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PREVIEW: USA continues Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship against Puerto Rico

U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team
2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship
USA vs. Puerto Rico
Estadio Panamericano; San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
April 25, 2022

U-17 WYNT FACES PUERTO RICO IN ITS SECOND MATCH OF CONCACAF WOMEN’S U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP: After a stunning start to the U-17 international careers for this group of players with a 20-0 victory vs. Grenada in the first international matches for every player who stepped on the field in San Cristóbal, the U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National team returns to the pitch on Monday, April 25 against Puerto Rico (4 p.m. / FS2, ViX App in Spanish) at Estadio Panamericano.

Costa Rica downed Puerto Rico, 4-1, in the other Group G match on April 23. The USA can clinch its spot in the Round of 16 with a win or draw against Puerto Rico. The U-17 WYNT will finish Group G play on Wednesday, April 27 vs. Costa Rica (4 p.m. / FS2, ViX App in Spanish) at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo.

All the tournament matches will be broadcast in English on Fox Soccer Plus or FS2 and on the Fox Sports app with corresponding authentication. All matches will also be available in Spanish on TelevisaUnivision’s new streaming service ViX. Fans can download the app on their devices to watch all games.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2005, are age-eligible for the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. U.S. head coach Natalia Astrain selected 16 players born in 2005 and four born in 2006.

Follow the U-17 WYNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com as well as U.S. Soccer FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

U.S. UNDER-17 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Abigail Gundry (NC Courage; Wake Forest, N.C.; 0), 12-Victoria Safradin (Internationals SC; Eastlake, Ohio; 1)

DEFENDERS (6): 2-Nicola Fraser (Real Colorado National; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 1/0), 17-Alyssa Gonzalez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.; 0;0), 3-Savannah King (LAFC SoCal Youth; West Hills, Calif.; 1/0), 4-Cameron Roller (Solar SC; Sherman, Texas; 1/1), 5-Keegan Schmeiser (Chicago FC United; Bolingbrook, Ill.; 1/0), 20-Gisele Thompson (Total Futbol Academy; Studio City, Calif.; 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 10-Mia Bhuta (Internationals SC; Pittsburgh, Pa.; 1/0), 15-Shae Harvey (Slammers FC HB Koge; Hermosa Beach, Calif.; 1/4), 13-Claire Hutton (World Class FC; Bethlehem, N.Y.; 1/2), 7-Riley Jackson (Concorde Fire; Roswell, Ga.; 0/0), 8-Charlotte Kohler (Mountain View Los Altos; Woodside, Calif.; 1/4), 19-Lauren Martinho (NC Courage; Cary, N.C.; 1/1)

FORWARDS (6): 18-Onyeka Gamero (Beach FC; Cerritos, Calif.; 1/0), 11-Nicollette Kiorpes (NEFC; Worcester, Mass.; 1/1), 6-Mia Oliaro (NC Courage; Chapel Hill, N.C.; 1/2), 14-Melina Rebimbas (Players Development Academy; Warren, N.J.; 1/3), 9-Taylor Suarez (Charlotte SA; Charlotte, N.C.; 1/0), 16-Amalia Villarreal (Michigan Jaguars FC; Lansing, Mich.; 1/1)

2022 CONCACAF WOMEN’S U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

GROUP G SCHEDULE – USA

Monday, April 25
USA vs. Puerto Rico – 4 p.m. ET | FS2, ViX App in Spanish
Estadio Panamericano; San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic

Wednesday, April 27
USA vs. Costa Rica – 4 p.m. ET | FS2, ViX App in Spanish
Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

GROUP G STANDINGS
1. USA | 3 pts. | 1-0-0 | +20 goal difference
2. CRC | 3 pts. | 1-0-0 | +3 GD
3. PUR | 0 pts. | 0-1-0 | -3 GD
4. GRN | 0 pts. | 0-1-0 | -20 GD

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the seventh edition of the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. The tournament began in 2008, the first year that FIFA staged a Women’s World Cup for U-17 women.

The 2020 competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thus this will be the first Concacaf U-17 tournament to introduce the new 20-team tournament format, which has been used for the previous two Concacaf Under-20 women’s qualifying tournaments. All previous iterations of the U-17 event were comprised of eight teams split into two groups of four. Now, sixteen countries have been drawn into four groups of four, while four countries – Guyana, Honduras, Curaçao and Saint Kitts and Nevis — have advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament.

The top three finishers in each group qualify to the Round of 16, where they will be joined by the four teams from pre-qualifying. From there, it’s a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The two winners of the semifinal matches, plus the winner of the third-place game, will qualify to the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in India.

SUB RULES CHANGE: Prior to the start of the first matches on April 23, Concacaf changed the rules on substitutions, allowing five per team after previously indicating that teams would be allowed only three.

USA ROSTER NOTES:

  • Sixteen players made their international debuts on April 23 vs. Grenada.
  • Still waiting for their debuts are goalkeeper Abby Gundry, midfielder Riley Jackson, defender Alyssa Gonzalez and defender Gisele Thompson.
  • Nine different players scored in the Grenada match and nine different players had assists.
  • The most different players to score for the USA in a Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship is 14, a mark set in the first-ever Concacaf tournament at this age level in 2008. That tournament took five matches to win, while this one will take seven.
  • The most goals every scored in one Concacaf Women’s U-17 Tournament, albeit in the five-game format, were 12 by Summer Green in 2012 and the nine by Lindsey Horan in 2010.
  • Against Granada, goalkeeper Victoria Safradin earned her first cap and first shutout on her 17th birthday.
  • After one game, midfielder Shae Harvey and Charlotte Kohler are tied for the team lead in scoring with four goals each. Forward Melina Rebimbas has three goals. Claire Hutton and Mia Oliaro, who scored twice from right back vs. Grenada, have two goals each.
  • The Grenada match marked the first time that three different players scored three or more goals in a single USWNT match at any age level, and just the fifth time that two different players scored three or more goals in a single match at any age level.
  • Onyeka Gamero and Taylor Suarez lead the team with three assists each while Mia Oliaro and Nicki Fraser have two assists each.
  • Nineteen different youth clubs from 11 different states are represented on the roster, with NC Courage placing three players on the team.
  • Defender Gisele Thompson is the younger sister (by 13 months) of U.S. U-20 WYNT forward Alyssa Thompson, who helped the USA win the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship earlier this year in the Dominican Republic. Giselle and Alyssa helped the U-15 WYNT win the 2018 Concacaf U-15 Championship. While that tournament featured mostly 2003-birth year players, the USA brought a younger squad composed of players born in 2004 and 2005, including the 2004-born Alyssa and 2005-born Gisele.
  • Defender Nicki Fraser is the daughter of former U.S. international and current Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser, who has 27 caps for the USA. With her start vs. Grenada on April 23, Fraser became the second daughter of a male or female U.S. National Team player to earn a cap at any level of the U.S. Women’s National Teams program. Chicago Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, whose father Angelo played 20 times for the USA, earned 20 caps and scored three goals at the U-20 level.
  • Midfielder Charlotte Kohler is the daughter of Will Kohler, who was a member of the United States U-17 Men’s National Team at the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Italy. He came off the bench in the first match, a famous 1-0 win over Italy, and played 90 minutes in the third group game, a 3-1 win over China PR. He also came off the bench in the quarterfinal against Qatar, but the USA fell in penalty kicks after drawing 1-1 in regulation.
  • The USA has four players 5-foot-10 or taller in Fraser (5-10), defender Cameron Roller (5-11), goalkeeper Victoria Safradin (5-10) and midfielder Shae Harvey (5-10).
  • Midfielder Mia Bhuta is a rare USWNT player of Indian heritage and happens to be the correct birth year for a U.S. team that is competing to earn a berth to the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India.

USA U-17s vs. PUERTO RICO:

  • The USA and Puerto Rico have never played in the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
  • The U.S. U-20 WYNT did play Puerto Rico twice in the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in late February and early March, winning 7-0 in both games, one in group play and one in the semifinal.
  • Of the 20 players on Puerto Rico’s roster, 12 are based in the USA and play for American youth clubs. In fact, three players play for the same clubs as three of the USA players at Solar SC in Texas (Cameron Roller), Slammers FC in SoCal (Shae Harvey) and Charlotte SA in North Carolina (Taylor Suarez).
  • Fabiola Martinez scored PR’s lone goal in its 4-1 loss to Costa Rica in its first match, tallying in the 35th minute to make it 2-1, but Las Ticas scored in the 58th and 80th to pull away.
  • Puerto Rico has 12 players born in 2005 on its roster and eight born in 2006.

GROUP E UPDATE: In Group E play on April 23, Mexico downed Nicaragua 10-0 as Valerie Vargas had a hat trick and Panama defeated Trinidad & Tobago, 5-1, as Daniela Hincapié scored three times.

QUALIFIED TO INDIA: Seven countries have already qualified for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup thus far. In addition to host India, China PR and Japan have qualified from Asia via nominations by Asian Football Confederation based on results of 2019 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship after the U-17 qualifying tournament was cancelled. Brazil, Chile and Colombia have qualified from the recently completed 2022 South American U-17 Women’s Championship, while New Zealand was nominated by the Oceania Football Confederation after their qualifying tournament was also cancelled. Nine berths remain to be filled, three each from Concacaf, Africa and Europe.

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