Two goalkeepers with ties to the region and the Philadelphia Union Academy will be competing in the U17 CONCACAF Championship kicking off later this week in Panama.
Current academy and Bethlehem Steel FC goalkeeper Tomas Romero (Cherry Hill, N.J.) is on the squad for El Salvador, which has the tall task of being in a group that also includes the United States, Mexico and Jamaica.
C.J. dos Santos, a Philadelphia native who left the Union Academy last summer to sign with S.L. Benfica in Portugal, is one of two goalkeepers on the U.S. team, which opens Group C play on Sunday against Jamaica.
The former academy teammates could be in line to play against each other when the U.S. faces El Salvador on Saturday, April 29, at 11:30 a.m. The U.S. plays Mexico on April 26 while El Salvador opens against Mexico on April 23 and plays Jamaica on April 26.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the classification stage with two of the three teams in each of the two classification groups booking spots in the U17 World Cup in India this October.
Union Academy defender Rayshaun McGann, a regular in training camps for John Hackworth’s U.S. U17 squad, wasn’t one of the five defenders selected on the former Union head coach’s roster.