Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship: Five things to know about USA

The USA's path to the Under-17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay goes through Nicaragua, where it takes part in the Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship in Managua.

It kicks off with group play, beginning on Friday night with a match against Costa Rica followed by matches against Bermuda and Canada. The two semifinal winners and third-place winner will represent Concacaf in Uruguay, which will host the 16-team finals Nov. 13-Dec. 1.

U.S. Schedule:
April 20: USA vs. Costa Rica 10:00 p.m. ET
April 22: USA vs. Bermuda 10:00 p.m. ET
April 24: USA vs. Canada 10:00 p.m. ET
Streaming: Go90.

Here are five things to know about the USA ...

1. High-scoring outfit. The USA enters qualifying with a 16-1-4 won-lost-tied record since the current cycle began under head coach Mark Carr. Its only loss was a 5-4 decision to China at a tournament last summer in Weifang. It was one of 12 games in which the USA scored four or more goals. Hawaiian Sunshine Fontes leads the U-17s with 13 goals in 19 games, while Croix Bethune has seven goals and Payton Linnehan and Maya Doms six each.

2. Two holdovers. Kate Wiesner and Kennedy Wesley are holdovers from the 2016 Concacaf U-17 qualifying and went on to play in the World Cup in Jordan, where the USA lost two of three games and failed to advance to the knockout stage. Two other players from the last cycle, forwards Jordan Canniff and Lia Godfrey, are eligible for the 2018 U-17 World Cup but sidelined with ACL knee injuries.

3. Late call-up. Forward Samantha Kroeger was a late call-up in place of Isabella D’Aquila, and joins three other players born in 2002, Talia DellaPeruta, Smith Hunter and Makenna Morris. The other 16 players were born in 2001.

4. Feast or famine. The USA has won the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship three of the five times it’s been contested (2008, 2012, 2016) but failed to qualify in 2010 and 2013 when it lost on penalty kicks in the semifinals. On both occasions, only two teams advanced from the qualifying tournament because a Concacaf team hosted the finals (Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 and Costa Rica in 2014).

5. Launching pad. Seven regulars on the current national team played in U-17 qualifying. Morgan Brian was on both the 2008 and 2010 U.S. teams. Samantha Mewis and Crystal Dunn also played in the inaugural tournament in 2008, while Lindsey Horan (8 goals) and Abby Dahlkemper were also part of the 2010 team that lost to Canada in the semifinals. Andi Sullivan helped the USA sweep in 2012, and Mallory Pugh scored five goals for the 2013 team that was ousted by Mexico in a shootout.

U.S. U-17 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Angelina Anderson (Mustang FC, Calif.), Julia Dohle (New York City FC).
DEFENDERS (6): Michela Agresti (FC Stars, Mass.), Talia DellaPeruta (NTH Tophat; Ga.), Smith Hunter (Seattle Reign Academy), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Md.), Natalia Staude (NTH Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Hannah Bebar (Eclipse Select SC; Ill.), Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Ga.), Maya Doms (Davis Legacy, Calif.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf, Calif.), Sophie Jones (San Jose Earthquakes Academy), Astrid Wheeler (Concorde Fire, Ga.).
FORWARDS (6): Sunshine Fontes (Hawaii Rush), Samantha Kroeger (World Class FC, N.J.), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars, Mass.), Samantha Meza (Solar SC; Texas), Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas Academy), Kate Wiesner (LAFC Slammers).

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