U.S. U-20 women prep for World Cup qualifying

U.S. coach Jitka Klimkovaheld a 30-player camp from which she'll pick the 20 players for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying.

The USA faces Nicaragua (Jan. 19), Jamaica (Jan. 21) and Mexico (Jan. 23) in the first round at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago from which three teams will advance to the U-20 Women's World Cup in France.

In the camp over the New Year's holiday, Klimkova invited 19 of the players who took part in the 2017 Women’s Nike International Friendlies, at which the USA tied England (3-3), beat Finland (10-1), and lost to Brazil (2-0). She added goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn (Duke), defenders Samantha Hiatt (Stanford), Emily Madril (Florida State), Kaiya McCullough (UCLA), Kiara Pickett (Stanford), midfielders Olivia Athens (UCLA), Chardonnay Curran (Oregon), Natalie Winters (Iowa), and forwards Madison Haley (Stanford), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA) and Summer Yates (Pacific Northwest SC).

At the World Cup qualifying tournament, the USA was drawn into Group B and will open on Jan. 19 against Nicaragua, face Jamaica on Jan. 21 and finish group play against Mexico on Jan. 23. Group A is comprised of host Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Costa Rica and Haiti. Each group’s top two finishers advance to the semifinals, whose winners along with the victor of the third-place game earn berths to the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France (Aug. 5-24).

Players born in 1998 or later are eligible for this year's U-20 World Cup. The 30 players in camp included 12 born in 1998, 14 born in 1999, and four born in 2000.

The USA has qualified for all eight previous biennial U-20 Women’s World Cups and lifted the titles in 2002, 2008 and 2012. It finished in fourth place in 2016, after which Klimkova replaced Coach Michelle French.

U.S. U-20 women's national team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brooke Heinsohn (Duke; Norfolk, Mass.), Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.).
DEFENDERS (9): Jordan Brewster (Internationals SC; North Canton, Ohio), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; San Jose, Calif.), Samantha Hiatt (Stanford; Newcastle, Wash.), Emily Madril (Florida State; Navarre, Fla.), Kaiya McCullough (UCLA; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Tara McKeown (USC; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA; Torrance, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Olivia Athens (UCLA; Atherton, Calif.), Samantha Coffey (Boston College; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), Chardonnay Curran (Oregon; Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Taylor Kornieck (Colorado; Henderson, Nev.), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.), Natalie Winters (Iowa; Plymouth, Mich.).
FORWARDS (8): Madison Haley (Stanford; Dallas, Texas), Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.), Civana Kuhlmann (Stanford; Littleton. Colo.), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara; Nashville, Tenn.), Summer Yates (Pacific Northwest SC; Paco, Wash.).

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