Youth: USA roster set for U-20 Women's World Cup

Coach Jitka Klimkova  has named 16 collegians and five youth club players to the USA's 21-player roster for the 2018 U-20 Women's World Cup, hosted by France Aug. 5-24.

USA 2018 U-20 Women's World Cup Roster
(college or club; hometown; U-20 caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Hillary Beall (Univ. of Michigan; Laguna Beach, Calif.; 0/0), Laurel Ivory (Univ. of Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 12/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 10/0).
DEFENDERS (7): Emily Fox (Univ. of North Carolina; Chapel Hill, N.C., 32/3), Naomi Girma (California Thorns; San Jose, Calif.; 17/0), Samantha Hiatt (Stanford Univ.; Newcastle, Wash.; 11/1), Tara McKeown (Univ. of Southern California; Newbury Park, Calif.; 22/0), Zoe Morse (Univ. of Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 19/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford Univ.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 16/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 19/0).
MIDFIELDERS (5): Savannah DeMelo (Univ. of Southern California; Bellflower, Calif.; 36/5), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 26/2), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 22/3), Taryn Torres (Univ. of Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 12/2), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 23/1)
FORWARDS (6): Erin Gilroy (Univ. of Tennessee; Bellmore, N.Y.; 4/2), Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues; Anaheim, Calif.; 9/3), Abigail Kim (Univ. of California; Vashon, Wash.; 24/6), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 33/11), Alexa Spaanstra (Univ. of Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 3/0), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 25/21).

"Honestly, these were some of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my coaching career," Klimkova said. "The overall pool was so competitive and we needed every training session and game before we selected the final 21. We are confident that the group we picked is the best team. We looked at many factors over the past year from their influence and decision-making in games to their training mentality and versatility, to the intangibles, and of course their performances in international matches. The credit goes to the players for their work ethic and mental toughness throughout the process."

Players born in 1998 or later are eligible for this year's U-20 World Cup. Klimkova's squad is on the young side, with seven 1998s, 10 1999s and four players born in 2000.

The U.S. roster is made up of seven players born in 1998, 10 born in 1999 and four born in 2000.

Six players on the roster -- goalkeeper Hillary Beall, defender Emily Fox, defender Samantha Hiatt, forward Erin Gilroy, forward Penelope Hocking and forward Alexa Spaanstra -- were not part of the qualifying team, which finished runner-up to Mexico, falling on a shootout after a 1-1 tie in the final of the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Women's Championship.

Three players Fox, midfielder Savannah DeMelo and forward Ashley Sanchez, were on the U.S. team that finished fourth at the 2016 U-20 World Cup. Fox returns after an absence of nearly one year while recovering from ACL surgery.

The roster’s five youth club players – defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielders Howell (Real Colorado) and Pinto (NTH Tophat) and forwards Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues) and Smith (Real Colorado) – will be college freshmen in the fall.

Hocking was the 2017-18 Development Academy leading scorer with 36 goals in 19 games for the So Cal Blues.

The four 2000s – Girma, Pinto, Smith and Alexa Spaanstra – will also be eligible for the 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

"We now have our sights set on France, and we are feeling confident," said Klimkova. "We play an attacking, creative and aggressive style of soccer that is fun for the players, and I feel we've made huge improvement since the Concacaf qualifiers. We all agreed that the performance in Trinidad wasn't our best, but since then we've made progress every time we are together. I feel like we've come together off the field as well, we are a family now who are pursuing our dreams together."

USA 2018 U-20 WORLD CUP, Group C games
Aug. 6
USA vs. Japan
Aug. 9
USA vs. Paraguay
Aug. 13
USA vs. Spain

1 comment about "Youth: USA roster set for U-20 Women's World Cup".
  1. Jeanine Valadez, July 18, 2018 at 1:30 a.m.

    Where is Civana Kuhlman?

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