Paul Stalteri looks to return to FIFA U-17 World Cup, this time as coach

Stalteri looks to return to U-17 World Cup

Twenty-four years ago, Paul Stalteri represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Japan. Now the 39-year-old is looking to coach Canada back to the world championship.

Stalteri and the young Canadians open play Saturday against Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship which runs through May 7 in Panama.

The 12-nation tournament will send four teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India this October.

Stalteri’s team includes 16 players from Canadian MLS team academies: 11 from Toronto, four from Vancouver and one from Montreal.

“We’ve got a great group of players, we believe … It’s a group I like,” said Stalteri, who has been in charge of the under-17 team since February 2016.

After Costa Rica, Canada plays Cuba on April 25 and Suriname on April 28. The top two teams from the group advance to the second round.

“At this level there are no easy games,” warned Stalteri.

Canada last qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013. It finished sixth at the 2015 CONCACAF qualifying event.

In all, Canada has qualified for six of the 16 FIFA U-17 championships held to date, including serving as host in 1987. It has yet to win a game at the tournament, posting an 0-14-4 record while being outscored 53-8.

In 1993, Canada went 0-3-0 and was outscored 18-0 including an 8-0 loss to eventual tournament winner Nigeria. Stalteri was joined on the team by Jason Bent, Jim Brennan, Nevio Pizzolitto and Robbie Aristodemo.

“We went in with very little preparation,” Stalteri recalled. “I think the players here have gotten much more than we had. They know what they’re getting themselves into.”

That includes having gone to Panama to play in the same stadium that will host the tournament.

Stalteri went on to win 84 caps for Canada before retiring in March 2013. He played his cub football for Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany and Tottenham and Fulham in England.

His coaching staff in Panama includes former Canada teammate Ante Jazic and goalkeeping coach Numo Santos. Canadian senior coach Octavio Zambrano will also be on hand.

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

 

 

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula French Immersion grads welcome new students

School District 63 ceremony marks student transition

Former Green candidate Veronica Greer running for seat on Esquimalt council

2017 B.C. election hopeful looks to bring LGBTQ lens to municipal politics

Celebrate Earth Day with Surfrider

Beach cleanup and social gathering Sunday at Clover Point

Green Team tackles weeds in North Saanich

Greater Victoria group working to connect people with local green groups

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

B.C. town No. 1 honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon came out on top in Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations worldwide

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becomign viral video

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, debate hasn’t quit

Om April 21, 1918 two Canadians in their canvas-covered Sopwith Camel biplanes engaged the enemy

VIDEO: Canadian teen lands invite to Royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited Faith Dickinson, founder of Cuddles for Cancer

B.C. liquor server wage to be phased out by 2021

Piece work pay for farm workers rises, but stays in place for now

Vancouver Whitecaps sign 16-year-old B.C. player

Grade 10 student from Langley joins MLS club

Most Read