Raphael Wicky hired as US under-17 coach

<p>
              FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, Basel coach Raphael Wicky arrives for the Champions League group A soccer match against SL Benfica at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. The former Basel coach has been hired to replace John Hackworth as coach of the U.S. under-17 team, U.S. Soccer announced Friday, March 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)
            </p>

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Basel coach Raphael Wicky has been hired to replace John Hackworth as coach of the U.S. under-17 team.

The 41-year-old former defensive midfielder made 75 appearances for Switzerland from 1996-08 and was on the roster for the World Cup in 2006 and the European Championship in 1996 and 2004. He played for Sion (1993-97, 2007), Werder Bremen (1997-00), Atletico Madrid (2001), Hamburg (2001-07) and Chivas USA (2008).

After coaching youth teams at Thun, Servette and Basel, he led Basel to the Champions League round of 16 in 2017-18, then was fired just before the start of this season.

Hackworth left last August to coach second-tier Louisville.

Wicky’s hiring was announced Friday by Nico Romejin, the USSF’s chief sport development officer. The U.S. is preparing for qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup in Bradenton, Florida, where the Americans play Canada on May 2, Barbados two days later and Guatemala on May 6.