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Raphael Wicky hired as US under-17 head coach

Manchester City v FC Basel - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Raphael Wicky, manager of FC Basel looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad Stadium on March 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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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.