The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will travel to Portugal to open its new cycle at the UEFA Women’s International Development Tournament that will be held from May 13-17 in northern Portugal, about 90 miles east of Porto.
In the four-team tournament, the USA will face regional foe Mexico on May 13, Russia on May 15 and host Portugal on May 17. All the U.S. games will be played at Estádio São Sebastião in Mirandela.
Head coach Tracey Kevins will bring a 20-player roster made up of 19 players born in 2003, which is the birth year cut off for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, and one player born in 2004 in forward Allyson Sentnor. All players in the tournament must be born in 2003 or 2004.
DEFENDERS (6): Courtney Boone (Legends FC; West Covina, Calif.), Baleigh Bruster (Tophat; Smyrna, Ga.), Andrea Kitahata (San Jose Earthquakes; Hillsborough, Calif.), Ayooluwapo Oke (Tophat; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Shea O'Malley (NC Courage; Cary, N.C.), Lilly Reale (South Shore Select; Hingham, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Emma Egizii (Beach FC; Downey, Calif.), Tatiana Fung (Legends FC; Fullerton, Calif.), Annie Karich (So Cal Blues SC; Surfside, Calif.), Devin Lynch (Sockers FC; Naperville, Ill.), Alexis Missimo (Solar SC; Southlake, Texas), Jillian Shimkin (FC Fury NY; Rockville Centre, N.Y.)
FORWARDS (6): Trinity Byars (Solar SC; Richardson, Texas), Amelia Horton (Sporting Blue Valley; Olathe, Kansas), Simone Jackson (LAFC Slammers; Redondo Beach, Calif.), Arianna Manrique (Tophat; Buford, Ga.), Allyson Sentnor (South Shore Select; Hanson, Mass.), Amelia White (Fort Wayne United; Fort Wayne, Ind.)
The USA previously participated in this competition in 2018 (winning all three games), and as was the case then, the development tournament will feature some unique rules. All the matches in the tournament will consist of 40-minute halves, and if the score is tied at the end of regulation, teams will go directly to penalty kicks to decide the winner. Three points are awarded for a win in regulation, two points awarded for a win in penalty kicks, one point for a loss in penalties and zero points for a loss in regulation.
Each team is allowed nine substitutes during a match, but no more than three stoppages per team to make subs are allowed during the second half.
In addition, the tournament will utilize an experimental “Sin Bin” system for players that commit “temporary dismissal offences.” Red and yellow cards will be issued in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The temporary dismissal is only to be used when the referee would have issued a yellow card for any of the following offences:
A player who has been temporarily dismissed is allowed to return to her team’s technical area and cannot be substituted for an eight-minute temporary dismissal period. Once the eight-minute period is over, a player can re-enter the field from the touchline when given permission by the referee. A goalkeeper is treated in the same way as field players regarding temporary dismissals.
A player who commits a second temporary dismissal offence in the match will receive a second eight-minute temporary dismissal and, at the end of the eight minutes, must be substituted and can not play again in the match.
Temporary dismissals and regular yellow cards are not combined, i.e., if a player who has been temporarily dismissed, returns to the field and then receives a yellow card, she will not be sent off. Similarly, a player who has received a yellow card and then commits a temporary dismissal offence is not sent off.
At this tournament in 2018 against Portugal, U.S. midfielder Emma Egizii created a bit of history when she became the first American player to be sent to the “sin bin” but it came with a twist. Egizii was temporarily dismissed in the final minute of regulation time, and the USA then scored the game-winner while a player down. Abigail Borchers scored two minutes into second half stoppage time for the 2-1 victory.
Egizii was temporarily dismissed for delaying a restart by kicking the ball away after Portugal was awarded a free kick and there was only stoppage time remaining, so the USA had to play the four minutes of added time with 10 players.
To underline the development nature of the tournaments, each player must play at least 80 minutes across the three matches and UEFA recommends that each player should play no more than 120 minutes over two consecutive games.