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Fuel Soccer Talk: U-17 World Cup kicks off this week in Brazil

Must See-TV: USA opens U-17 World Cup on Sunday

After nearly two years of build-up, 14 training camps and 30 international matches, the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup has finally arrived for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team. The world’s best at this age group gather in Brazil to compete for the championship and it’s must see TV for every American soccer fan.

Contested every two years, the FIFA U-17 World Cup crowns the world champion for soccer at the U-17 age level. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 are age-eligible for this year’s tournament. Twenty-four teams from around the globe have qualified through their regional Confederation championships to earn a spot in Brazil.

The USA qualified from North America alongside Canada, Haiti and Mexico; Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and Tajikistan carry the banner for Asia; Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal punched their tickets from Africa; France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands and Spain earned their berths from Europe; New Zealand and Solomon Islands punched their tickets from Oceania, and Argentina, host Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay represent South America.

The USA kicks off the U-17 World Cup on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Senegal, face Japan on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and wrap up the group stage on Saturday, Nov. 2 vs. Netherlands. All three matches will be broadcast on the Fox Sports family of networks and Universo.

HERE IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Lavelle offers advice for picking the right club

Before she was a star at Wisconsin and then this summer for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Rose Lavelle was a standout player for five years with the Cincinnati United Premier Soccer Club, a program she joined in eighth grade and stayed with through high school.

Lavelle has some sound advice for players looking to find that right club team.

“Sometimes you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable and that might mean going to a team that is going to challenge you more than the team you are on at the moment,” she said. “In the end it will make you a better player.”

It all comes down to what your goals are with club soccer.

“You have to find the right fit,” Lavelle says. “You also have to understand what your own commitment level is going to be and find the right place that is going to make you happy, challenge you and make you the best player you can be.”

Some foods to avoid right before bedtime

Eating poorly right before bedtime is a good way to pack on pounds and be sluggish for the next day of training or a game. Here are a few foods to keep locked up in the fridge when your head hits the pillow.

Ice Cream: Ice cream is loaded with fat, so you’re not going to give your body a chance to burn any of it before bed. And the sugar is going to pump your body full of energy.

Pasta: Pastas are straight carbohydrates, and if you’re going to bed right after eating, that’s all going to turn into fat.

Cereal: Cereals often contain high amounts of refined sugar and are chock-full of carbohydrates. That might set you off on a bit of a spike and crash in your blood sugar levels, which is not the ideal way to put your body at peace before bedtime.

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Send story ideas and comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net