In 2005, a group of talented young players led Mexico to a surprise championship in the Under-17 World Cup. Fast forward six years and Mexico is again within sight of the trophy -- and this time El Tri has a chance to earn the title on home soil. One major obstacle still stands in the way. In order to earn a spot in Sunday's final at Estadio Azteca, Mexico must first get by Germany in tonight's semifinal match in Torreon. The winner of tonight's match will go on to face Uruguay (who defeated Brazil 3-0 earlier today) for the world title.
Mexico's great 2005 squad was led by players such as Carlos Vela and Giovani Dos Santos. This year's run has been keyed by a new crop of young talent -- Carlos Fierro, Marco Bueno, Jorge Espericueta, Giovani Casillas, etc. It's a talented group, but Germany presents the biggest test so far for this young El Tri side. Undefeated and largely untested in the competition, Germany leads all teams with 18 total goals scored. Mexico also feature loads of talent in the attacking third, but the focus tonight will likely be on the El Tri defensive unit. Mexico's backline will certainly have their hands full trying to contain German striker Samed Yesil, who has scored five goals so far in the tournament.
Mexico lineup: Richard Sanchez; Francisco Flores, Antonio Briseno, Carlos Guzman, Jorge Caballero; Alfonso Gonzalez, Jorge Espericueta, Kevin Escamilla, Julio Gomez; Marco Bueno, Carlos Fierro.
Germany lineup: Vlachodimos, Weiser, Rocker, Gunter, Perrey, Yalcin, Can, Yesil, Aycicek, Aydin, Ayhan.
Kickoff will be at 7pm ET (6pm local time in Torreon), and the game can be seen live in the United States on ESPNU (with English commentary) and Galavision (Spanish commentary), as well as online via ESPN3.