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US Soccer

USA Qualifies for 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup with 5-0 Win vs. Canada

ST. GEORGES, Grenada (March 11, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team qualified for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with a dominating 5-0 win against Canada in the semifinal of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Championship at Grenada Athletics Stadium.

Alexa Spaanstra, Jordan Canniff, Civana Kuhlman, Sophia Smith and Frankie Tagliaferri all scored, while the team’s defense, solidified up the middle by midfielders Brianna Pinto and Jaelin Howell and center-backs Naomi Girma and Karina Rodriguez, pitched a third consecutive shutout in stellar overall performance for the USA.

Spaanstra opened the scoring with what proved to be the game-winner in the 33rd minute before Canniff provided a decisive goal in first half stoppage-time. At 14 years and seven months old, Canniff is now the second youngest scorer in international competition in U.S. WNT program history. Kuhlmann netted the USA’s third soon after halftime, a goal that put the match of reach, before Smith and Tagliaferri added a final pair of strikes in second-half stoppage time.

In the other semifinal, Mexico swept past Haiti 3-0, to earn a berth to Jordan and setting up a Group B rematch with the USA for the tournament title. The final between the USA and Mexico will take place on Sunday, March 13, and will be broadcast on FS2 and FOX Sports Go at 6 p.m. ET. The USA defeated Mexico, 1-0, in its second Group B match on a goal from Ashley Sanchez.

The 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be staged from September 30 through October 21 in Jordan. The USA and Mexico become the fifth and sixth teams to qualify along with host Jordan, North Korea, Japan and New Zealand.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Alex Spaanstra (Kennedy Wesley), 33rd minute: Wesley overlapped from her right back position and swung in a cross from deep in the right corner. The ball dropped near the penalty spot and Spaanstra timed her run perfectly, beating her defender to the ball to strike a full volley with her instep into the lower right corner for her second goal of the tournament. USA 1, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jordan Canniff, 45+1 minute: The USA had Canada under extended pressure and Civana Kuhlmann latched on to a cross that had skipped by a Canada defender in the penalty pox. She got off a point blank shot that was saved by Canada goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx, but the rebound fell right to Canniff, who slotted the ball home to double the U.S. lead just before the halftime break. USA 2, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL )

USA – Civana Kuhlmann (Kennedy Wesley), 54th minute: Wesley made a hard charging run down the right side of the field and curled in a low cross to the back post where Kuhlmann met it with a sliding strike, redirecting the ball with her knee inside the left post for her third goal of the tournament. USA 3, CAN 0 ( SEE GOAL)

USA – Sophia Smith, 91st minute: Canada goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx misplayed a back-pass which allowed the sprinting Smith, who had come on just six minutes earlier, to win the loose ball on the right side of the penalty box and shoot back across goal into the lower left corner. USA 4, CAN 0 ( SEE GOAL)

USA – Frankie Tagliaferri (Alex Spaanstra), 93rd minute: The U.S. kept their foot on the pedal through the final whistle and got a fifth as an attack was only half-cleared by Canada. The ball fell to Spaanstra in the right channel and she made a move around her defender before slipping a pass to Tagilaferri who one-timed a low shot inside the left post. USA 5, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. will face off against Mexico on March 13 (6 p.m. ET on FS2) at Grenada National Stadium in St. Georges, Grenada. Click here for the full tournament schedule.

Social: Facebook ; Twitter ( @ussoccer_ynt )

Additional Notes:

  • With five goals, Frankie Tagliaferri is tied for the lead in the tournament Golden Boot race with two Haitian players.
  • Ashley Sanchez has four goals and Civana Kuhlmann has three.
  • U.S. goalkeeper Laurel Ivory collected her third clean sheet of the competition, becoming the only ‘keeper with three in the tournament.
  • The USA did not allow a shot on goal from Canada.
  • Jordan Canniff is the second youngest player ever to score for the U.S. WNT in international competition, tallying tonight at 5,341 days old. Civana Kuhlman, who also scored tonight, was the youngest, scoring at the 2013 CONCACAF Women's Championship at 5,314 days old.
  • Eighteen of the 20 players on the U.S. roster have started a game in this tournament and 19 of the 20 have played, with only back-up goalkeeper Hillary Beall having yet to see the field.

- U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Canada U-17 Women’s National Team
Date:
March 11, 2016
Competition:
2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship – Semifinal
Venue:
Grenada Athletics Stadium; St. George’s, Grenada
Attendance:
1,000
Weather:
79 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary: 1   2   F
USA                        2   3   5
CAN                        0   0   0

USA – Alexa Spaanstra (Kennedy Wesley) 33rd minute
USA – Jordan Canniff (Civanna Kuhlmann) 45+1
USA – Civanna Kuhlmann (Kennedy Wesley) 54
USA – Sophia Smith 90+1
USA – Frankie Tagliaferri (Alexa Spaanstra) 90+3

Lineups:
USA
: 1-Laurel Ivory; 15-Kennedy Wesley, 16-Karina Rodriguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 19-Kate Wiesner; 8-Brianna Pinto, 18-Jaelin Howell, 17-Jordan Canniff (11-Izzy Rodriguez, 73), 10-Ashley Sanchez (capt.) (20-Frankie Tagliaferri, 77), 7-Alexa Spaanstra; 14-Civana Kuhlmann (3-Sophia Smith, 84)
Subs Not Used: 2-Taryn Torres, 5-Sydney Zandi, 6-Emily Smith, 9-Kiara Pickett, 12-Hilary Beall, 13-Rachel Jones

Head Coach: B.J. Snow

CAN : 18-Lysianne Proulx; 2-Emma Regan, 3-Julia Grosso, 6-Samantha Chang, 16-Ashley Cathro; 8-Sarah Stratigakis, 10-Anyssa Ibrahim (12-Vital Kats, 75), 14-Caitlin Shaw (4-Nahida Baalbaki, 46), 7-Shana Flynn, 9-Jordyn Huitema, 20-Jayde Riviere (11-Camila Gomez, 46)
Subs Not Used: 1-Marissa Zucchetto, 5-Kennedy Faulknor, 13-Nadège L’Espérance, 15-Lauren Raimondo, 17-Teni Akindoju, 19-Aaliyah Scott
Head Coach: Bev Priestman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 0
Fouls: 8 / 2
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Montes (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Thelma Beltran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Lixy Enriquez (MEX)
4th Official: Francia Maria Gonzalez (MEX)

header photo courtesy of Haron Forteau
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U-17 WNT Mar 11, 2016

- U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Canada U-17 Women’s National Team
Date:
March 11, 2016
Competition:
2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship – Semifinal
Venue:
Grenada Athletics Stadium; St. George’s, Grenada
Attendance:
1,000
Weather:
79 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary: 1   2   F
USA                        2   3   5
CAN                        0   0   0

USA – Alexa Spaanstra (Kennedy Wesley) 33rd minute
USA – Jordan Canniff (Civanna Kuhlmann) 45+1
USA – Civanna Kuhlmann (Kennedy Wesley) 54
USA – Sophia Smith 90+1
USA – Frankie Tagliaferri (Alexa Spaanstra) 90+3

Lineups:
USA
: 1-Laurel Ivory; 15-Kennedy Wesley, 16-Karina Rodriguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 19-Kate Wiesner; 8-Brianna Pinto, 18-Jaelin Howell, 17-Jordan Canniff (11-Izzy Rodriguez, 73), 10-Ashley Sanchez (capt.) (20-Frankie Tagliaferri, 77), 7-Alexa Spaanstra; 14-Civana Kuhlmann (3-Sophia Smith, 84)
Subs Not Used: 2-Taryn Torres, 5-Sydney Zandi, 6-Emily Smith, 9-Kiara Pickett, 12-Hilary Beall, 13-Rachel Jones

Head Coach: B.J. Snow

CAN : 18-Lysianne Proulx; 2-Emma Regan, 3-Julia Grosso, 6-Samantha Chang, 16-Ashley Cathro; 8-Sarah Stratigakis, 10-Anyssa Ibrahim (12-Vital Kats, 75), 14-Caitlin Shaw (4-Nahida Baalbaki, 46), 7-Shana Flynn, 9-Jordyn Huitema, 20-Jayde Riviere (11-Camila Gomez, 46)
Subs Not Used: 1-Marissa Zucchetto, 5-Kennedy Faulknor, 13-Nadège L’Espérance, 15-Lauren Raimondo, 17-Teni Akindoju, 19-Aaliyah Scott
Head Coach: Bev Priestman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 0
Fouls: 8 / 2
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Montes (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Thelma Beltran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Lixy Enriquez (MEX)
4th Official: Francia Maria Gonzalez (MEX)

{D41A1FC4-6AB5-4477-967A-30CE70B7F5F6}
US Soccer

Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship to Resume June 6-12 in Bradenton, Fla.

CHICAGO (May 11, 2018)—Concacaf has announced that the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship will resume next month at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The nine remaining matches are set to be played from June 6-12.

The competition was originally scheduled for April 19 to 29 at the National Football Stadium in Managua, Nicaragua, but safety concerns led to cancellation of the event on April 22. At the time of cancellation, the USA and the rest of Group B had played just one match, while each team in Group A had completed two games. 

Three teams from this tournament will advance to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay: two semifinal winners and the third-place game winner.

The USA currently stands at the top of Group B after taking down Costa Rica 4-0 on April 20. The U-17s resume group stage play against Bermuda on June 6 and Canada on June 8.

After three days of competition in Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua were mathematically eliminated from semifinal qualification in Group A and will not rejoin the tournament. Haiti and Mexico will battle for the group’s top spot.

2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship Schedule

Date

Matchup

Time (ET)

Venue

June 6

Costa Rica vs. Canada

5:45 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 6

USA vs. Bermuda

8:00 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 8

Mexico vs. Haiti

3:30 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 8

Costa Rica vs. Bermuda

5:45 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 8

USA vs. Canada

8:00 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 10

Semifinal 1

5:30 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 10

Semifinal 2

8:00 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 12

Third Place Match

5:30 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

June 12

Final

8:00 p.m.

IMG Academy Stadium

2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship Standings

Group A

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Mexico

2

2

0

0

15

0

+15

6

Haiti

2

2

0

0

6

1

+5

6

Puerto Rico*

2

0

2

0

1

11

-10

0

Nicaragua*

2

0

2

0

0

10

-10

0

*Mathematically eliminated from competition

Group B

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

USA

1

1

0

0

4

0

+4

3

Canada

1

1

0

0

3

0

+3

3

Bermuda

1

0

1

0

0

3

-3

0

Costa Rica

1

0

1

0

0

4

-4

0

 

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U-17 WNT May 11, 2018
US Soccer

U.S. Soccer Statement on Cancellation of the 2018 Concacaf Women's U-17 Championship in Nicaragua

CHICAGO (April 22, 2018) – Concacaf has announced the cancellation of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship in Managua, Nicaragua, due to safety concerns in the host country. 

Statement from U.S. Soccer: 

U.S. Soccer officials have notified all the families of our players that our team and staff in Nicaragua are safe and secure. We have made arrangements for the return to the United States of our team delegation and have also provided services and accommodations for all of the families that traveled to Nicaragua to assist them in returning home as well. Safety and security is our only priority as we continue to work with Concacaf on all matters related to the cancellation of the Women’s U-17 Championship.


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U-17 WNT Apr 22, 2018
US Soccer

Preview: U-17 WNT Takes on Bermuda in Second Game of 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team vs. Bermuda
2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship – Group B
National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua
10:00 p.m. ET (go90.com)
April 22, 2018 

U-17 WNT CONTINUES WCQ QUEST VS. BERMUDA: After a dominant 4-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday night, the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will continue the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship on Sunday, April 22 against Bermuda (10:00 p.m. ET; go90).

It will be the first-ever meeting between the USA and Bermuda in women’s soccer at any level. Three header goals -- from Payton Linnhean, Kennedy Wesley and Sophia Jones -- highlighted the USA’s opening victory. It was a bumpy start for Bermuda in its first-ever match at this competition as the Gombey Warriors fell 3-0 to Canada.

Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on go90. Follow the U-17 WNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt).

2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship - USA Schedule
Date               Match                         Result/Kickoff (ET)             Broadcast       Venue
April 20           USA vs. Costa Rica                W 5-0                         go90                National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua
April 22           USA vs. Bermuda                  10:00 p.m.               go90                National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua
April 24           USA vs. Canada                     10:00 p.m.                  go90                National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua 

WATCH U-17 WNT QUALIFYING FREE ON GO90: All tournament matches will be streamed via the go90 app and online at go90.com. Watch live in the USA on a mobile device or tablet by downloading the free go90 app on the App Store or Google Play. No registration or authentication is required. Fans can also watch matches free on their laptops at go90.com.

USA VS BERMUDA NOTES

  • The two countries have never met at the U-17 level and Sunday’s match will mark the first meeting between the USA and Bermuda in women’s soccer at any level.
  • Bermuda is making its first-ever appearance at this tournament.
  • The USA is 8-0-0 all-time against Caribbean teams at this competition, scoring 70 goals while allowing just two

GROUP B STANDINGS AND RESULTS

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

USA

1

1

0

0

4

0

+4

3

Canada

1

1

0

0

3

0

+3

3

Bermuda

1

0

1

0

0

3

-3

0

Costa Rica

1

0

1

0

0

4

-4

0


Date               Match                                    Result             Venue
April 20           Bermuda vs. Canada             0-3                  National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua
April 20           USA vs. Costa Rica                W 4-0             National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua

ROARING START: The USA dominated Costa Rica in its first Group B match and registered a 4-0 victory to open World Cup qualifying. Early pressure from the young Americans resulted in a fourth-minute own goal to open the scoring. Payton Linnehan doubled the lead in the 15th minute with a beautifully-placed header off of a cross from Samantha Meza. Linnehan continued to impress all night with some slippery moves on the dribble. 

In the second half, two corner kicks turned into two more U.S. goals. U-17 veterans Kate Wiesner and Kennedy Wesley combined for the first in the 60th minute. Wiesner served a corner into the box and Wesley rose up to head it home for her first-ever U-17 goal in 29 caps. Sophia Jones provided an exclamation point in the 79th minute when she got her head on a Sunshine Fontes corner and looped it past the goalkeeper to give the USA its fourth and final goal. The red, white and blue didn’t allow a single shot from Costa Rica over the full 90 minutes. 

BERMUDA BATTLES CANADA: Making its first appearance at the tournament, Bermuda fell 3-0 to Canada in the first match of Friday’s doubleheader. The Canadians overmatched Bermuda with a barrage of attempts on goal, outshooting them 30 to three, but the islanders were likely pleased to have allowed just three goals. 

U.S. U-17 WNT Concacaf Qualifying Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Angelina Anderson (Mustang FC; Danville, Calif.; 9/0), 12-Julia Dohle (New York City FC; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 2/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 19-Michela Agresti (FC Stars, Swampscott, Mass.; 10/2), 4-Talia DellaPeruta (NTH Tophat; Cumming, Ga.; 17/1), 14-Smith Hunter (Seattle Reign Academy; Seattle, Wash.; 10/0), 2-Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.; 12/1), 15-Natalia Staude (NTH Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.; 12/0), 5-Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.; 29/1)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 17-Hannah Bebar (Eclipse Select SC; Naperville, Ill.; 8/1), 9-Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.; 19/7), 11-Maya Doms (Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.; 17/6), 10-Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.; 19/2), 20-Sophia Jones (San Jose Earthquakes; Menlo Park, Calif.; 10/1), 6-Astrid Wheeler (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.; 14/1)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Sunshine Fontes (Hawaii Rush; Wahiawa, Hawaii; 20/13), 13-Samantha Kroeger (World Class FC; West Milford, N.J.; 4/1), 16-Payton Linnehan (FC Stars; Douglas, Mass.; 18/7), 7-Samantha Meza (Solar SC; Dallas, Texas; 13/2), 8-Diana Ordoñez (FC Dallas; Prosper, Texas; 4/0), 3-Kate Wiesner (LAFC Slammers; Monrovia, Calif.; 30/3)   

Bermuda Roster (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (2):
 12-Gaiya Melakot (Berkeley), 1-Zakhari Turner (Montverde/USA)
DEFENDERS (6): 16-Delia Ebbin (Darlington Academy/USA); 2-Koa Goodchild (Saltus), 4-Zekiah Lewis (St. Johnsbury/USA), 18-Jenna Rempel (Choate Hall/USA), 6-Danni Watson (Saltus); 3-Zemira Webb (Warwick Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 7-Sh'Nyah Atkinstall (Berkeley), 20-Druw Bascome (Cedarbridge), 14-Emily Cabral (TN Tatem Warwick), 5-Trinae Edwards (Cedarbridge), 8-Katelyn MederIos (BHS), 10-Leilanni Nesbeth (Bedes/ENG), 19-Dazarre Place (Berkeley), 17-Jya Ratteray Smith (Berkeley), 15-Jadae Steede Hill (Berkeley)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Nia Christopher (John Carroll/USA), 11-Adia Gibbons (Berkeley), 13-Tianna Mullan (IMG Academy/USA)

RUN-UP TO NICARAGUA: It’s been a successful start to the cycle for the U-17s, as they arrived in Managua with a 16-1-4 international record since the start of the cycle last April. Entering the tournament, the U-17s stood at 7-0-1 in 2018, scoring 32 goals while allowing just two.

In preparation for this year’s World Cup qualifying tournament, the USA has taken on 12 different countries, including fixtures against Concacaf rivals Canada, Haiti and Mexico. The team’s lone cycle defeat came in a barnburner 5-4 loss to China, while trophies have been won while playing against the likes of England and Italy at the Torneo Femminile delle Nazioni in Italy and Slovenia as well as at the Copa Provincia de Buenos Aires against a trio of South American squads. Most recently, the USA went undefeated in a three-game set against World Cup-bound Japan in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Players born on or after January 1, 2001 are eligible for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Head coach Mark Carr’s 20-player roster includes 16 players born in 2001 and four born in 2002. 

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship, and the sixth edition of the tournament. Launched in 2008 to qualify teams for the newly established FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the regional championship sends three teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean to the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay. The top two teams from each group qualify for the semifinals, and the winners of those two matches, plus the third-place game winner, punch their World Cup tickets. Group A features first-time participant and host Nicaragua, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The USA was drawn into Group B, alongside first-time participant Bermuda, Canada and Costa Rica.  

GROUP A STANDINGS AND RESULTS 

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Mexico

1

1

0

0

8

0

+8

3

Haiti

1

1

0

0

4

1

+3

3

Puerto Rico

1

0

1

0

1

4

-3

0

Nicaragua

1

0

1

0

0

8

-8

0

Date               Match                                    Result             Venue
April 19           Puerto Rico vs. Haiti              1-4                  National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua
April 19           Nicaragua vs. Mexico            0-8                  National Football Stadium; Managua, Nicaragua

MORE ABOUT THE U-17 WNT ON ussoccer.com

 

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U-17 WNT Apr 21, 2018
US Soccer

USA Defeats Costa Rica 4-0 to Open 2018 Concacaf Womens U17 Championship

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (April 20, 2018) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team defeated Costa Rica, 4-0, to open its Group B play at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. All three goals scored by the USA came off headers, while Costa Rica contributed an own goal.

The young Americans dominated for the entire 90 minutes and benefited from the own goal in the 4th minute before forward Peyton Linnehan tallied on a header in the 15th minute. Defender Kennedy Wesley and midfielder Sophia Jones both scored off headers from corner kicks in the second half.

"It was exciting to get a win," U-17 WNT head coach Mark Carr said. "Three points, four goals, a shutout and top of the group. We came out unscathed, got some people valuable minutes and we hit all of our goals. I think there's some things that we can improve and we'll work on those things. Now, it's about game two vs. Bermuda."

The goals were the first in U-17 international competition for both Wesley and Jones, with the latter providing an important bump in goal difference for the USA. The Americans now sit atop Group B, just ahead of Canada, which defeated Bermuda 3-0 in the other match of the night.

One of the highlights of the game for the USA was Linnehan’s running at goal. She struck a shot off the top of the crossbar in the second half after a mazy, dribbling run that left several defenders in her wake.

After round-robin play within the groups, the top two teams in each group will cross-over for the semifinal matches and the winners of the semifinals and the third-place game will earn CONCACAF’s three berths to the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

Up Next: The USA will face Bermuda on Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET on go90.com.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt), Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt)

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship
Group B Standings

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

1

1

0

0

3

4

0

+4

Canada

1

1

0

0

3

3

0

+3

Bermuda

1

0

1

0

0

0

3

-3

Costa Rica

1

0

1

0

0

0

4

-4

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Own Goal (Jeimy Umaña), 4th minute: The USA put pressure on Costa Rica early on and it was a nice build-up that produced the first American goal, even if it was scored by Costa Rica. Talia DellaPeruta played a pass to the right side to Peyton Linnehan, who darted past a defender into the penalty area. Her driven cross into the middle struck the leg of center back Jeimy Umaña as she tried to clear, but instead drilled the ball straight into the upper right corner of the goal from eight yards out to give the USA the early lead. USA 1, CRC 0 [WATCH]

USA – Peyton Linnehan (Samantha Meza), 15th minute: The second goal came from the left side as Samantha Meza danced her way free of a defender on the flank, cut inside and sent a cross into the middle. Peyton Linnehan timed her run perfectly to stay onside, but also got a step on her defender and then jumped to head home into the left side of the goal from eight yards out. USA 2, CRC 0 [WATCH]

USA – Kennedy Wesley (Kate Wiesner), 60th minute: The USA got its third goal off a corner kick as defender Katie Wiesner spun in a service from the left side. Defender Kennedy Wesley was not closely marked as she rose to snap a header into the lower left corner from four yards out. USA 3, CRC 0 [WATCH]

USA – Sophia Jones (Sunshine Fontes), 79th minute: The USA got its fourth goal off a corner kick as well, this one from the left side as forward Sunshine Fontes hit a high cross that dropped near the far corner of the goal box. Sophia Jones and Kennedy Wesley both rose to head the ball, but it was Jones who got her forehead on the cross and looped a seven-yard shot over the goalkeeper. The ball dropped into the goal at the left post to provide the final margin of victory. USA 4, CRC 0 FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CRC – Fabiana Solano, 24th minute: Outside back Kate Wiesner powerfully won a tackle in the USA’s attacking third, burst into the left side of the penalty box and cut a pass back to the wide-open Sunshine Fontes. Her first-time driven shot was pushed away with a brilliant reaction save from Costa Rica goalkeeper Fabiana Solano.

CRC – María Paula Salas, 67th minute: The USA took a shot corner kick form the left side and Kate Wiesner drove towards the penalty area before lofting a shot that was seemingly flying towards the upper right corner before María Paula Salas jumped to just deflect the ball away with her head.

CRC – Fabiana Solano, 80th minute: The menacing Peyton Linnehan hit a drive from distance that looked to be dropping just underneath the crossbar before Fabianna Solano leapt to acrobatically push the ball away.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA was captained by goalkeeper Angelina Anderson, who was not forced to make a save on the night as she earned her fifth career shutout.
  • The USA outshot Corta Rica 14-0 and put eight shots on goal to zero.
  • Peyton Linnehan’s goal was her seventh in 18 U-17 international matches.
  • Linnehan was the Golden Boot Winner at the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship, scoring eight goals at that tournament in Orlando, Fla.
  • Kennedy Wesley’s goal was her first international score at the U-17 level and it came in her 29th cap while Sophia Smith’s goal was her first in her 10th cap.
  • U.S. head coach Mark Carr made all three allowed two subs in the game, sending on Diana Ordonez for Samantha Meza in the 62nd minute, Michela Agresti for Natalia Staude in the 68th, and Samantha Kroeger in for Sunshine Fontes in the 81st minute.
  • Kroeger was added to the roster just the day before the tournament started in place of forward Isabella D’Aquila, who had not sufficiently recovered from an ankle injury.
  • This was the first U.S. WNT match played in Nicaragua at any age level.
  • Costa Rica has drawn the USA in its group every time that it has qualified for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship (2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018).
  • This was the fifth meeting between the USA and Costa in this tournament, four in pool play and twice in the knockout rounds.
  • The USA is 6-0-0 all-time vs. Costa Rica at the tournament.
  • Costa Rica is the only non-North American country to qualify for the World Cup at this age level, finishing second in the inaugural 2008 tournament.

– U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: April 20, 2018
Competition: 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship; Group B
Venue: Managua, Nicaragua
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
Attendance: 160
Weather: 84 degrees; periodic clouds

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                             2          2          4                     
CRC                            0          0          0                     

USA – Jeimy Umaña (Own Goal)      4th minute
USA – Payton Linnehan (Samantha Meza)   15
USA – Kennedy Wesley (Kate Wiesner)        60
USA – Sophia Jones (Sunshine Fontes)       79           

Lineups:
USA: 1-Angelina Anderson (capt.); 4-Talia DellaPeruta, 15-Natalia Staude (19-Michela Agresti, 68), 5-Kennedy Wesley, 3-Kate Wiesner; 20-Sophia Jones, 17-Hannah Bebar, 9-Croix Bethune; 16-Payton Linnehan, 18-Sunshine Fontes (13-Samantha Kroeger, 81), 7-Samantha Meza (8-Diana Ordoñez, 62)
Substitutes not used: 12-Julia Dohle, 14-Smith Hunter, 2-Makenna Morris, 6-Astrid Wheeler, 10-Mia Fishel, 11-Maya Doms
Head Coach: Mark Carr 

CRC: 1-Fabiana Solano (capt.); 6-Pamela Gutiérrez, 8-Jeimy Umaña, 19-Gipzy Prieto; 7-Nicole Gómez (15-Daniela Contreras, 58), 10-Carmen Marín, 16-Emily Flores, 11-Priscilla Chinchilla (20-Ariana Dobles, 88); 12-María Paula Salas, 14-María Paula Porras, 17-Kyana Calvo (9-Medolyn Guerrero, 65)
Substitutes not used:18-Dislania Chacón, 2-Valery Sandoval, 3-Andrea Capmany, 13-Keylin Gómez, 4-María Fernanda Murillo, 5-Alexa Aguilar
Head Coach: Harold López

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 14 / 0
Shots on Goal: 8 / 0
Saves: 0 / 5
Corner Kicks: 13 / 1
Fouls: 18 / 3
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Samantha Meza (caution)       53rd minute
CRC – María Paula Salas (caution)   72

Officials:
Referee: Odette Hamilton (JAM)                                                                               
Assistant Referee 1: Jassett Kerr (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Mijensa Rensch (SUR)
4th Official: Queztalli Alvarado (MEX)                                                                                                                                                                                               

U.S. Soccer Woman of the Match: Sophia Jones

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U-17 WNT Apr 20, 2018

U-17 WNT Veterans Wesley and Wiesner Lead USA Into Concacaf Qualifying

In April of 2017, under the looming shadow of the Slovenian Alps, the course of the Kennedy Wesley and Kate Wiesner’s careers took a turn.

The Southern Californian identically-initialed duo had travelled the world together as a part of the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team. They had ventured across continents, made it through the grinder of Concacaf World Cup qualifying and competed at the age group’s highest level at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Despite playing for rival clubs, Wesley for the SoCal Blues and Wiesner for the LAFC Slammers, they had become best friends through the journey.

But in the alpine atmosphere of the Torneo Femminile delle Nazioni, they were provided a different challenge. After a U-17 cycle in which they played up as 15-year-olds, working to earn roster spots and on-field minutes while learning from older players, the start of a new cycle meant Wesley and Wiesner were two of the current team’s most-experienced players. Now, they were called upon to stand as leaders.

“I was wearing the captain’s armband for that tournament final,” Wiesner said. “I just remember walking out on the field going ‘Man, this is my team now, this is my chance, my opportunity to help lead this team and help be an inspiration for the younger players. It’s my responsibility to make sure we represent the U.S. as best we can.’” 

In Nicaragua for their second shot at World Cup qualifying, Wesley and Wiesner are the two most-capped players on the roster, with 28 and 29 U-17 appearances respectively. They’ll look to rely on that accumulation of experience to guide this year’s U-17 squad to a World Cup berth at the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.

“Last time in Grenada at the 2016 Concacaf Championship, Kate and I were the younger ones on the team,” Wesley said. “We were just kind of going with the flow, trying to make an impact as much as we could. This time around, we’re more of the leaders on this team. We need to help out everyone as much as we can with our experience and make sure everybody fully understands what’s on the line and what we need to do to achieve our goals.”

Wesley and Wiesner’s first U-17 call-up came in January 2016, just two months before the 2016 Concacaf Championship in Grenada. After strong performances with younger age groups, they were thrown into the fire at a camp where every player was battling for a spot on the qualifying roster. The experience bonded them together, and a strong showing in camp earned the duo, along with forward Jordan Canniff, places as the only three players on the Concacaf squad born in 2001.

Concacaf qualifying can be volatile at the U-17 level, as 15 and 16-year-olds compete in their first tournament with World Cup berths are on the line. In 2016, the specter of a disappointing finish to the previous confederation championship loomed. The USA missed out on World Cup qualification by the narrowest of margins in 2013, falling in penalty kicks after a hard-fought 1-1 semifinal draw in regulation with Mexico. The ensuing World Cup would be hosted in Costa Rica, which meant only two Concacaf berths were up for grabs in qualifying.

When the U-17s reached the 2016 semifinal after an undefeated group stage, the stakes were immense. The chance to qualify for the World Cup coupled with a match-up against rival Canada provided a valuable education for Wesley and Wiesner in the pressure of a major international tournament.

“Being a rivalry game and being what would put us into the World Cup, that really drove us for that semifinal,” Wesley said. “There were a lot of emotions going into it, knowing that the previous cycle didn’t qualify, so we knew that we had to change that and make it through. I think we wanted it more than them. That really pushed us through.”

“We kind of welcomed that pressure and just said ‘bring it on, we can handle it,’” Wiesner said. “We wanted to prove to everybody that we could win a Concacaf championship.”

Wesley and Wiesner helped the team to a dominating 5-0 victory over Canada. Two days later, they took home the Concacaf title with a 2-1 victory over Mexico. After a few more months of preparation, they both made the World Cup roster and headed to the other side of the world for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. While the team didn’t perform as well as hoped, failing to make it out of group play, it provided important experience and insight into how slim the margins of victory and defeat are at the highest levels. 


Wesley and Wiesner after winning the 2016 Concacaf Women's U-17 Championship

“It’s invaluable to have players who have gone through it before,” said U-17 WNT head coach Mark Carr. “It can help a lot of the young players who haven’t. They can lean on them. When things are tough or there’s uncertainty and unknowns, you’ve got players like Kate and Kennedy who can say ‘It’s going to be ok.’”

And so when the new U-17 cycle began at that Torneo Femminile delle Nazioni, so did the new roles of Wesley and Wiesner. They embraced the challenge of being leaders for a fresh group of players.

“That’s when it clicked that we had a job to get done, we had to lead this team,” Wesley said. “That was my role. I wasn’t really just sitting back and going with everything, I was supposed to take charge and lead this team.”

“Last cycle, I was pretty shy, pretty nervous and I didn’t really know what to expect out there on the field,” Wiesner said. “This time I’m coming in a lot more confident, a lot more ready for the obstacles we might face.”


Wiesner and Wesley after the Torneo Femminile delle Nazioni

Even with almost 30 U-17 caps each, plus a World Cup and CONCACAF qualifying tournament under their belts, the duo has continued to grow with their new roles. Wiesner has developed a more vocal presence on the field, but the real power of her leadership comes by example. She set the tone early in the cycle during a scrimmage at a domestic camp. A diving goal-line clearance made her teammates take notice.

“I showed my competitiveness and just put my body on the line and showed I would sacrifice for the team,” Wiesner said. “A lot of people saw that and were like ‘Wow, that’s what it’s going to take to be on this team, that’s what it’s going to take to win titles with this team.’ Getting into hard tackles, being able to put my body on the line, that inspires the people who are playing next to me to do the same thing.”

Wesley shares Wiesner’s affinity for game-changing aggression. She prides herself on aerial ability and tough tackles. That ball-winning ability complements an on-field voice that continues to rise in volume. From her position on the back line, she works to coordinate the players in front of her.

“A leadership role requires me to be much more vocal,” Wesley said. “Leading on the field is a strength for me, making sure everyone knows where to go, when they need to go there and how intensely they need to go there. I have the eyes for the whole field, I can see everything that’s going on so I’m able to give everyone really clear instruction.”

The two World Cup veterans have led the USA through a successful cycle so far, helping the U-17s compile a 16-1-4 record. The journey has predictably provided more ebb and flow between the highs and lows. One of their toughest tests came at the U-16 CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament in China last summer. A match-up against Canada spawned a frazzled first half, but Wesley rallied the team in the locker room to draw on its internal resolve. 

“Everyone was really frantic and we were able to calm everybody down and focus in on what we needed to get done in order to get a positive result,” Wesley said. “I said that we needed to stick to what we know and stick to what we’re comfortable with because that’s what will work out best with us. We didn’t need to worry about the other team, we needed to focus on our principles.”

Across the cycle, the U-17s have also had to deal with a barrage of untimely injuries. Fellow World Cup veterans Jordan Canniff and Lia Godfrey as well as Ainsley Ahmadian all had the potential to represent the USA in Nicaragua but suffered ACL injuries in the run-up to the tournament. Those losses positioned the burden of leadership even more squarely on Wesley and Wiesner’s shoulders. As the U.S. prepares to kick off the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship, the U-17 veterans are focusing on the things that they can control.

“Kate and I know the do’s and don’ts of the tournament,” Wesley said. “We tell the newer players how much of a battle every game will be. Everybody’s going to be fighting. We want to make sure we’re scrapping for everything, winning every ball, winning every tackle.

“We need to stay focused on us. On the field, we give everyone our very best respect, but if we stick to what we know, we’ll be able to get results.” 

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U-17 WNT Apr 20, 2018
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