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U.S. U-17s make bright start to qualifying

The U.S. U-17 national team drubbed Costa Rica, 4-0 on Friday in the opening match of the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. Just like with the senior team the tournament doubles as World Cup qualifying. Three of the eight sides will win berths at the U-17 World Cup later this year in Uruguay.

The U.S. was already staked to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a 4th minute own goal when Peyton Linnehan struck in the 15th to make it 2-0. Kennedy Wesley and Sophia Jones added second half goals. For Wesley and Jones it was their first goals at the U-17 level.

Group B play continues Sunday when the U.S. will face Bermuda and Canada will go up against Costa Rica. In Friday’s other action, Canada defeated Bermuda 3-0. In Group A openers, Mexico hammered host Nicaragua, 8-0 and Haiti handled Puerto Rico 4-1.

U-17 has been a challenging level for the United States women. After finishing runners-up in the inaugural World Cup in 2008 they failed to qualify in 2010 and were knocked out in the group stage in 2012. That pattern repeated with failure to qualify in 2014 and a group stage exit in 2016.

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