U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team Back for 2016
The U.S. Under-19 Girl’s National Team was re-instituted in 2015. Prior to this year, the last time U.S. Soccer had programming at the U-19 level was 2004, which was the year that the final FIFA Women’s World Cup was held at the U-19 level before it moved to U-20 in 2006. Since then, the U-19 age level has basically been a part of the U-20s. As part of an overall commitment to player development, new programs at the U-16 and U-19 level were started back up in 2015 and U.S. Soccer now has a total of eight Youth National Teams for both its men's and women's programs: U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-23.
These additions create two separate programming tracks for even-birth-year players and odd-birth-year players, allowing for a more consistent approach toward development and additional opportunities for players to participate in national team events and matches.
Although the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team will never again compete for a world title, it has a rich history. In 2002, led by future Women’s National Team stars Heather O’Reilly, Lindsey Tarpley, Lori Chalupny and numerous players who went on to successful professional and international careers, the U.S. U-19 WNT won the first World Cup title for youth women in
a tournament played in Canada. The USA finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand.
The pool for the U-19s will be brought to several training camps over the course of the year in order to expose more players of this age to the National Team camp environment as well as give activity to the younger group of players in the pool competing for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The player pool is identified on a year-round basis, through U.S. Soccer Training Centers, club soccer, ODP interregional events and the younger girls’ national team camps.
In 2016, the U-19s will have a number of training camps and tournaments. Camps are often scheduled to run concurrent with other YNT camps to give the players an opportunity to watch and play against older players and learn through those experiences.
Players in this year’s group of U-19s are born on or after Jan. 1, 1998.