U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has revealed that his lads are fully prepared for the challenge the Golden Eaglets will offer when both sides face-off in the group opener at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which runs from Oct. 17-Nov. 8 in Chile.
Nigeria face host USA in their opening fixture at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos in Santiago De Chile before battling hosts Chile and Croatia at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina Del Mar and Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso Coquimbo respectively.
Williams who recently named his 21 man squad that will represent the United States at the tournament also added that his side are on par with the defending champions who recently defeated Argentina 2-1 in a warm up game.
“I think it’s a great challenge and I think the guys will be excited. It’s a great opportunity to compete against the champions of the last World Cup and I think our guys are going to have a lot of energy, they’re going to be excited and they’re going to be ready to play, so we’re looking forward to it,” he told ussoccer.com
“I think every World Cup game is important. You can’t say one is any more important than the other. You can’t overlook any team. It’s a World Cup game and everybody’s got to be ready to go. Whether you think they’re the strongest opponent or the weakest opponent, it’s the World Cup and all the games are very important and very competitive and anything could happen, especially if you’re not ready to play.”
Williams also revealed that his team will face South Korea twice in the next week in Bradenton. He said: “We will play South Korea twice in the next week (in Bradenton).
“They are a World Cup team, so it’s another great preparation opportunity for us, and we didn’t want to go too long without playing 90 minutes against an opponent.
“We’ll do an intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 9, and then we take off two days later for Chile. We’ll have four good days of training there before we open up against Nigeria.”
USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the FIFA U-17 World Youth Championship in 1999 that included wins against Uruguay and Mexico.