Laura Harvey who left NWSL team Utah Royals to take on the U-20 USWNT has her first roster set for a big series of games that run Feb. 22-March 8. Day 1 has them taking on Cuba, Feb. 24 puts them up against the home side of DR, play in Group C will close out for the US on the 26 with Honduras.
Coach informed "I am excited to get our World CUp qualifying campaign started. I'm looking forward to seeing what level we can put out on the field." SIxteen are out of the college ranks, with 3 youth ball athletes. The one pro is Sophia Smith, the #1 choice in the NWSL College Draft, selected by the Thorns, the first time one still in their teens was taken with the first pick. Mid. Talia DellaPeruta is with Fraeun-Bundesliga Club FC Koln as an amateur. Four seek to make it to their 2nd U-20 World Cup, including Brianana Pinto, her father played youth soccer locally for Brentwood, see the Facebook page of Soccer Long Island Magazine for some new info. on that club. Overall 10 have previous youth World Cup experience for the US, 9 have been in such a qualifying tourney.
GK: Claudi Dickey, Julia Dohle(scarsdale)
Def: Maycee Bell, Sierra Enge, Naiomi Girma, Shae Holmes, Brianna Martinez, Emily Mason, Kennedy Wesley.
Mid: Talia DellaPeruta, Katelyn Duong, Jenna Nighswonger, Brianna Pinto, Alexa Spaanstra, Summer Yates.
Fwd: Mia Fishel, Rebecca Jarrett, Samantha Meza, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith.
Smith & Pinto were with the senior NT in their Jan. camp, Bell & Girma left due to injury. Pinto is the 2019 US Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, Smith was the same in 2017.
These games feature a new system with 20 teams, 4 groups of 4 with another 4 teams in via pre tourney qualification. The top trio go to the Sweet 16, with those pre qualified for single elimination play. The top duo move on to the World Cup.
All games played, 39 in total will take place at but 2 locations, Estadio Omimpico Felix Sanchez & Estadio Panamericano.
-Enge, part of a trio from NCAA champs Stanford is in her inital U-20 camp.
-Dohle & Alexa are tops in U-20 camps with half a dozen U-20 camps.
-7 players are sophmores, 9 freshmen, a pair, Enge & Shae are redshirt frosh.
-US is tops with 5 titles in these games, They seek 5 of the last 6 as in 2018 they lost in PK's to Mexico.
-Girma, Pinto & Smith led the US in reaching the final in 2018 in TNT , dropped to Mexico.
-Dohle, Wesley, Talia, Fishel & Rodman broght home consecutive U-17 Championships, 2018 in Nicaragua.
-New to this team but not int'l soccer, Harvey as an asst. was with the England U-17's going to the 2008 World Cup & their U-18's as runners up at the 2010 UEFA U-19 Championship.
-16 are capped at this level, 32 for PInto, the quartet without games are Enge, Dickey, Wesley & Fishel.
-Smith leads the team with 23 goals last cycle, hoping to net some more in her first U-20 games of this cycle.
-Sydney Leroux is the leading goal getter at the U-20's her 29 are well within reach during these games.
-The 3 '02's Mason, Talia & Rodman are age eligible for the 2022 U-20 Cup.
- Feb. 13-18 they will train in Miami with a trio of alternates, Megan McClelland, Natalia Staude & Astrid Wheeler.
-A full dozen states are represented here CA. is tops with half a dozen players.
- 9 college programs are here Stanford is #2 as NC has 4 players.