Academy players reach CONCACAF quarters

United States' Piña, Trinidad's Noreiga help countries move on

HOU_Academy_20100522_Fernando_Piña

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Dynamo Academy players Fernando Piña and Isaiah Noreiga both helped their countries' respective U-17 national teams reach the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship with 1-0 victories late this week. The four winners from next week's quarterfinals will advance to this summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Piña and the United States will face El Salvador on Tuesday with a spot on the line. From Challenge Early College High School in Houston, Piña kept a shutout Friday as the U.S. beat Panama 1-0 to top Group B. The U.S. had beaten Cuba 3-1 in the first game, with Piña also playing the entire match.

Noreiga, from Kingwood Park High School and playing for Trinidad & Tobago, saw his first action of the tournament as a substitute on Thursday. That meant he was in the game when Trinidad netted a game-winning goal in stoppage time to beat Guatemala 1-0 and clinch a quarterfinal spot with four points from two games. Trinidad & Tobago will face either Canada or Honduras on Wednesday.