January 28, 2016
GOING TO GRENADA
Sanchez leads U-17 qualifying roster
U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team coach B.J. Snow Thursday named a 20-player roster for the 2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship in St. George's, Grenada, from March 3-13. The top three finishers will qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan Sept. 30-October 21. Southern California Blues SC's Ashley Sanchez leads the way, having scored 11 goals in six matches for the team, plus converting the deciding goal as the U.S. won the U-20 qualifying title last month.
The cut-off date to be eligible for the upcoming U-17 Women's World Cup is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999. Snow chose 12 players born in 1999, but also included five players born in 2000 and three 14-year-olds born in 2001.
"We are extremely excited about the team that will be representing the United States at World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Grenada," Snow said. "It was a tremendously challenging process to narrow down the final roster and that's a credit to all of the players we've been able to evaluate in camps over the last year."
The tournament will take place at the Grenada National Stadium and the Grenada Athletic Stadium. The USA opens the competition on March 4 against Jamaica, will face Mexico on March 6 and finish group play against Costa Rica on March 8. The USA's first two group games kick off at 3:30 p.m. local time/2:30 p.m. ET, and the final group game begins at 1 p.m. local time/12 p.m. ET. The semifinal matches take place March 11 and the championship and third-place match on March 13.
The eight-nation competition will feature two groups of four teams. After round-robin play, the top two finishers in each group will cross-over for the semifinals with the winners of those games, along with the winner of the third-place match, earning berths to the World Cup.
Four teams have qualified for the U-17 Women's World Cup: host Jordan, plus Japan and Korea DPR, which earned their berths by reaching the Final AFC U-16 Women's Championship in November in China, and New Zealand.
"The main focus for our U-17 National Team is to evaluate and develop players that have the potential to navigate through our Youth National Team system and it's critical that we always keep this mindset at the forefront of our philosophy," Snow said. "At the same time, we never want to lose site of the tradition of winning and the standards that have been created by those that have preceded us. At this level there is always a fine line in the selection process of deciding who gives us the best chance of winning now vs. those players who have the best chance of moving forward with our National Teams. With this current roster, we feel we have identified a group of young players that gives us the balance of being able to compete with the top teams in the world now but who also possess the potential to be the future of U.S. women's soccer."
The U.S. team will play in the four-team 2016 U-17 Women's NTC Invitational Feb 11-15, the USA hosting Japan, Korea Republic and England. The NTC Invitational will serve as final preparation for the CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship. All the Invitational matches will be held at Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
"This group of players has been resolute in their commitment to prepare for the upcoming qualification tournament both individually and collectively," Snow said. "The NTC Invitational will give us yet another preparation platform that will enable us to test ourselves against three excellent opponents. It will allow us to hopefully get the truest snapshot of where we are as a team so we can continue to refine our preparation as we gear up for World Cup Qualifying. Our sole goal at this point in time is to try and make our country proud by going to Grenada and qualifying for the 2016 FIFA U-17 World Cup."
Each of the match days in the round-robin NTC Invitational will feature a doubleheader with the USA playing the second game of the day. The winner of the competition will be based on total points with the first tie-breakers being overall goal difference and then total goals scored. All six matches will be shown live on ussoccer.com.
U-17 WNT CONCACAF Qualifying Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brooke Bollinger (Space Coast United; Melbourne, Fla.), Laurel Ivory (Sunrise Sting; Surfside, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles SC; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Izzy Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Emily Smith (De Anza Force; Los Gatos, Calif.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colt Neck, N.J.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)
FORWARDS (6): Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Rachel Jones (Tophat; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.)
2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship Group B Schedule
Date Match Kickoff (ET) Venue
March 4 USA vs. Jamaica 2:30 p.m. Grenada National Stadium; St. Georges, Grenada
March 6 USA vs. Mexico 2:30 p.m. Grenada National Stadium; St. Georges, Grenada
March 8 USA vs. Costa Rica 12 p.m. Grenada National Stadium; St. Georges, Grenada
NTC Invitational Schedule
Date Teams Kickoff (PT) Location (U.S. Soccer NTC at StubHub Center)
Thurs., Feb 11 Japan vs. Korea Republic 3 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1
Thurs., Feb 11 USA vs. England 6 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1
Sat., Feb. 13 England vs. Japan 3 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1
Sat., Feb. 13 USA vs. Korea Republic 6 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1
Mon., Feb. 15 Korea Rep. vs. England 1 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1
Mon. Feb. 15 USA vs. Japan 4 p.m. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Field - Field #1