COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew today announced that Crew 2 midfielder Taha Habroune has been selected by United States Under-17 Men’s Youth National Team head coach Gonzalo Segares for the 21-player roster that will represent the United States at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023, set to take place from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2. Crew UPSL Head Coach and Assistant Academy Director Kelvin Jones has also been named an assistant coach on Segares’ staff during the tournament.
“We are very proud that Taha has earned this opportunity to compete in a World Cup,” said Columbus Crew Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “We have seen the personal dedication that he puts into every day. This call-up is the culmination of all Taha’s hard work this year, which saw him compete in all levels of our player pathway, from being named MVP at the Generation adidas Cup with the Academy, helping Crew 2 to the MLS NEXT Pro Cup and appearing in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the First Team.”
Continued Nicholls, “As a Club, we are committed to fostering an environment that creates development and growth opportunities for everyone within our organization, and we are excited for Kelvin to be part of the coaching staff. We look forward to seeing Taha and Kelvin represent the Black & Gold on the world stage.”
A Columbus native, Habroune was most recently called-up for a U.S. U-17 training camp in early September. The 17-year-old joined the Crew Academy in 2019 and in the Generation adidas Cup this summer and was selected as the tournament MVP for the U-17 age group after helping the Crew reach the semifinals. Habroune was signed by Crew 2 on May 21, 2023. Over the course of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season, the midfielder recorded 17 appearances (11 starts), four goals, and three assists, as Crew 2 reached their second consecutive MLS NEXT Pro Cup. Habroune has also featured for the Columbus Crew in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Habroune has nine caps and four international goals to his credit for the U-17s. He was a member of the side for the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship in February, helping lead the U.S. to a berth in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Kelvin Jones currently serves as the UPSL Head Coach, Crew 2 Assistant Coach, and Assistant Director of Player Development for the Crew. Jones joined the club in 2017, in which he ascended through the U-12, U-15, and U-19 academy teams as head coach prior to being appointed Academy Director in 2020. Jones holds numerous coaching certifications including a U.S. Soccer Federation A License, a NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, a U.S. Soccer Federation National Youth License and completed the Elite Formation Coaching License course in 2022, which was created as a partnership between Major League Soccer and the French Football Federation.
The USA were drawn into Group E and will kick off their 18th FIFA U-17 World Cup on Sunday, Nov. 12 (8 a.m. ET) as they take on South Korea. The Stars & Stripes face Burkina Faso on Wednesday, Nov. 15 (5 a.m. ET), before closing out group play against France on Saturday, Nov. 18 (8a.m. ET). All three matches will be played at Jakarta International Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia and shown on FOX Sports and Telemundo platforms.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2006 are age-eligible for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup will feature 24 countries divided into six groups of four teams.The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-place teams advance to theRound of 16. From there, the tournament will feature a knockout bracket to the tournament final.
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