The international youth tournament that swept the region in recent days (ok, admittedly only if you're really hardcore, though many of the games were shown on TV) has ended, and the two most popular countries here in Southern California have good news emerging from the competition.
First, Mexico won the CONCACAF U-17 Championship on Sunday, after beating host country Honduras 3-0. El Tri won their sixth title at this level, and will now turn their attention to the World Cup this fall, which will be held in Chile.
Chivas USA Academy player Ivan Gutierrez, who has featured during the tournament, did not play for Mexico in the final. Still, he comes back to the states with a regional title and some meaningful international experience to hopefully aid in his development. Congrats to Ivan for representing the Amerigoats at the tournament!
The United States, meanwhile, narrowly qualified for the U-17 World Cup on Sunday, as they beat Jamaica 5-4 on penalties after a scoreless match. Former Chivas USA Academy player Josh Perez played the first 80 minutes of the game before being substituted, while another former CUSA Academy player, defender Hugo Arellano, did not feature in the game.
The result officially means the U.S. finish third in the tournament, but more importantly, they also qualify for the U-17 World Cup in Chile. Though the U.S. started the tournament hot and found their bogeyman in Jamaica, they had some exciting moments in the tournament.
Back at home, all three Chivas USA Development Academy teams were in action over the weekend, as they faced Real So Cal, and came away with two wins. The U-14s won 3-1, as goals came from Cesar Rivera, Efrain Alvarez, and Diran Bebekian.
Meanwhile, the U-16s won 2-1, with Goats' goals coming from Jorge Hernandez and Leonides Cuteno, both in the second half. They currently sit in a playoff place, though there's still plenty of games to come.
But the U-18s couldn't continue the winning streak, as they dropped their game against Real So Cal. Matthew Gooden scored both goals for CUSA, but the team was shorthanded after Jonathan Hernandez picked up a second yellow card in the match. The U-18s remain just outside the playoff position, but they've got some work to do to catch up and reach the postseason.
This weekend, all three teams will be in action on Saturday against San Diego Surf on the Goats' home field, while the U-14s will also take on Albion SC in San Diego on Sunday.
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