Canada Soccer

Canada looks to build on youth momentum on road to the FIFA U-20 World Cup

Posted on 13 September 2018 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-18 to U-20

Canada have their roadmap to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. It all starts this November when Canada will have to finish at the top of Group D to emerge from a 35-nation first-round group phase at the 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship.

From 35 nations, only the six Concacaf group winners will advance to the qualification phase from which four Concacaf nations will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.

Canada’s Group D opponents are Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Martinique. The 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship runs from 1-21 November in Bradenton, FL, USA at the IMG Center.

“There is a great momentum in our game, especially coming out of the Toulon tournament,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s Men's EXCEL U-20 Program Director. “This competition provides our young players with another opportunity to gain valuable experience, especially in playing against multiple matches in a short window against different types of opponents.”

Canada recently finished in sixth place at the prestigious Toulon tournament, otherwise known as the Festival International Espoirs Provence. The Canada U-21 squad, that went undefeated in the group phase before falling 1:2 to France, featured 13 teenagers born 1999 or later.

“Every time we come together, we get the chance to grow our tactical identity & build our culture,” said Olivieri. “The Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship provides our players another chance to bind together as a group.”

In the group phase, Canada will play a different opponent every second day. Canada will face Dominica on Friday 2 November, Guadeloupe on 4 November, Panama on 6 November, St. Kitts & Nevis on 8 November, and Martinique on 10 November.

Group winners then advance to the qualification stage to play in one of two round-robin groups. That second stage features matches every third day, with the newly-formed Groups G and H playing matches on Tuesday 13 November, Friday 16 November, and Monday 19 November. The top-two nations from each group qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup while the winners advance to the championship match scheduled for 21 November.

COMPETITION FORMAT:

The thirty-five participating nations will be sorted into six groups, five groups of six teams and one group of five teams, for the first-round group phase. After round robin play, the six group winners will advance to the qualification stage, where they will be divided into two groups of three teams. After a second-round robin play, the two group winners plus the second-place finishers will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Additionally, the two groups winners will advance to the tournament’s final to determine the regional champion.

MEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM:

Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the 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.

FIFA TOURNAMENTS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Teams have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men's Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and six editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
 

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