2017 U17 World Cup Roster Update

Where are they now as of 07/21/2020

The Fall of 2017 was a rough period for all USMNT fans, but even during this difficult time, there was a distant shimmering light. That beacon in the distance was the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup that took place in India. This tournament occurred between October 6-28. Also at this time was that particular USMNT match that I’m still very salty about (🤬 Couva). The conclusion to that Men’s World Cup qualifying debacle occurred on October 10, 2017. The 2017 U17 World Cup kept going and it was that bunch of kids that gave me hope for the future.

So here we are today, 3+ years later, gazing upon the fruit that are growing from all of those talented seeds planted during this youth tournament. This article will give an update on the US 2017 U17 roster. 

July 2017: U-17 Men’s National Team at Lake Burton
July 2017: U-17 Men’s National Team at Lake Burton

Let’s review what happened to help jog the memories…

India 0 – USA 3 (group stage) 10/6/17
Ghana vs US U17
Ghana 0 – US 1 (group stage) 10/9/17
USA 1 - Colombia 3 (group stage) 10/12/17
USA 1 – Colombia 3 (group stage) 10/12/17
Paraguay 0 - USA 5
Paraguay 0 – USA 5 (knockout stage) 10/16/17
USA 1 – England 4 (knockout stage) 10/21/17

England went on to win that tournament with the likes of Rhian Brewster, Jadon Sancho (withdrew as per request of Borussia Dortmund), Callum Hudson-Odoi and Phil Foden.

So here we go… Where are they now?

2017 U17 Goalkeepers

Alexander Budnik 

Club during U17 WC: Sockers FC 🇺🇸

Current club: none


Update: After being part of Sockers FC Chicago, Alex enrolled at Dartmouth College. As a freshman, he started 1 of 17 matches.  As a sophomore, he started 15 of 16 matches and was named 2nd team all-ivy league.  

Current Transfermarkt value: NA

Carlos Dos Santos

Club during U17 WC: SL Benfica Academy – Portugal 🇵🇹

Current club: Benfica U23 🇵🇹


Update: Carlos had moved up from Benfica U17 to U19 to currently at U23’s.  A new contract with Benfica was signed on 9/18/18 which runs through June 2023.  Later in December 2018, Carlos started for the Benfica U19 squad in the last match of the UEFA Youth League and kept a clean sheet as Benfica U19 defeated AEK U19 3-0.  On 3/22/19, Carlos was called up for the US U20’s and started vs France U20 in Spain which ended up as a 2-2 tie.  Later, Carlos was selected to be part of the 2019 U20 World Cup squad but was behind Brady Scott and David Ochoa who both started matches.  For the Benfica U23 2019/20 season, Carlos had started in 6 of 23 matches.  Benfica U23 is rotating between 3-4 keepers where Carlos appears to be 2nd in the depth chart at this time.  

Current Transfermarkt value: $110k

Justin Garces

Club during U17 WC: Atlanta United Academy 🇺🇸

Current club: none

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 start), 90’ (match2 start), 90’ (match3 start), 90’ (match4 start), 90’ (match5 start)

Update:  Justin started all 5 matches in the 2017 U17 World Cup for the stars & stripes.  He gave up 7 goals and grabbed 3 clean sheets.  Playing for Atlanta United Academy in 2017/18, Justin earned U18/19 US DA Eastern Conference Player of the Year honors.  (Some other notable DA awards that year: U16/17 East Gio Reyna, U18/19 Central Chris Richards, U16/17 West Ulysses Llanez, U18/19 West Richard Ledezma.) In February 2018, Justin signed a letter of intent to enroll and play for UCLA while playing for Atlanta II in the USL.  As a freshman, at UCLA, Justin started in 14 of 19 matches in the fall of 2018.  As a sophomore, Justin started in all 18 matches in the fall of 2019.  Justin’s last YNT camp was an appearance in one of Tab Ramos U20 camps in January 2019.  

Current Transfermarkt value: NA

2017 U17 Defenders

Sergiño Dest

Club during U17 WC: Ajax U19 – U19 Eredivisie Youth Leagues 🇳🇱

Current club: Ajax – Eredivisie 🇳🇱

U17 WC: 63’ (match2 RB start), 90’ (match3 RB start), 46’ (match4 LB start), 35’ (match5 sub)

Update:  For the 2019/20 season, Sergiño played for first place Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie and is under contract until the end of the 2021/22 season. Sergiño logged 1,445 minutes for the 2019/20 season and only missed 5 matches. He started in 15 of 20 matches with 5 assists. Also, Sergiño started in 4 of the 6 Champions League matches for Ajax. Committed to represent USA on October 28, 2019 which I like to consider as the day Dest saved our soccer. Sergiño has 3 caps for the senior side… so far. Additionally, he is rumored to have Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona interested in his services. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $19.8 Million

Chris Durkin

Club during U17 WC:  Richmond Kicker – USL1 🇺🇸 (on loan from DC United Academy – MLS 🇺🇸)

Current club: Sint-Truiden – Belgium Jupiler Pro League 🇧🇪 

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 CB start ⚽️️), 90’ (match2 DM start), 90’ (match3 CM start), 90’ (match4 CB start), 90’ (match5 start)

Update: Chris became a big part of the DC United roster for the 2018 season.  He began the season getting late match substitutions and eventually got a starting job. His form faded a bit in the 2nd half of the season, but he ended up playing 1,671 minutes starting 18 of 25 matches. After his breakout 2018 season, Chris got a lot of interest from European clubs including Benfica and Sporting CP as well as a rejected loan bid from Bayer Leverkusen. For the 2019 season, Chris had a dip in form in addition to missing 8 matches for U20 work and an ankle injury. He ended up logging 725 minutes and starting 7 of 14 matches he played in.  At the end of the 2018 season, Chris was loaned to Sint-Truiden of the Belgian First Division.  By the middle of the 2019/20 season, Chris worked his way into the lineup. The Belgium season was cut short due to COVID but Chris logged 737 minutes starting 9 of 12 matches he played in for the first team. Sint-Truiden made Chris’s loan permanent on May 7, 2020 for a transfer fee of $1.1 million. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $743 Thousand

Chris Gloster

Club during U17 WC: NY Red Bull Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: Jong PSV – Eerste Divisie 🇳🇱

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 LB start), 90’ (match2 LB start), 90’ (match3 LB start), 44’ (match4 LB sub), 90’ (match5 start)

Update: After a solid U17 World Cup performance, Chris went on trial with Schalke in January 2018. In March, Chris signed with Hannover 96. He started the 2018 season with the U17’s and soon got time with the U23’s, Hanover 96 II. Chris logged 1,185 minutes with the U23’s and 346 minutes with the U17 for 2018. After a solid U20 World Cup in the summer of 2018, Chris was bought by PSV in the Dutch Eredivisie for $330 Thousand. Chris logged 1,265 minutes starting 14 of 16 matches for Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie. Currently, Chris is training with the first team, PSV. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $275 Thousand

Jaylin Lindsey

Club during U17 WC: Sporting KC Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: Sporting KC – MLS 🇺🇸

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 RB start), 90’ (match2 CB start), 90’ (match3 CB start), 90’ (match start)

Update: Jaylin signed a Homegrown Player contract with Sporting Kansas City on 9/15/2017. He made his Sporting Kansas City debut on June 3, 2018. For the 2018 season, Jaylin started in 6 of 7 matches he played in for the MLS side totaling 555 minutes. He also played 540 minutes for Sporting Kansas City II or Swoop Park Rangers in the USL.  Jaylin had a rough start to his 2019 campaign as he suffered a torn meniscus that took him out for most of the season. After his recovery, he still logged 1,172 minutes with the USL side and made an MLS start for the final match of the season. Jaylin hopes to make an impact for the 2020 season; He has yet to appear for MLSisBack tournament. Jaylin has expressed an interest in playing in Europe one day.

Current Transfermarkt value: $220 Thousand

James Sands

Club during U17 WC:  NYC FC – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: NYC FC – MLS 🇺🇸

U17 WC:  90’ (match1 CB start), 90’ (match2 CB start), 90’ (match3 CB start), 90’ (match4 CB start)

Update: James was the first Homegrown Player to sign with NYCFC in June 2017 prior to the U17 World Cup. Sands made his professional debut with the senior team on September 16, 2017 as a substitute for Andrea Pirlo. For the 2018 season, James played in 4 matches for NYCFC and was sent to Louisville City in the USL for a short term loan where he played in 3 matches under his former U17 World Cup coach, John Hackworth. The 2019 season saw a significant jump in playing time for James. He started 18 of 19 matches and logged 1,488 minutes playing CB and DM. For the current 2020 season, James is currently a regular starter for coach Ronny Deila. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $1.1 Million

Tyler Shaver

Club during U17 WC:  NYC FC Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: none


Update: Tyler enrolled at Stanford University and played 78 minutes in five substitute appearances as a freshman in 2018. 

Current Transfermarkt value: NA

Akil Watts

Club during U17 WC:  Portland Timbers Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: Louisville City – USL 🇺🇸

U17 WC: 27’ (match2 sub), 90’ (match4 RB start), 81’ (match5 start)

Update: Akil took advantage of a good showing at the U17 World Cup where he moved from the Timbers Academy and signed with Spanish club RCD Mallorca on July 9, 2018. He initially played with the U19 team then moved up to Mallorca B. In August 2019, his former U17 world Cup coach John Hackworth may have helped convince Akil to return to the States as he signed with Louisville City of the USL. He ended up playing in 4 matches for the 2019 season. Akil continues to be a part of Hackworth’s squad for the current 2020 season. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $55 Thousand

2017 U17 Midfielders

George Acosta

Club during U17 WC:  North Carolina FC 🇺🇸

Current club: Inter Miami FC – MLS 🇺🇸

U17 WC: 24’ (match1 sub), 78’ (match3 AM start ⚽️️)

Update: George has jumped around since the U17 World Cup. He trialed with RB Leipzig and had interest from Seattle Sounders. He joined Club Atlético Boca Juniors U20 in Argentina in August 2018 and later moved to play with Boca Juniors II in January 2019. In August 2019, George joined Austin Bold FC in the USL and played in 5 matches totaling 131 minutes. Currently, the Miami native joined Inter Miami CF for the 2020 season. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $165 Thousand

Taylor Booth

Club during U17 WC:  Real Salt Lake Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: FC Bayern Munich II – Liga – Germany 3rd tier 🇩🇪

U17 WC:  11’ (match4 CM sub), 55’ (match5 start)

Update: After the U17 World Cup, Taylor laid low until he was able to obtain an Italian passport through his father.  In 2018, Taylor made some appearances for the US U18’s and U19’s. He was holding out for Bayern and was finally signed at the end of January 2019 where he was part of their U19 squad. Taylor ended up playing in 7 matches totaling 410 minutes. For the 2019/20 season, Taylor started out with the U19’s but also made 2 appearances for Bayern Munich II in 3. Liga.  In total, over all competitions, he racked up 1,126 minutes in 18 matches. As a 19-year-old, he is positioned to start out the 2020/21 season with Bayern Munich II in 3. Liga where they look to defend their title. Taylor is under contract until the end of the 2022 season. In May 2020, there were rumors of Tottenham offering Taylor a contract with hopes to bring him to England. 

Current Transfermarkt value: NA (wait, what!?)

Blaine Ferri

Club during U17 WC:  Solar Chelsea SC 🇺🇸

Current club: Fort Lauderdale CF – USL 🇺🇸 

U17 WC:  90’ (match1 CM start), 90’ (match2 AM start), 9’ (match3 CM sub), 34’ (match4 CM start), 73’ (match5 start)

Update: In August of 2018, Blaine joinedSpVgg Greuther Fürth in their U19 roster. He signed his first professional contract in April 2019. For the 2019/20 season, Ferri played for the U23 squad, SpVgg Greuther Fürth II who plays in the Germany 4th tier, Regionalliga Bayern. There he logged 1,453 minutes starting 16 of 18 matches he played in. In an odd turn of events, Coach Petr Ruman announced that Blaine along with 3 other teammates were suspended for “disciplinary reasons” for a 11/9/19 match. Later the player contracts for these 4 individuals were canceled. In February 2020, Blane signed with Fort Lauderdale CF which is the USL club for Inter Miami CF of the MLS. 

Current Transfermarkt value: NA

Chris Goslin

Club during U17 WC:  Charleston Battery – USL 🇺🇸

Current club: none

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 CM start), 90’ (match2 AM start), 87’ (match3 CM start), 90’ (match4 CM start)

Update: Chris started 14 matches for USL Atlanta United II for the 2018 season where he also played 1,414 minutes including an appearance for the senior team in a US Open Cup match on 6/7/2018.  Chris was released after the 2019 season where he only logged 79 minutes for Atlanta United II. Currently, Goslin is searching to land with a new club. He has trained with FK Sūduva in the top division in Lithuania, A Lyga. 

Current Transfermarkt value: $165 Thousand

Indiana Vassilev

Club during U17 WC: IMG Academy 🇺🇸

Current club: Aston Villa – EPL 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

U17 WC:  3’ (match1 sub), 9’ (match2 sub), 56’ (match4 LW sub), 17’ (match5 sub)

Update: Indiana (yes he is named after Dr. Jones) was scouted by Aston Villa as early as November 2016. He signed his first pro contract with Aston after his performance at the U17 World Cup.  For his 2017/18 season, he tallied 824 minutes with the U18 squad. In his 2018/19 season, he primarily continued with the U18’s totaling 1,293 minutes but also saw time with the U23’s seeing 418 minutes. Currently, for the 2019/20 season, Indiana has tallied 915 minutes with the U23 side and seen some time with the senior team. Indiana Vassilev made his EPL debut with Aston Villa on 1/18/20 getting subbed in against Brighton. He signed an extension with Villa that puts him under contract until June 2022.

Current Transfermarkt value: $275 Thousand (wait, what?)

2017 U17 Forwards

Ayo Akinola

Club during U17 WC: Toronto FC Academy – MLS 🇨🇦

Current club: Toronto FC – MLS 🇨🇦

U17 WC: 90’ (match1 RW start), 24’ (match2 sub ⚽️️), 90’ (match3 RW start), 79’ (match4 RW start), 90’ (match5 RW start)

Update: Ayo signed as a Homegrown Player with Toronto on 12/18/17. He did a trial with PSV earlier in November 2017. Ayo made his MLS debut on 7/5/2018 with Toronto FC. For the 2018 season, he made 4 appearances totaling 45 minutes with the MLS side as well as playing 904 minutes with the USL side, Toronto II. Similarly, for the 2019 season, he split time getting 368 minutes with the senior team and 539 minutes with the USL side. Ayo started for Toronto FC in their first MLSisBack tournament and banged in a brace. Next match, he bags a hat trick. Ayo remains eligible to play for USA (provisionally cap tied) as well as Canada or Nigeria.

Current Transfermarkt value: $440 Thousand

Andrew Carleton

Club during U17 WC: Atlanta FC – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: Indy Eleven – USL 🇺🇸 (on loan from Atlanta)

U17 WC:  90’ (match1 AM start ⚽️️), 81’ (match2 LW start), 69’ (match3 LW start), 90’ (match4 AM start ⚽️️), 90’ (match5 AM start)

Update: Andrew was Atlanta United first Homegrown Player signing on 6/9/2016. He made his MLS debut on 5/21/17 prior to the U17 World Cup. For the 2018 season, he spent some time with the senior team (251 minutes) but mostly with the USL side (1,179 minutes). Similarly, for the 2019 season, he tallied 1,228 minutes with Atlanta II in the USL and just 193 minutes with the MLS side. Unfortunately, Andrew encountered some off the field issues mainly due to questionable maturity. He’s been given a fresh start with his loan to Indy 11 in the USL for the 2020 season.

Current Transfermarkt value: $440 Thousand

Jacobo Reyes

Club during U17 WC: CF Monterrey youth – Liga MX 🇲🇽

Current club: Monterrey U20’s – Liga MX 🇲🇽

U17 WC: 5’ (match1 sub), 9’ (match2 sub)

Update: Jacob left Monterrey and spent a season at the University of Portland, the Pilots. For the 2019 season, he finished with 3 goals and 5 assists. He was selected as Freshman Best XI for Top Drawer Soccer. He re-joined Monterrey U20’s in January 2020.

Current Transfermarkt value: NA

Bryan Reynolds

Club during U17 WC:  FC Dallas Academy – MLS 🇺🇸

Current club: FC Dallas – MLS 🇺🇸

U17 WC: 9’ (match5 RB sub)

Update: After the U17 World Cup, Brian remained with FC Dallas making the bench on 10/13/18 for his first senior team appearance. For the 2019 season, Brian has split time with Dallas and North Texas Soccer Club.  He tallied 1,365 minutes over all competitions.  He is currently behind Reggie Cannon in the RB depth chart and is under contract until the end of the 2020 season.  

Current Transfermarkt value: $275 Thousand. 

Josh Sargent

Club during U17 WC:  IMG Academy 🇺🇸

Current club: Werder Bremen – German Bundesliga 🇩🇪

U17 WC:  90’ (match1 CF start ⚽️️), 90’ (match2 CF start), 90’ (match3 CF start), 90’ (match4 CF start ⚽️️), 90’ (match5 CF start ⚽️️)

Update: Josh logged 1,712 minutes for the 2019/20 season and only missed 4 matches for an injury. He started in 18 of 34 matches with 4 goals & 6 assists over all competitions. Josh is under contract until the end of the 2021/22 season. He has 12 caps for the senior national team and scored 5 goals… so far.

Current Transfermarkt value: $7.37 Million. 

Timothy Weah

Club during U17 WC: Paris Saint-Germain Youth Academy – Championnat National U17/19 🇫🇷

Current club: Lille – French League 1 🇫🇷

U17 WC: 85’ (match1 LW start), 63’ (match2 RW start), 3’ (match3 CF sub), 90’ (match4 LW start ⚽️️⚽️⚽️), 90’ (match5 LW start)

Update: Timmy was sold from PSG to Lille in July 2019 for $11.4 Million. Prior to an August 2019 injury, he was a starter for Lille and is under contract until the end of the 2023/24 season.  Timothy has 8 caps for the senior national team and scored 1 goal with 1 assist… so far.

Current Transfermarkt value: $7.92 Million. 

Players that were part of the CONCACAF U17 championship that were not part of the U17 World Cup include AJ Vasquez, Adrian Villegas and Zyen Jones. 

Coach John Hackworth
Coach John Hackworth

Head Coach John Hackworth

Coach Hackworth took over as manager of Louisville City of the USL in August 2018.  Louisville City defeated the Phoenix Rising in 2019 to be crowned USL Champion in his first year. For 2019, he holds a record of 34-12-12 where Louisville finished 4th in the Eastern Conference and were runner-up in the playoffs losing to Real Monarchs 1-3. They defeated the season champions Phoenix Rising in the quarterfinals.

So there we have it.  Thank goodness for those kids in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup.  It is safe to say that out of this 21 man boy roster, we may get 5-7 legitimate USMNT player pool candidates with 3 genuine starters.  May the soccer gods continue to bless our USMNT with young talent!