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Academy goalkeeper, El Salvador U17s look to qualify for continental championship

Tomas Romero is in Costa Rica with the El Salvador for Central America qualifying tournament

Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero and the El Salvador U17 team begin their quest today for a spot in the continental championship.

El Salvador takes on Honduras today in San Jose, Costa Rica. They play Belize on Monday, host Costa Rica next Thursday and Nicaragua on November 26.

The top three finishers in the six-team field will advance to the CONCACAF U17 Championship in Panama April 21 to May 7.

Romero, 15, of Cherry Hill, N.J., has been a regular with the El Salvador youth team in their run-up to the tournament. He’s one of six North American-based players on the squad, which includes Rodrigo Sanataria (Vancouver Whitecaps), Christian Barillas (LA Galaxy), Allexon Saravia (D.C. United), Ronald Alexis Cerritos (D.C. United) and Jasson Pacas (Nomads Academy).

Romero has made one start this season for the U18 team and three for the U16 team in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play. He also had a couple standout performances in goal in the first round of regional qualifiers for the Generation adidas Cup back in October and made the bench twice with Bethlehem Steel FC at the end of their season.