Canada will head home from the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup after a group stage exit in Indonesia following a 5:1 loss to Mali on Thursday 16 November. Canada lost their three group matches to Spain, Uzbekistan and Mali across seven days in Surakarta and Surabaya on Java Island. The Thursday loss at the biennial FIFA youth tournament ended a two-year journey for the young Canada footballers.
“Tonight we pushed to try and get the win against a really good team,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s U-17 Coach. “We’re not pleased to have lost, but we can look at all three games and learn in different ways whether it’s through effort, fight, or quality. This is the standard they have to meet and it’s just the foundation. Some of these guys will move onto the next cycle with the U-20s, we know they’re good enough to excel at that level, so it’s important that they grow from this experience.”
It was Canada’s eighth participation at the FIFA U-17 World Cup since 1987 and it was the first time in a decade that they participated in back-to-back FIFA U-17 World Cups. From October 2022 to February 2023 and then September to November 2023, Canada played 16 youth international matches and had 40 different players called into their U-17 camps. They reached the Concacaf Semifinals before they were eliminated in the group stage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players from the best soccer environments across the globe. Domestically, the Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as our professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023™ provides an important development step towards future Concacaf and FIFA youth competitions at the U-17 and U-20 levels and more importantly a step towards competing at the international level for Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team at Concacaf, FIFA and Olympic tournaments. Since the last FIFA U-17 World Cup four years ago at Brazil 2019, already a trio of those players have earned call ups to the Men’s National Team (Jayden Nelson, Ralph Prio, Jacen Russell-Rowe).
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