most recent result being a scoreless draw last weekend against Strikers FC. They haven't lost in league play since Jan. 17 against the Seattle Sounders, so not bad, not bad at all, junior Goats.
Meanwhile, the CUSA U-18 team is on the edge of the playoffs at the moment, sitting just on the outside looking in. They beat Strikers FC last weekend 2-1, with goals coming from Erick Gallinar and Michael Flores. And they're on a nice unbeaten run, as well, having not lost in the USSDA since Feb. 1.
The Chivas USA U-14s drew Strikers FC 1-1, just their third draw of the season (and they haven't lost in their league since October). The U-14s don't officially keep track of results, so they have no playoff chase to guide them.
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