U20 WNT heads to Spain for World Cup prep

by U.S. Soccer
February 16, 2016

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will continue its preparations for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup by traveling to La Manga, Spain for the 2016 Under-23 La Manga Tournament that runs from March 2-6.

The USA will compete against older teams in the six-team event that also features U-23 sides from England, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Norway. The USA will face Sweden on March 2, England on March 4 and finish with Norway on March 6.

U.S. head coach Michelle French will bring 22 players to Spain, only two of whom are not currently in college. Regular U-20 captain Mallory Pugh will not travel to Spain as she is currently at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship with the full U.S. WNT and has played in all three games so far this year for head coach Jill Ellis’ team. Beach FC midfielder Savanah DeMelo (12 U-20 caps) and Notre Dame defender Natalie Jacobs (11) have the most caps of anyone on the roster.

The roster for Spain features five players from reigning NCAA champion Penn State and four from Stanford.

The USA earned a berth to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup by winning its semifinal match of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament against host Honduras last December and then defeated Canada for the regional title, 1-0. The eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup for this age level (the first two were held as U-19 events) will take place from Nov. 13-Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea.

The 16-team field for the tournament is set and it’s a strong one, featuring: Canada, Mexico, the USA, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.

U.S. U-20 WNT La Manga Tournament Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)    
DEFENDERS (9):  Alana Cook (Stanford; Far Hills, N.J.), Maddie Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Natalie Jacobs (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.), Taylor Otto (North Carolina; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.), Michelle Xiao (Stanford; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Jordan Dibiasi (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Kansas; Leawood, Kan.), Mikaela Harvey (Texas A&M; Liberty Hill, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Mimi Asom (Princeton; Fairview, Texas), Taylor Racioppi (Duke; Ocean Township, N.J.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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