Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
More world cup qualifying practice matches for the u-17 Reggae Boyz Horace Reid, General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, (Photo: The Gleaner).
Jamaica's under-17 national football team is set to have more useful practice matches ahead of their world cup qualifiers set to start on February 14.
Horace Reid, General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, has confirmed that the young Reggae Boyz have secured a game with Costa Rica while they are in discussions with Haiti for a two game series.
"We have confirmed the game against the Costa Rica under-17 team on February 10 at Brancourt in Clarendon at 2.30p.m. and the Haitian team has advised that they intend to arrive early, so we’re hoping to finalize two games against them, one on Saturday, February 5 and the other on Monday, February 7. Hopefully, within the next 48 hours or so we’ll be able to confirm these two games," Reid said.
He also sought to allay fears over the readiness of the Trelawney Multi-Purpose Stadium for the CONCACAF under-17 world cup qualifiers set to be held in western Jamaica.
Readying six training venues
The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was held at the venue on the weekend but as Reid explained, there are other areas of concern about Jamaica’s readiness to host the world cup qualifiers.
"Our main concern at the moment surrounds the practices facilities. We need to have six of them available, so we’re working feverishly to have the six training venues ready to hand over to the CONCACAF officials when they arrive. In fact, the facilities have to be handed over before because the CONCACAF officials have to finalise the training grid for the tournament.
"We had an inspection of the Trelawny stadium and we have again been assured that the venue will be ready. We examined the surface following the Jazz festival and it is not in the best shape but the management of the facility has advised that we will have very good surface for the tournament and there’s enough time to get it ready," said Reid.
Jamaicans have to get behind the young Reggae Boyz. They have a very inspirational theme song done by an artist named KroniK. The boys love it. We need the radio stations to play it. Check it out on http://www.kronikmuzik.blogspot.com and go to the music page and you will get a you tube link. The song bad. Something the nation can rallyround
Jevani Brown to young Reggae Boyz for CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers
Attacking midfielder Jevani Brown of Milton Keynes (MK) Dons Academy in England is scheduled to arrive on Monday to rejoin the national under-17 squad in its final stage of preparation for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament in western Jamaica.
Brown took part in the first three week of the six week training camp in Brazil as he had to return to school in England.
He will miss the under-17 Reggae Boyz’ friendly against the Haiti under-17 team at the Ferdie Neita Park in Sr. Andrew on Sunday but will be available for Tuesday’s final warm up game against Costa Rica.
The championship squad will then be selected before the Jamaican delegation departs for the championship village (Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, St. James) next Saturday.
The Wendell Downswell squad staged a training session at University of the West Indies Mona Campus on Friday.
_________________________ "Money doesn't change men, it merely unmasks them." - Henry Ford
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
US U-17s pummel Honduras in preparation match
Pelosi nets hat trick as US win 6-0 ahead of CONCACAF Champs. Noah Davis MLSsoccer.com February 6, 2011 Wilmer Cabrera (Getty Images)
The United States national team will travel to Jamaica for the U-17 CONCACAF Championship on a high note after defeating Honduras' youth side 6-0.
Wide midfielder Marc Pelosi netted a hat trick for Wilmer Cabrera's side, which also got goals from Mobi Fehr, Alejandro Guido and Dillon Serna. Central midfielder Nathan Smith had two assists before being replaced in the 58th minute.
Nineteen players saw time as Cabrera used the last match before Feb. 12's departure to evaluate his charges. The head coach will name his roster for the tournament later this week.
The US play Cuba on Feb. 14 before suiting up against Panama four days later. The two top teams in Group B advance to the quarterfinal, and the semifinalists will advance to the U-17 World Cup in Mexico this summer.
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Downswell steps away from U-20s to focus on U-17s
Understudy Edwards could take charge of 'older' Boyz
BY SEAN A WILLIAMS Assistant Sport Editor
Monday, February 07, 2011
Print this page Email A Friend!
National youth coach Wendell Downswell has decided to step aside as head of Jamaica's Under-20 football team to concentrate his efforts fully on the Under-17s.
Downswell, a respected youth coach, said his decision was timely and logical as the "promising" Under-17 Reggae Boyz launch their bid next week on home soil for a place in the age-group World Cup to be staged in Mexico later this year.
Wendell Downswell (pointing) lectures members of Jamaica’s Under-17 footballers at a training camp in Brazil recently. [Hide Description] Wendell Downswell (pointing) lectures members of Jamaica’s Under-17 footballers at a training camp in Brazil recently. [Restore Description] 1/1
"I would be stretched working with both units, but I will continue to give my technical expertise and I will continue to work with Andrew (Edwards), who I hold in the highest esteem as a youth coach," Downswell said on Saturday.
"If these youngsters qualify, it means that I will have to be away from them for another five weeks or so going to Brazil and Guatemala with the Under-20s, I think that will be too long a time from them," he added.
Edwards, who coached St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) to football success in 2009 and who has acted in Downswell's absence, could lead the Under-20s for the Brazil camp in March and their CONCACAF qualifiers in Guatemala in April. This, however, is subject to review and recommendation of the Technical Committee.
Downswell noted that his decision was also driven by the fact that should the team qualify from the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, which kicks off on Jamaica's north coast next Monday, he wanted to be available to work closely with the team in the critical months leading into the World Cup in June.
"And with the plans that the federation have in the pipeline in giving them (Under-17s) the necessary exposure, somewhere in Europe perhaps, means that I have to be there every step of the way," he told the Observer.
And the former senior Boyz coach is brimming with confidence that the present bunch of players have what it takes to be Jamaica's next team into a FIFA World Cup tournament.
"I am pretty confident that this bunch of players will qualify for the World Cup based on what I have seen in Brazil... and I think these youngsters can play a crucial role in revolutionising Jamaica's football," said the former Jamaica winger.
Six rigorous weeks in Brazil, Downswell claimed, have impacted in a positive way on the overall preparation of the Under-17s, who are seeking to repeat the success of the 1999 New Zealand World Cup team.
"In such an environment the exposure and hands-on experience gained cannot (be overstated)... we are better in terms of team organisation and shape which are crucial components," he stated.
Chairman of the JFF Technical Committee, Howard McIntosh, said the coach's decision made perfect sense at this time.
"He had indicated his position that he wanted to concentrate on the Under-17s and we think that was in the best interest of the programme... and we want him to give a high level of focus on the Under-17s," he said.
Downswell, who was instrumental in Jamaica's Under-20 team qualifying for the Argentina World Cup in Argentina in 2001, is highly thought of by the McIntosh-led committee, hence his appointment to head both age-group outfits.
"He is very optimistic and we are very understanding of his position to focus on what he thinks is one of the most promising units assembled in a long time. The JFF holds him in very high regard and that's part of the reason he was given the responsibility for the youth teams, all of which are critical to the JFF's plans in the short and medium term.
"I think Wendell has proven over time his value certainly as a mentor, coach and teacher and he has done extremely well and we are proud of what he has done with this unit so far and we hope it continues," said McIntosh, a long-time ally of JFF boss Captain Horace Burrell.
In continuation of their preparation for the CONCACAF play-offs, which will see four teams automatically qualifying for next summer's Youth World Cup, the Young Boyz were due to take on Costa Rica in a warm-up game on Thursday.
At press time yesterday, they were engaged in another friendly against neighbours Haiti at Ferdie Neita Park in St Catherine.
Just days after returning from their intense training camp in Brazil last month, Downswell's Boyz took on the USA in a two-match friendly series and were competitive in a 0-0 draw and 1-2 defeat to their powerful North American rivals.
Jamaica will engage the Caribbean's Trinidad and Tobago and Central American outfit Guatemala in Group C of the CONCACAF tournament to be staged jointly by the Montego Bay Sports Complex and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.
Jamaica will be hoping that lightning strike in the same place twice as the last time an Under-17 team made it to a World Cup, the qualifying tournament was played on Jamaica's north coast.
Loc: Hartford, CT. USA
With the last result I'm feeling a bit more confident in Downswell. Well at least his commitment.He is known as a player's coach and this plays well for the young Boyz. Like others here have stated, keep the discipline to the maximum to reduce or eliminate the yellow card factor. We won 3-2 so we still need to work on the backline, which he claims is so well galvanized.
So a little more gelling of both the defensive and offensive units is still needed. Good move by Downswell to recognise this. The new Boyz need to fit into the team and still make the team effective or better.
Give me half a chance and I'll make it one
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Cooper announces final U-17 squad for CONCACAF qualifiers TTFF Media
Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under 17 team head coach Shawn Cooper on Tuesday announced his final 20-man squad that will head to Montego Bay to contest the Final round of Concacaf qualification for the2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup.
Following months of preparation, Cooper and his staff came down to the final squad which will travel to Montego Bay on February 13 ahead of their opening match against Jamaica two days later. T&T then faces Guatemala on February 17 to close off the opening group phase.
The squad is captained by 1st Santa Rosa FC midfielder Duane Muckette.
Cooper said he was optimistic over the team’s ability going into the qualifiers.
“This group of players have demonstrated a degree of readiness and they possess the kind of quality and experience that I strongly believe will allow us to give solid representation in Jamaica and give us a fair chance of progressing in the tournament and through to World Cup in Mexico,” Cooper told TTFF Media on Tuesday prior to a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
“I kept back the announcement of the squad for s bit because I really wanted to give every player the best chance possible to stake a claim and it was not an easy job to decide on the final list. This is the best balanced team that the technical staff came up with. I believe that we have good cover for every area on the field and a squad of players that is capable of carrying us through in the tournament,” Cooper continued.
Meantime, Cooper’s opposite number, Wendell Downswell believes his Jamaican squad can consider themselves as one of the favourites to qualify for the World Cup, particularly as they are playing at home.
“I am pretty confident that this bunch of players will qualify for the World Cup based on what I have seen in Brazil... and I think these youngsters can play a crucial role in revolutionising Jamaica's football," said Downswell who has stepped aside from his duties as coach of the Jamaican U-20 team in order to concentrate on the UI-17s.
“If these youngsters qualify, it means that I will have to be away from them for another five weeks or so going to Brazil and Guatemala with the Under-20s, I think that will be too long a time from them," he added.
Haiti will face Costa Rica and Cuba will play the United States on the opening day of the CONCACAF Finals on February 14 in Trelawny, Jamaica.
Groups A & B will play reverse quarterfinals between the winners and runners-up on February 22 while Groups C & D will follow the next day. All quarterfinals will be played at Montego Bay's Catherine Hall Stadium. The semifinals will be played February 25 with the third-place and championship match two days later. The top four teams from the tournament will advance to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico from June 18-July 10, 2011.
T&T Final 20-man squad for Qualifiers 1. Quesi Weston - GK 2. Tevin Dodds - GK 3. Dario Holmes - Def 4. Damani Richards – Def 5. Anthony Charles - Def 6. Rondell Phillip - Def 7. Tariq Nicholls - Def 8. Nicholas Marcano - Def 9. Tervorne Morris - MF 10. Kiel Pierre - Def 11. Adan Noel - MF 12. Neil Benjamin - MF 13. Glen Sutton - MF 14. Duane Muckette - MF 15. Jomal Williams - MF 16. Garvin Samaroo - FW 17. Shackeil Henry - FW 18. Dwight Quintero - FW 19. Akeem Garcia - FW 20. Isaiah Noreiga - FW
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Excitement building ahead of U-17 champs
Captain of the Under-17 Reggae Boyz, Omar Holness (right), collecting souvenirs from Andrew Balbour, events and promotions manager with Claro, sponsors of the upcoming 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.- Contributed
The excitement is building as it gets closer to next week's kick-off in the Claro-sponsored 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in Montego Bay.
Jamaica will host 11 teams from the Caribbean, Central America and North America. The competing teams are Costa Rica, Haiti, Cuba, United States, Barbados, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Panama, Canada, Guatemala and Jamaica.
The 12 teams have been split into four groups - A, B, C and D. Jamaica are in Group C along with Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala and the young Reggae Boyz will play their first match in Catherine Hall next Tuesday at 3 p.m. The winners of each group and the runners-up will advance to the quarter-finals. Preliminary round matches will be played at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium and Catherine Hall Stadium.
Most of the pressure going into the tournament will be on the young Reggae Boyz as they are expected to do very well at home. The first practice match for the young Jamaican team held January 27 against the USA ended in a 0-0 draw. The USA clipped the young Boyz 2-1 in the second match on January 30. The most recent friendly match against Haiti on February 6 yielded a 3-2 victory for Jamaica.
Latoy Williams, media manager with sponsors Claro, is upbeat ahead of the tournament.
"The young Jamaican team shows great promise. They have obvious talent it's just for us to show them the unwavering support they need," Williams expressed.
"We are thrilled to be on board. These next few weeks are shaping up to be an exciting time, and Claro wishes all the participating teams the best of luck," Williams added. Claro recently gave $13 million towards the staging of the championship.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will begin their push for a place in the FIFA U-17 World Championship to held in Mexico later this year, when they tackle rivals Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF qualifiers on Tuesday.
The team will be hoping to be the first national team to do so, since the Under-20 team in 2001, in Argentina, and the second Under-17 team to do so since the nation qualified for the Youth World Cup in New Zealand in 1999.
Confidence is riding high in the camp after encouraging signs during a two-month training stint in Brazil and a series of practice matches leading up to the tournament. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals on February 22 and 23.
The semi-finals will take place on February 25. The four semi-finalists will qualify for the Under-17 World Cup and will join hosts Mexico as CONCACAF's representatives at the June 18 to July 10 World Cup.
Jamaica, T&T and Guatemala will play out of Group 'C'. Group 'A' comprises Haiti, Costa Rica and El Salvador, while United States, Panama and Cuba will play out of Group 'B'. Group 'D', which is the final group, comprises Honduras, Canada and Barbados.
Omar Duke Holness - Team Captain
Omar Duke Holness
D.O.B. March 13, 1994
Team Shirt #: 9
School: Wolmer's Boys School
Position: Attacking Midfield
Favourite Moment: "Going to Sunderland on trial and scoring against their rival Newcastle."
An aspiring future architect, Omar is the captain of the U-17 Reggae Boyz and thinks playing for Jamaica with the U-17 team is amazing. He is happy to have been chosen to play at one of the highest levels of competitive football.
Alias: Rom Rom/Romie
D.O.B. August 15, 1994
School: Kingston College
Team Shirt#: 7
Position: Centre Forward/Central Defence
Favourite Moment: "Winning the ISSA Pepsi U-14 competition in 2007 and finishing as runner-up with 29 goals in the leading goal-scorer race in prep school football."
"It's a tremendous feeling,"
Romario said, when asked how he feels about playing for Jamaica. He is honoured to play for his country, and believes it's a footballer's dream come true.
D.O.B. July 18, 1994
School: Paul Bogle High School
Team Shirt #: 5
Favorite Moment: "Making my debut against Canada."
Alvas has played for his high-school football team and the Danvers Pen Football Club, and says that playing for Jamaica has been his dream. "Each time I hear the anthem played, I get goose pimples," he said.
D.O.B. January 16, 1996
School: Jamaica College
Team Shirt#: 4
Position Played: Forward
Favourite Moment: "So far, when we won all three titles in the ISSA Manning Cup schoolboy football competition."
Junior feels proud to represent his country in the upcoming tournament, and feels honoured that he may be seen as a role model for other citizens of Jamaica.
Name: Andre Lewis
DOB: August 12, 1994
School: St George's College
Team Shirt #: 11
Position: Right Midfield
Favourite Moment: "Making my debut for my country."
Andre truly loves the sport of football; he is especially pleased that his love for a sport that has led to him being selected to represent his country.
After eight weeks of preparation Jamaica's Under-17 Reggae Boyz and their coach Wendell Downswell are anxiously awaiting the opening whistle, as they hope to cement their place in history.
Downswell, who recently stepped down as head coach of the Under-20 team to focus on the Under-17s, is quietly confident heading into the tournament.
A major part of the young players' preparation was a four-week training stint in Brazil, where the team played several matches, a tour which Downswell believes was not only necessary but ideal.
"I think that we could consider this as the ideal preparation because in the six weeks, we have played 10 games, we won three, we drew two and lost five," he said.
"However, for me, we haven't lost a game in Brazil because I think, overall, it was a tremendous experience for both the staff and the players. I think that every game that we played, we met our objectives despite the scoreline that it might reflect, and that kept the youngsters very focused on the task at hand."
Star Sports now continues it feature on the members of the team ahead of Tuesday's opener.
DOB: December 26, 1994
School: Wolmer's Boys' School
Team Shirt #: 10
Favourite Personal Football Moment: Scoring 52 goals in a season and winning all the titles in the same year.
Jason loves football! His career has already seen significant achievement and he is poised for more as he participates in the CONCACAF U-17 World Cup Qualifi
Alias: Baby P
DOB: July 22, 1995
School: Manchester High School
Team Shirt #: 15
Position: Right Attacking Midfield
Favourite Moment: Being able to play on the national U-17 team
Troy has always dreamed of playing at the national level, and is empowered by this opportunity. Troy looks forward to a career in football at the international club level or becoming an entrepreneur.
DOB: July 25, 1996
School: Wolmer's Boys
Team Shirt #: 12
Position : Right Wing Back
Favourite Moment: I was able to attend and participate in a Football Camp with Real Madrid FC, which was sponsored by Claro.
Patrick has excelled in the sport playing for Cavaliers FC locally and now at the national level he has found it to be a humbling experience. He looks forward to a long career in football.
Alias: Smack Daddy
DOB: February 12, 1994
Team Shirt #: 6
Position Played: Centre Back
Favourite Moment: Receiving a European passport so that I could play soccer in France.
One of the international based football players in the U-17 team, Quante is a pleasure to interact with. His teammates say he is jovial and an excellent addition to the team.
CONCACAF yesterday rejected the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, declaring the US$30-million facility as below the required standard to host games in the 12-team CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, which is slated to start in four days.
"We have serious concerns about this venue ... there is no grass and this is not what we expected," said Tim Howard, the general secretary of CONCACAF, following a tour of the facility with an inspection team yesterday.
"As we speak, only way we would reconsider is if we can't find a suitable alternative venue," Howard added.
As a consequence of the rejection of the Trelawny facility, the search is now on to find another venue as soon as possible.
Jarrett Park, which was initially rejected during CONCACAF's first inspection of venues back in September, is now high on the list.
"We will be going to Jarrett Park later this afternoon to see what is there," said Howard. "There is no way we are going to have grass growing at the Trelawny stadium in four days so we are basically ruling out that venue."
Jamaica Football Federation's general secretary Horace Reid, who was understandably em-barrassed by the situation, blamed the management of the stadium for the fiasco, arguing that they had repeatedly promised that the venue would be ready.
"Even after the trampling it took on the final night of the recent Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, I was promised that it would be ready," said Reid.
"This is embarrassing, disgraceful and unacceptable ... this is not what we were promised," he said.
Reid believes the rejection of the Trelawny facility and the last-minute attempt to find a replacement venue is bound to have a negative impact on Jamaica's reputation in CONCACAF.
"This is going to harm our reputation in the CONCACAF and might hurt our chances to stage future tournaments," said Reid. "I believe there is going to be serious repercussions."
Prior to the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, the Trelawny facility was lush green and, according to Howard, it was the local venue they had the least concern about in their inspection prior to the musical fiesta.
"Initially, we were very pleased about this stadium. In fact, it was the one we had the least concerns about," said Howard. "To come here and see it in this state today is just so disappointing."
The inspection team was slated to visit the Catherine Hall Stadium, the other main venue for the tournament, last night. Based on previous inspections, it was widely believe the venue would be accepted, making it available for Jamaica's opening game against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.
However, Howard made it clear that CONCACAF was not contemplating playing all the games at Catherine Hall as, according to him, "as a new facility it would not be able to stand up to such heavy use".
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
NEW YORK - Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium has been deemed unacceptable for use for the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship because of the condition of the natural grass field, and has been replaced by Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, the confederation announced Thursday.
Trelawny, a 25,000-capacity venue used for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, was scheduled to host three doubleheaders, including Monday's opener., but was ruled out following a final inspection Wednesday.
Instead, the 7,000-seat Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay, will stage the opening twin bill - as well as its already scheduled first-round matches, with Jarrett Park designated as the venue for matches on Wednesday, February 16, and Friday, February 18.
Due to limited changing room facilities at Jarrett Park, kickoff times for matches there also have been adjusted.
Jarrett Park is a 4,000-capacity venue that is home to the Seba United soccer club and has been used for Jamaican national team matches, most recently in 2008.
CONCACAF U-17 Championship Schedule At Montego Bay, Jamaica All Times U.S. Eastern Group A: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti Group B: United States, Panama, Cuba Group C: Jamaica, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago Group D: Honduras, Canada, Barbados
FIRST ROUND Monday, February 14 At Catherine Hall Stadium Haiti vs. Costa Rica, 12:30 p.m. Cuba vs. United States, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, February 15 At Catherine Hall Stadium Barbados vs. Honduras, noon Jamaica vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 16 At Jarrett Park El Salvador vs. Haiti, noon Panama vs. Cuba, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 17 At Catherine Hall Stadium Canada vs. Barbados, 12:30 p.m. Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 3 p.m.
Friday, February 18 At Jarrett Park Costa Rica vs. El Salvador, noon United States vs. Panama, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 19 At Catherine Hall Stadium Honduras vs. Canada, 12:30 p.m. Jamaica vs. Guatemala, 3 p.m.
QUARTERFINALS At Catherine Hall Stadium Tuesday, February 22 QF1: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, noon QF2: Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 23 QF3: Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up, noon QF4: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up, 3 p.m.
SEMIFINALS At Catherine Hall Stadium Friday, February 25 Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 3 winner, 4 p.m. Quarterfinal 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winner, 7 p.m.
FINALS At Catherine Hall Stadium Sunday, February 27 Third-Place Semifinal losers, 4 p.m. CHAMPIONSHIP Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
More teams, new format challenge U-17 field
* RSS * *
There are more teams and there is a new format. To some, the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship is more of an opportunity for the underdogs and a roll of the dice for the favorites.
VIDEO Video Previews and highlights PHOTOS photos Game galleries RELATED COVERAGE More news Teams | Results | Standings | Stats | More SHOP CONCACAF Shop FIND YOUR TEAM'S GEAR
"There are pros and cons to the thing," Canada coach Sean Fleming said. "The good for CONCACAF is that more countries are in the qualification stage and more younger players get to compete. The con is it's a one-game kind of playoff thing (to qualify for the World Cup)."
Canada is one of 12 countries, up from eight in 2009, which will start play Monday in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in a tournament that has changed from one that involved two groups of four teams, to one that now includes four groups of three teams.
Instead of each team playing three first-round games with the top two in each group qualifying for the semifinals and also claiming one of CONCACAF's four World Cup berths, the top two in each group now advance to the quarterfinals, the winner of which gets a World Cup berth.
"With 12 teams it's good, but a little more complicated with the third in qualifying for the World Cup," U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera said. "The third game is one important game. One game cannot determine if one team is good enough to go to the World Cup or not.
"One game, you can have a bad day and you're out."
With Mexico hosting the World Cup, it is guaranteed a berth in the June finals and opens another berth El Tri has earned nine of 13 times.
"With Mexico being one of the favorites, maybe there is a spot for someone else to get through," Fleming said.
The new format already has given a new opportunity for Panama and Barbados, which are making their first appearance in the final round of the CONCACAF U-17s.
"With the participation of 12 teams there are more opportunities for countries of a lower level," said Gary Stempel, former Panama senior national team manager now coaching Guatemala's U-17s.
Haiti will open against Costa Rica on Monday followed by Cuba against the United States. El Salvador also is in Group A with Costa Rica and Haiti, while Panama is Group B with the United States and Cuba.
Group C consists of Jamaica, Guatemala and Trinidad with Honduras, Canada and Barbados in Group D.
This also will be the first time CONCACAF will crown a U-17 champion since 1996. A format to determine the confederation's World Cup qualifiers without designating a winner was used from 1999 to 2007.
In 2009, a championship tournament format was reintroduced, but an influenza outbreak in Mexico, where the finals were being held, forced the abandonment of the event following the conclusion of the first round after the World Cup qualifiers had been settled.
The two-time champion United States has never failed to qualify for the World Cup, the only nation in the world to make that claim. It has created expectations Cabrera said is not entirely unwelcome.
"It's a responsibility. It's a pressure that we like," he said."It's good for the players, who are representing the U.S. You have to deal with that pressure."
Costa Rica has qualified for the World Cup each of the last five times, and won the title in 1994, placing expectations on it as well.
"The tournament seems very competitive to me due to the lever of the other teams," said Costa Rica coach Luis Diego Arnaez, an assistant on the Ticos' senior team under Rodrigo Kenton during the squad's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
"All the teams are roughly equal, although obviously there are teams that standout like Canada and the United States."
Fleming appreciates the compliment, but doesn't want to count his team among the favorites.
"Know the programs coming out of Central America and the Caribbean, a lot of other countries has more depth," he said. "We haven't qualified since 1995, so until you qualify on a regular basis, you should be considered a favorite."
But in a format where one game means qualification or elimination, maybe that's an advantage.
"A long shot team, based on the law of averages," Fleming mused, "Maybe it's not the higher seed that pulls off that result."