DERBY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 18, 2023: Liverpool's substitute Keyrol Figueroa during the Under-18 Premier League match between Derby County FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Moor Farm Training Centre. Derby won 5-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

17-year-old Liverpool striker scores to help send USA U17s to World Cup last 16

Keyrol Figueroa has helped his side progress to the under-17 World Cup knockout stages, with his first goal of the tournament sealing USA’s path to the last 16 with a game to spare.

While Liverpool’s academy players have had a pause put on their season for the international break, Figueroa is currently in Indonesia competing for a major honour at youth level.

Keyrol, the son of former Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa, has played the opening two games in Group E and has walked away with a win each time for six points from six.

The 17-year-old played 78 minutes in a 3-1 win against South Korea in the USA’s opening game of the tournament and then scored his first goal and his side’s opener in the 2-1 win over Burkina Faso.

Figueroa played 65 minutes of the second group game, and his goal arrived on the cusp of half-time, with the teenager making the run at the back post and sliding to reach the ball and propel it into the net.

USA’s second win of the tournament guarantees their place in the last 16 as neither Burkina Faso or South Korea have collected any points from their two games.

It leaves USA and France to battle it out for group winners spot when they meet on Saturday, which will dictate what side of the draw they are on.

Figueroa has been part of Liverpool’s U18s set up of late and was a standout at the backend of last season. He’s appeared just once this season prior to this World Cup amid fitness issues.

The hope is Figueroa can progress deep into the tournament, though that would rule him out until just before New Year should the USA make it to the final, which is held on December 1.