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

WATCH: Giant Flowers artwork going up at Evans roundabout in Chilliwack

The artwork installation Tuesday was causing very little traffic disruption for Chilliwack drivers

Nature festival, musical science and more for spring break fun

Chilliwack’s libraries, ice rinks and favourite family spots offer up plenty to do

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

UFV health fair focuses on taking back health

Health sciences program invites Dr. Cathy van Ingen to speak

Chilliwack’s Spirit Abreast team searching for new paddlers

As dragon boat season approaches, breast-cancer-focused team holds annual meet and greet

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Viewer Photos: First day of Spring around British Columbia

Our loyal viewers sent us some of their favourite Spring photos from all corners of the province

Five Canadian kids charged with making school threats

Police say online threats are on the rise

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can get Virtue, Moir to say they’re more than friends

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday

RCMP warn public to stop pouring gas on fires after three incidents

Police responded to three recent incidents that sent seven people to hospital

BCHL Today: Surrey Eagles in the driver’s seat and Ethan Martini takes a seat

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

New Liberal bill would tighten controls on sale, licensing of firearms in Canada

Measures are intended to assist police in investigating gun trafficking and other crimes

Murder charges upgraded for B.C. man accused of killing wife and daughters

Crown approved new information on Jacob Forman’s file

Most Read