Commentary

Collegians and high-schoolers vie for spots on U.S. U-20 Women World Cup roster

By Mike Woitalla

U.S. U-20 women’s national team coach Michelle French has named a 22-player roster for the La Manga Tournament in Spain March 2-6. The squad includes 14 players who weren’t part of the squad that finished first at the December qualifying tournament for the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. U-20s will face the U-23 national teams of Sweden (March 2), England (March 4) and Norway (March 6).

Twenty of the players are collegians. Because the U-20 Concacaf Championship came during the college season, French’s team at the qualifying tournament comprised of only eight collegians, and 12 high-schoolers.

Absent on the La Manga roster is regular U-20 captain Mallory Pugh, a high school senior who is with the full national team at the Olympic qualifying tournament, where she saw action in its first four games.

Ashley Sanchez, who scored three goals and had five assists in U-20 World Cup qualifying, is with the U.S. U-17 girls national team prepping for its qualifiers in March.

The most experienced U.S. U-20s in the squad are Beach FC midfielder Savannah DeMelo (12 U-20 games) and Notre Dame defender Natalie Jacobs (11).


Savannah DeMelo started all five games in U-20 World Cup qualifying.

Five players from hail from 2015 NCAA champion Penn State and four from quarterfinalist Stanford.

The 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup takes place Nov. 13-Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea.

U.S. U-20 women’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Casey Murphy* (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.).
DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook* (Stanford; Far Hills, N.J.), Maddie Elliston* (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Natalie Jacobs* (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean* (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady* (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.), Taylor Otto (North Carolina; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl* (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.), Michelle Xiao* (Stanford; Omaha, Neb.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Jordan Dibiasi* (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle* (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen* (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Kansas; Leawood, Kan.), Mikaela Harvey (Texas A&M; Liberty Hill, Texas).
FORWARDS (4): Mimi Asom* (Princeton; Fairview, Texas), Taylor Racioppi* (Duke; Ocean Township, N.J.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt* (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.).
*Not in squad for U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament.

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Roster: U-15 U.S. girls gather for first 2016 camp

A squad of 26 players will convene for the first 2016 U.S. U-15 girls national team (2001s) camp of 2016, Feb. 27-March 5.

The camp will be run by U.S. Soccer Women’s Development coach Mark Carr. This age group’s ultimate aim is to qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup.

U.S. U-15 girls national teams
GOALKEEPERS (4): Julia Dohle (NYSC; Scarsdale, N.Y.), Halle Mackiewicz (Colorado Storm; Broomfield, Colo.), Lindsey Romig (Richmond United ECNL; Midlothian, Va.), Ruth Jones (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Charlotte, N.C.).
DEFENDERS (4): Sierra Dunphy (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.), D'awncey Jones-Black (Honolulu Bulls FC; Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Marietta, Ga.), Harper White (Tennessee Soccer Club; Franklin Tenn.).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Ainsley Ahmadian (Galaxy SC; Naperville, Ill.), Hannah Bebar (Galaxy SC; Naperville, Ill.), Julia Burnell (Penn Fusion; Glen Mills, Pa.), Maya Doms (Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Gabrielle Robinson (BRYSC; Springfield, Va.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Mackenzee Vance (Jacksonville FC; Bluffton, S.C.).
FORWARDS (8): Vanessa Buso (Legends FC; Corona, Calif.), Sunshine Fontes (Honolulu Bulls FC; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Savianna Gomez (Beach Academy; Torrance, Calif.), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass; Douglas, Mass.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Balch Springs, Texas), Alexandra Russel (Albion Hurricanes; Katy, Texas), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Chicago Magic; Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Nicole Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.).

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U.S. Soccer Development Academy: College Commitments

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s list of players committing to colleges for the 2017 collegiate season comes from reports from 48 of the 74 full academy (through U-18) boys clubs. New Jersey’s Players Development Academy (PDA) leads with 17 players headed to college ball. The 48 clubs reported a total of 414 college commitments. Go HERE for list.

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Around the Net

SOCCERWIRE.com: Charles Boehm, who broke the news in December that the USSF will be launching a girls Development Academy in 2017, reported after a meeting between USSF and ECNL/U.S. Club representatives that "USSF officials expressed concern about coaching behavior at some ECNL clubs, and asked why ECNL hasn’t mandated minimum USSF licensing (likely A or B level) for its coaches; in response, ECNL officials noted the scarcity of places in USSF’s high-level courses and the impossible mandate that would pose for many of its member clubs. "U.S. Soccer-ECNL summit fruitless, with federation set to go it alone on girls Development Academy"

FCDALLAS.com: The U-18 Mexican national team has called up FC Dallas U-16 academy players Luis Carrillo (Tyler, Texas) and goalkeeper Jose Mercado (Laredo, Texas) to train with the squad for the upcoming 2016 Aspire Tournament in Qatar. Carrillo is the latest player to switch from the U.S. to Mexican youth team program. "FCD U-16 pair excited for call up to Mexico Youth National Team"

NEWYORKREDBULLS.com: Red Bulls Academy Director Bob Montgomery will transition into a new role as Director of Coaching Education and Youth Partnerships. In his new role, Montgomery will serve as a daily coaching education resource to the first team, USL and academy coaching staffs to ensure that the club’s philosophy, style of play and core principles stay consistent between all three platforms. Montgomery will also begin an outreach program to begin sporting partnerships with local clubs, and be a resource to young players and their parents. "New York Red Bulls Announce Restructuring of Youth Development System"

LATIMES.com: Former Fullerton (Calif.) Rangers Youth Soccer Club treasurer Laura A. Zellerbach pleaded guilty to embezzling and laundering more than $174,000 from the club. She was sentenced to five years' probation, one year in jail and was ordered to pay $227,000 in restitution. Among her crimes, Zellerbach withdrew more than $20,000 for a cashier’s check to partially pay for a European vacation for her children, prosecutors said. "Soccer mom pleads guilty to embezzling $174,000 from youth sports club"

2 comments about "Collegians and high-schoolers vie for spots on U.S. U-20 Women World Cup roster".
  1. Ric Fonseca, February 19, 2016 at 6:51 p.m.

    Okidokis folks, here we go yet A-G-A-I-N!!! having the Mexican National Teams Federation identifying our local talent and "recruiting" them to practice and then possibly play on almost ANY Mexican NT. In this situation I am referring to FCDallas U16's Carrillo and Mercado. And hell yes, I am just as excited as they are on being called up, NOT by a US NT, but because someone else other than some guy from the US NT so-called "Scouts" but from their parent's home country's scouting system. So, is anyone in US Soccer crying in their beer or spilled leche???

  2. R2 Dad replied, February 20, 2016 at 5:26 p.m.

    Not a chance, Ric. Those players were most likely dismissed by the status quo as a) Not First Team Players, b) Not Already in Our System, or c) Not Rated/Recruited By Our Vetted College Coaches. Nothing has changed. El Tri Feminil recently lost 0-1 to the US--they're obviously benefiting from the current arrangement and improving. It's only a matter of time before they pull an upset.

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