Houston Dynamo Academy goalkeeper Fernando Piña was named to the United States roster for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, U.S. Soccer announced today. Piña and the U.S. U-17 national team will travel to Mexico tomorrow to participate in the tournament, which runs from June 18-July 10.
Piña is the first Dynamo Academy player to be selected for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. A veteran of the Academy and part of the club’s home-grown player list, Piña attended Challenge Early College High School in Houston before joining U.S. Soccer’s residency program in Bradenton, Fla., in the fall of 2009.
“I am extremely excited for him,” Dynamo Director of Youth Development James Clarkson said. “It’s been a long commitment to the national team for Fernando. It’s the result of the amount of time and effort he put into his work as a goalkeeper. I hope he plays well and that they win the World Cup.”
The United States will kick off Group D on June 19 at 6 p.m. CT against the Czech Republic. On June 22, the U.S. will face Uzbekistan at 3 p.m. CT. The final group match takes place against New Zealand on June 26 at 6 p.m. CT.
Piña played for the Dynamo Academy in each of the last two SUM U-17 Cups, helping Houston to fifth place in 2009 and third place in 2010 in the championship of MLS youth clubs. In last year’s tournament, Piña won the Golden Gloves award as the top goalkeeper. His Dynamo Academy career also includes the August 2009 trip to Europe, on which Piña – one of the youngest players on the trip at 15 years old – split time in goal and was in net for Houston’s 3-2 win over Real Madrid.
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five seasons and represented the United States in international competition four consecutive years from 2007-10. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.
DYNAMO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM
The Houston Dynamo Youth Development System, presented by Statoil, is intended to develop and prepare soccer players to join the Houston Dynamo first team. The Youth Development System includes seasonal camps, the Dynamo Centers of Excellence, Dynamo Juniors programs throughout the region, the Dynamo South Texas Academy in McAllen, and competitive teams at the U-12, U-14, U-16, and U-18 levels. More than 1,000 youth players participated in Dynamo Youth Development programs in 2010. More information is available at HoustonDynamo.com/Academy.