U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has named the roster for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Oct. 30-Nov. 9. The Final Draw for the eight-team tournament will be held in early October.
The U.S. team will have one more event before departing for qualifying as Snow will bring the roster together for a camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from Oct. 13-19. With CONCACAF member Costa Rica hosting the 2014 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, there will be just two berths up for grabs at the qualifying tournament instead of the usual three, meaning only both finalists will earn tickets to the tournament for the youngest age group in which FIFA holds a world championship for women’s soccer. The 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will run from March 15-April 5 in four Costa Rican cities.
Snow named his squad after an eight-day training camp in Lakewood Ranch but still has one spot remaining on the 20-player roster. Several of the top goalkeepers in the U-17 player pool are currently coping with injuries, and Snow will name a second goalkeeper to the roster once it is determined who will be healthy and fit for the qualifying tournament.
“We have worked very hard since January to navigate through the selection process and identify a group of individuals to represent our country for World Cup qualifying,” said Snow. “At the U-17 level, our job is to identify players across the nation who have the qualities to help us achieve our short term goals of qualifying for the World Cup and who also have the potential to move through our National Team system, with the ultimate goal of playing for our first team one day. We feel that this group of players is a great representation of the future of U.S. Soccer.”
Snow, who became the first full-time head coach for this age group last January, will be coaching in his first qualifying tournament and has chosen a roster that features many of the most talented high school-aged players in the country. Leading the way in a dynamic group of attackers are forwards Mallory Pugh and Madison Haley, who have combined to score 10 international goals this year.
The USA’s skillful midfield features a pair of Southern Californians in Marley Canales and Anika Rodriguez, as well as New Jersey native Taylor Racioppi. Snow’s squad has several talented attacking outside backs as well as tough center-backs in Natalie Jacobs and Zoe Morse. The lone goalkeeper named to the squad so far is Lauren Rood from Camas, Wash.
“When identifying players for the group we wanted to find technically proficient players with mobility and the mentality to compete on both sides of the ball,” said Snow. “We also wanted to find players who are versatile, both in the positions that they play and in the variety with which they attack. Each field player selected to this team has the ability to play multiple positions on the field. We feel that this will help our players adjust to the tactical situations we have been teaching as well as help assist them in their long term development.”
The cut-off date to be eligible for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997. Twelve of the players on the roster were born in 1997, but Snow also included five players born in 1998 and two born in 1999.
“At this level of our National Team system, our job serves a dual purpose,” said Snow. “We will always need to adhere to the standards and commitment of the National Team success that preceded us. At the same time we need to invest in the future of U.S. Soccer. We have players on this team that come from three different birth years, and all of them were chosen because they have proven over time that they have the capability to compete at the U-17 level regardless of their age. The experience that they gain at this level will only help them in their future endeavors within our National Team system.”
U.S. U-17 WNT CONCACAF Qualifying Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (1) : Lauren Rood (Washington Timbers; Camas, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gabriella Carreiro (FC Stars of Mass; Upton, Mass.), Mia Gyau (Bethesda Lions; Silver Springs, Md.), Natalie Jacobs (Slammers FC; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Oakwood SC; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady (MVLA SC; San Jose, Calif.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Taylor Otto (CASL; Apex, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Dorian Bailey (Sporting BVSC; Mission, Ks.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.), Anika Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.)
FORWARDS (6): Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Kelcie Hedge (Washington Premier; Post Falls, Idaho), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Parker, Colo.), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zoe Redei (Eclipse Select; Highland Park, Ill.), Maddy Schultz (Northwest Nationals; Edmonds, Wash.)