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Youth WNT Jun 24, 2024

USA drawn into Group B for 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

CHICAGO – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team will face Spain, Colombia and Korea Republic in Group B at the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, taking place at two stadiums in the Dominican Republic from October 16-November 3.

The Final Draw took place this afternoon in the capital of Santo Domingo. The draw gives the USA the two participating countries in the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Final.

The USA qualified for the 2024 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup with a dominating performance at the 2024 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship last February in Mexico. The USA won all five of its games while piling up a 32-2 goal margin. The USA rolled past Haiti by a 7-1 score in the semifinal to earn its World Cup berth, then downed host Mexico, 4-0, to claim the regional title.

The regional title winning roster featured four current National Women’s Soccer League players in Melanie Barcenas and Kimmi Ascanio of San Diego Wave FC, Kennedy Fuller of Angel City FC and Alex Pfeiffer of the Kansas City Current. Fuller, who scored her first NWSL goal last Wednesday when she tallied against Racing Louisville, scored eight goals in the qualifying tournament to lead the team and was awarded the Golden Ball as the competition’s best player.

As the USA was drawn into B2, it will face Spain in its first match on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Félix Sánchez Stadium in Santo Domingo. The USA will then face 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup runners-up Colombia at Félix Sánchez Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19 and finished group play against Korea Republic on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Cibao University Stadium in Santiago de los Caballeros.

Prior to the Final Draw, the seeds across the four groups went to host Dominican Republic, reigning champions Spain and Asian powers Japan and Korea DPR – both of whom have won this tournament in the past with North Korea having won twice, including the inaugural tournament in 2008. Japan has twice been runners-up. In Group A, host Dominican Republic will play along with Ecuador, New Zealand and Nigeria. Group C features Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England. Group D features Japan, Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

“This is an exciting time for our Under-17 age group,” said U.S. head coach Katie Schoepfer. “The World Cup is a great opportunity to play against some of the top soccer countries in the world. There’s nothing like it for these young players. We’ve had the chance to face a few of these countries in friendlies, but the added buzz of competing at a World Cup will make these games that much more fun. We have tremendous respect for all of our opponents, but no matter who we play, our goals remain the same: to continue to instill our style of play in the group and see how we match up against the best.”

This will be the first world championship for women’s soccer held in the Dominican Republic and the third U-17 Women’s World Cup held in the Concacaf region.

The 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will feature 16 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals. Should the U.S. advance to the second round by winning the group, it would meet a second-place team from Group A. If the USA finishes second in the group, it would face the first-place team from Group A.

It is notable that this will be the last FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup featuring 16 countries as the next edition, to be contested in Morocco in 2025, will feature 24 nations.

All 32 matches of this tournament will be played in just two stadiums: Cibao University Stadium in Santiago de los Caballeros, which seats around 8,000 and is an artificial surface, and Félix Sánchez Stadium in Santo Domingo, which seats around 27,000 and is natural grass. Santiago de los Caballeros is just over 100 miles north of Santo Domingo.

Each of the two stadiums will host 12 group games, two quarterfinals and a semifinal. Félix Sánchez Stadium will host the Third-Place Match and the Championship Game on Sunday, November 3.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA has never before faced any of its group opponents in a U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • Spain has won the last two FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup tournaments and is also currently holders of the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup and senior FIFA Women’s World Cup titles.
  • Spain ran roughshod over its opponents at the 2024 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship and beat England in the championship game, 4-0.
  • Colombia finished second, behind Brazil, in the 2024 South American U-17 Women’s Championship to earn its berth to the DR.
  • Korea Republic, which won this tournament in 2010, qualified out of Asia.
  • This will be the Dominican Republic’s first appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament. Ecuador, Kenya and Poland will also make their first appearances in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • North Korea won the inaugural tournament in 2008 in New Zealand, defeating the USA in the championship game in overtime, and South Korea won the second installment in 2010 in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Japan in penalty kicks after an entertaining 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime.
  • In the third U-17 WWC in 2012, France broke through, defeating North Korea in penalty kicks in the championship game in Azerbaijan, but Japan returned the trophy to Asia in 2014, defeating Spain, 2-0, in Costa Rica.
  • In 2016, North Korea won again, defeating Japan in penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie in regulation. That tournament was played in Jordan.
  • In 2018, the trophy returned to Europe as Spain beat Mexico, 2-1 in the final in Uruguay.
  • After the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was cancelled due to Covid-19, Spain made it back-to-back U-17 world titles in 2022, defeating Colombia, 1-0, in the championship game in India.
  • Quite a few players who appeared for the USA in a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup have gone on to play for the full U.S. Women’s National Team, most notably Samantha Mewis, Kristie Mewis, Morgan Gautrat, Crystal Dunn (all of whom helped the USA reach the final in the inaugural tournament in 2008), Andi Sullivan, Midge Purce, Jane Campbell, Ashley Sanchez, Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Jaelin Howell and Trinity Rodman.
  • One player from the USA’s 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team has already been called up to train with the senior team, that being Angel City FC defender Gisele Thompson, but she has yet to be capped.
  • The USA missed the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in penalty kicks to Canada in the semifinal of the Concacaf qualifying tournament despite outscoring the opposition 38-0 over five games.
  • The USA missed the 2014 U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in penalty kicks to Mexico in the semifinal of the Concacaf qualifying tournament despite outscoring its opponents, 24-1.
  • At the 2022 tournament in India, the USA had its best performance since the inaugural tournament, winning its group and then totally out-playing Nigeria in the quarterfinal. Despite outshooting the Flamingoes, 27-8, the USA gave up a controversial first-half penalty kick to allow Nigeria to draw even and then fell in a penalty kick shootout in a match that featured a long weather delay

2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Groups

Group A:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria

Group B

  • Spain
  • USA
  • Korea Republic
  • Colombia

Group C

  • Korea DPR
  • Mexico
  • Kenya
  • England

Group D

  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Brazil
  • Zambia

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