When it comes to the U.S. Women’s National Team and this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, it’s about not just the destination but also the journey. For any player, playing in a World Cup is a huge honor and a testament to their skill and the hours put in to get to this point. Along the way, each player had their own journey, playing for youth soccer clubs and high schools across the country, picking up little pieces of skill and insight that have helped them get to be the players that they are today.

Ahead of this year’s World Cup, here is a look at the youth soccer and high school origins of each member of the USWNT.


Aubrey Kingsbury


Kingsbury featured for Kings Soccer Academy, which is now known as Kings Hammer, an ECNL member club. She earned her first cap in 2022 in a match against Uzbekistan.

Murphy was an integral part of the Players Development Academy program, including helping the side win the ECNL National Title at the U17 level. In addition to her youth club exploits, Murphy played four seasons at Rutgers University.

Alyssa Naeher


Was a standout in goal for Christian Heritage High School, where she was a Parade All-American and a two-time NSCAA Youth All-American. She played club soccer for South Central Premier Soccer Club in Connecticut. Played collegiately for Penn State University where she was a two-time First Team All-American.


Alana Cook


The 1997 defender anchored the Match Fit Academy Colchester defense to the 2013 US Youth National League title. During her youth career she was an NSCAA Youth All-American and was a standout high school player for The Pennington School in New Jersey.

Emily Fox


Played for a number of youth clubs in the Virginia area including Loudoun Soccer, Ashburn Crush, Herndon Freedom, and finally FC Virginia. Her defensive work helped push FCV to the top of the standings in the ECNL and helped her earn multiple USYNT call-ups through the years. At the high school level, she played for Stone Bridge, one of the top private schools in Virginia.

Dunn was a standout player for South Shore High School in New York, where she was an NSCAA High School All-American. At the club level, she played for the Albertson Fury, RVC Power, and RVC Tornadoes

Played for multiple youth club teams in the California area including California Crossfire, De Anza Force, and California Thorns FC. At the high school level, she played for Pioneer High School, where she was a captain for three seasons.

The USWNT right-back was a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year with Centennial High School, and played club soccer for FC NOVA. A multi-sport athlete, Huerta excelled in not just soccer, but also basketball and track and field.

The two-time World Cup champion played for multiple club teams in the Georgia area growing up. O’Hara featured for Peachtree City, Lightning Soccer Club, and for the Concorde Fire, where she won the U19 State Cup.

Won multiple state championships with NASA (Tophat) and capped her youth career with the 2012 USYS National Championship as well as the Golden Ball for top goalscorer in the tournament. During her time playing for Fellowship Christian High School, she was an NSCAA Youth All-American.


The USC Trojan won the 2015 USYS National Championship with Beach FC and was selected for multiple ODP teams during her club career. Was an NSCAA All-American for St. Joseph’s High School in 2015.

A nine-time Arizona State Cup winner with Sereno Soccer Club, Ertz was a standout youth player alongside her sister Melanie. Collegiately, she played for Santa Clara University where she was an NSCAA All-American.

Lindsey Horan


Played club soccer for Colorado Rush and was one of the first major alumni of the Rush Soccer program. Scored 12 goals in 9 games for the United States Youth under-17 National Team.

Lavelle first broke through with Sycamore United before moving onto Cincinnati United Premier Soccer Club in Ohio. With her high school Mount Notre Dame she was named the Cincinnati Enquirer Player of the Year her senior year after scoring 15 goals.

Kristie Mewis


Alongside her sister Samantha, Kristie dominated play in the New England area for Scorpions SC. She was a part of the Region 1 Olympic Development Program throughout her youth career. For Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, she was a three-time NSCAA All-American.

The 2016 NSCAA Youth All-American Player of the Year, Sanchez excelled in a very tough California youth soccer scene for Santa Anita SC, Legends FC, and So Cal Blues. In addition to her All-American honors, she was also named the U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year.

Sullivan was a standout midfielder for Bethesda Soccer Club for a large portion of her youth career before finishing up with McLean Youth Soccer Club in Virginia. She was the 2013 NSCAA Youth Player of the Year and a three-time All-American.


The talisman striker for the USWNT first broke through at Diamond Bar High School, where she was named an NSCAA All-American. At the club level, she was a regular in the California Olympic Development Program at the regional and state level and played club soccer with Cypress Elite/AYSO.

Megan Rapinoe


Placed second at the 2003 US Youth Soccer National Championships with her club side Elk Grove United, scoring the sides lone goal. Was a two-time NSCAA All-American at Foothill High School in California.

Won four ECNL National Championships with So Cal Blues and was a consistent call-up for multiple USYNT camps during her youth career. Was drafted first overall in the 2021 NWSL Draft by the Washington Spirit at the age of 18, the youngest player ever to be drafted.

Sophia Smith


Smith played her club soccer for Real Colorado and high school soccer at Fossil Ridge in Fort Collins. Featured for the United States Youth National Team at the U17 level, where she scored six goals at the 2016 U-17 World Cup.

Thompson played for Total Futbol Academy where she played for the club’s Boys U19 MLS Next side. In between her time with TFA, she also featured for So Cal Blues in the ECNL.

Williams was a standout striker for Bullard High School, where she set the school record for goals with 117. At the club level, she played for East Fresno Fusion, CVSA, and Bullard Valley FCA.