Commentary

Perfect so far, U.S. U-17 girls move closer to World Cup spot

By Mike Woitalla

The USA, aiming to return to the U-17 Women’s World Cup after failing to qualify two years ago, clinched first place in Group B of the Concacaf Championship with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Wednesday following victories over Mexico (1-0) and Jamaica (8-1).

Coach B.J. Snow’s team can earn a spot at the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan with a semifinal win over Canada on Friday. Mexico faces Haiti in the other semifinal.

Real Colorado’s Sophia Smith set up Michigan Hawks’ Alexa Spaanstra for a tap-in to give the USA a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica in the sixth minute. So Cal Blues forward Ashley Sanchez, with a 38th minute penalty kick, scored her fourth goal of the tournament. Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA), who scored four goals in the win over Jamaica, was fouled to earn the spot kick.

Highlights:

The USA has now won every group-stage game in U-17 World Cup qualifying history for a 15-0-0 record. However, the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2010 and 2014, losing to Canada and Mexico, respectively, in semifinal shootout tiebreakers. This year, the third-place game winner also qualifies for the World Cup.

The USA will face a Canada team that lost, 2-1, to Haiti after wins over host Grenada (7-0) and Guatemala (3-0).

The USA outshot Costa Rica, 16-1

March 8 in St. George's, Grenada
USA 2 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Spaanstra (Smith) 6, Sanchez (pen.) 38.
USA -- Ivory; Wesley, Girma, Smith, Wiesner; Torres, Pinto, Smith (Canniff, 46 ), Tagliaferri (Jones, 83), Spaanstra; Sanchez (Rodriguez, 69).
Costa Rica -- Rubi; Lobo, Del Campo, Blanco, Salas; Sanabria, Vásquez, Víquez (Marín, 67), Salas (Rodríguez, 85); Villalobos (Chinchilla, 79), Alvarado.
Red card – Costa Rica (Blanco) 87.
Referee: Tatiana Montes (Panama).


2016 Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship
Group A
March 3
Canada 3 Guatemala 0
Haiti 13 Grenada 0
March 5
Haiti 3 Guatemala 2
Canada 7 Grenada 0
March 7
Haiti 2 Canada 1
Guatemala 7 Grenada 0 
Group A Standings
Pts. Team W-L-T GD
6 Haiti 3-0-0 +15
6 Canada 2-1-0 +9
3 Guatemala 1-2-0 +3
0 Grenada 0-3-0 -27

Group B
March 4
USA 8 Jamaica 1
Mexico 4 Costa Rica 2
March 6
USA 1 Mexico 0
Costa Rica 3 Jamaica 1
March 8
USA 2 Costa Rica 0
Mexico 1 Jamaica 0
Group B Standings
Pts. Team W-L-T GD
9 USA 3-0-0 +10
6 Mexico 2-1-0 +2
3 Costa Rica 1-2-0 -3
0 Jamaica 0-3-0 -9

March 11
Semifinals
Mexico vs. Haiti 4 pm ET (FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Soccer 2Go)
USA vs. Canada 7 pm ET (FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Soccer 2Go)
March 13
Third-place Game 2 pm ET (Fox Soccer2)
Final 5 pm ET (Fox Soccer 2)

Games can be viewed free of charge on foxsoccer2go.com by entering the promo code “U17WNT” on the registration page. The promo code can be activated though March 13.

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U.S. U-20 Women undefeated at U-23 La Manga Tourney

Coach Michelle French’s U.S. U-20 women’s national team, which is preparing for the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup in November, went undefeated at the U-23 La Manga Tournament in Spain with a 1-1 tie with Sweden’s U-23s, a 1-0 win over England’s U-23s, and a 2-1 win over Norway's U-23s.

Texas A&M’s Ally Watt scored the ganmewinner against England, assisted by Penn State’s Kaleigh Riehl. Watt’s Texas A&M’s teammate, Mikaela Harvey, scored against Sweden. Watt scored and assisted in the win over Norway.

March 6 in La Manga, Spain
USA 2 Norway 1. Roberts (Watt) 13, Watt (Peterson) 62; Boe Risa 77.
USA -- Chandler (Murphy, 46); Watt (Xiao, 69), Demelo (Racioppi, 58), Roberts, Dibasi (Ogle, 76), McGrady, Otto, Hedge (Fox, 58), Cook, Jean, Asom (Peterson, 58).
Norway -- Mikalsen; Redisch Kvamme, Katrine Buer Sondena, Leine, Boe Risa, Saevik, Thun (Storro, 61), Reiten (Fridlund, 61), Vevle Eikeland, Lilleas Naess, Skinnes Hansen (Sessy Asland, 61).

March 4 in La Manga, Spain
USA 1 England 0. Goal: Watt (Riehl) 87.
USA -- Murphy, Elliston (Jean, 90), Jacobs (Otto, 58), Riehl, Ogle Roberts, 67), Dibiasi, Harvey, Peterson (Hedge, 67), Racioppi (Watt, 46), Scarpa (Fox, 61).
England -- Earps, Blundell, Williams, Mccue, Mannion, Bright, Lipka, Carter (England, 70), Parris, Galton (Sigsworth, 88), McManus.

March 2 in La Manga, Spain
USA 1 Sweden 1. Goals: Harvey (Hedge) 44; Göthberg 51.
USA -- Chandler; Elliston, Cook, Riehl, Jean (Fox, 61); Ogle, Demelo (Roberts, 46), Harvey; Hedge (Asom, 70), Racioppi (Watt, 61), Scarpa (Xiao, 46).
Sweden -- Musovic; Aronsson, Ekholm (Johansson, 46), Björn, Löfkvist, De Jong (Nilsson, 61), Almkvist (Andersson, 77), Oskarsson (Andersson, 61), Göthberg, Jansson (Karlsson, 70), Grabus (Welin, 46).

The 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup takes place Nov. 13-Dec. 3 -- during the college playoffs -- 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.).

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Abigail Kim leads U.S. U-18 women to wins over Norway, England

Abigail Kim of Washington club Pacific NW SC scored the gamewinners for the U.S. U-18 women national team in 1-0 victories over Norway and England at 2016 U-20 La Manga Tournament. The team coached by U.S. Soccer Technical Director April Heinrichs  opened with a 0-0 tie with Denmark.

The U.S. 22-player roster is comprised of 19 players born in 1998 and three in 1997.

March 7 in La Manga, Spain
USA 1 Norway 0. Kim (Gee) 36.
USA -- Dennis; Doyle (Mackin, 74), Hiatt, Mitchell (Canales, 35), Daugirda (Berkely, 46), Gee, Morse, Kornieck (Winter, 46), Goins, Kim (Jones, 59), Dunphy (Bike, 77).
Norway -- Nordstrom; Bratberg Lund, Hansen (Kleppe, 13), Lilleberg Suphellen, Rokke Elvebakken, Hiim,  Heimvik Haugland (Hasund, 79), Sysrstad Engen, Eide Lie (Wilmann, 28), Anett Fjelldal, Dovle (Ronquist Hafnor, 79).

March 5 in La Manga, Spain
USA 1 England 0. Goal: Kim (Goins) 78.
USA -- Dennis; Mackin (Doyle, 74), Hiatt (capt.), Mitchell, Daugirda, Bike (Jones, 46), Winters (Morse, 85), Gee (Dunphy, 74), Athens (Kornieck, 46), Bosco (Kim, 46), Goins.
England -- MacIver; Pacheco, George, Fisk, Williamson, Walsh, Leg (Davies, 88), Stamp (Rouse, 69), Primus (Loomes, 88), Badajide, Kelly (Clarke, 69).

March 3 in La Manga, Spain
USA 0 Denmark 0.
USA -- Heinsohn, Doyle (Mackin, 76), Gorzak (Goins, 46), Hiatt (Mitchell, 46), Kim (Bosco, 76), Berkely (Daugirda, 66), Dunphy, Canales, Jones (Gee, 46), 20- Kornieck , Morse.
Denmark -- Svane; Obel, Karsberg-Petersen, Frank, Moller Thomsen, Jorup, Henriksen, Sorensen Abilda (Marie Madsen, 67), Schioldan (Dybdahl,77), Sorensen, Barut.

U.S. U-18 women’s national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Amanda Dennis (Penn State; Palmetto, Fla.), Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk; Mass.).
DEFENDERS (7): Malia Berkely (Fairfield Optimist SC; Liberty Township, Ohio), Holly Daugirda (Utah Avalanche; Salt Lake City, Utah), Julie Doyle (San Diego Surf; Murrieta, Calif.), Samantha Hiatt (Crossfire FC; Newcastle, Wash.), Julie Mackin (Real Colorado; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kaiya McCullough (San Diego Surf; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Taylor Mitchell (Real So Cal; Tarzana, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Olivia Athens (PSV Union FC; Atherton, Calif.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; Temecula, Calif.), Arlie Jones (San Diego Surf, Las Vegas, Nev.), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Surf, Henderson, Nev.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Natalie Winters (Michigan Hawks; Plymouth, Mich.).      
FORWARDS (7): Jenna Bike (Connecticut FC; Trumbull, Conn.), Marissa Bosco (Eclipse Select; St. Charles, Ill.), Sunny Dunphy (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.), Cecilia Gee (Lamorinda United; Orinda, Calif.), Kennedy Goins (TSC Hurricane; Broken Arrow, Okla.), Alissa Gorzak (Eclipse Select; Naperville, Ill.), Abigail Kim (Pacific NW SC; Vashon, Wash.).

2 comments about "Perfect so far, U.S. U-17 girls move closer to World Cup spot".
  1. Brian Ashley, March 9, 2016 at 10:23 p.m.

    No way! Can't possibly be that the U17 US Girls are doing well. After all, US Soccer wants to change the whole US Youth Soccer program for girls because, . well, because,... because we aren't as good as the rest of the world!

  2. John Fields, March 10, 2016 at 10:02 a.m.

    US womens' game will decline. The newest changes will hurt numbers joining to play soccer at younger ages. They'll choose to play field hockey or lacrosse to play with their school age friends. The new classifications is the beginning of the end for US dominance within the next 10 years. Mark it.

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