Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero and the El Salvador U17 team booked a spot in the CONCACAF U17 Championship next spring with a third place finish in the Central American qualifying tournament in Costa Rica.
Romero, 15, of Cherry Hill, N.J. started one of the four matches, a 2-1 win over Belize on November 21. Jairo Guadardo started the other three matches, a 2-0 loss to Honduras on November 18, a 3-0 loss to host Costa Rica last Thursday and a 2-0 win over Nicaragua on Saturday that wrapped up the third place finish.
Costa Rica finished first with four wins out of four and Honduras was second in the six-team tournament.
El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras will join host Panama as one of the four countries from Central America in the CONCACAF U17 Championship April 21 to May 7. Four of the 12 teams will qualify for the U17 World Cup October 6-28 in India.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico were all automatic qualifiers for the continental championship. Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Curaçao and Suriname all qualified out of the Caribbean.
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.