Canada learns path at CONCACAF under 20 qualifying tournament in Jamaica

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica _ Canada has been drawn in a group with Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and defending champion Mexico for the CONCACAF under-20 men’s championship in Jamaica next year.

The other pool includes Aruba, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S.

The 12-team qualifying event, slated for Jan. 9-24 in Kingston and Montego Bay, will send four teams to the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015.

Canada will open Jan. 12 against Mexico.

CONCACAF covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine, North Korea, Myanmar, Qatar and Uzbekistan have already qualified for the 24-team U-20 World Cup alongside host New Zealand.

Canada has not qualified for the under-20 world championship since 2007 when it hosted the event. That Canadian team lost all three matches and exited after pool play without scoring a goal.

Canada’s best showing at this level was in 1997 when Bruce Twamley’s Canadian team featuring Dwayne De Rosario and Paul Stalteri reached the round of 16 before losing to Spain.

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