U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has named a 24-player roster for the 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational where the USA will face Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and the Chicago Red Stars in the four-team NWSL pre-season competition.
DEFENDERS (8): Maycee Bell (NC Courage Academy; Wichita, Kan.), Schuyler Debree (Sparta Prague, CZE; Fair Haven, N.J.), Emily Fox (North Carolina; Chapel Hill, N.C.), Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.), Meaghan Nally (Georgetown; Herndon, Va.), Kirsten Pavlisko (Florida State; Middleburg, Fla.), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.), Emina Ekic (Louisville; Fairdale, Ky.), Channing Foster (Mississippi; Murray, Ky.), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; Windsor, Colo.), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Brianna Pinto (North Carolina; Durham, NC)
FORWARDS (8): Paula Germino-Watnick (Georgetown; Chevy Chase, Md.), Penelope Hocking (USC; Anaheim, Calif.), Haley Hopkins (Vanderbilt; Newport Beach, Calif.), Catarina Macario (Stanford; San Diego, Calif.), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.), Martha Thomas (Le Havre, FRA); Weston, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.), Morgan Weaver (Washington State; University Place, Wash.)
Snow named a roster that features 21 collegiate players, two players current playing professionally in Europe – Schuyler Debree (Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic) and Martha Thomas (Le Havre in France) -- and one U.S. Soccer Development Academy player in Maycee Bell, who is a member of the USA’s current Under-20 WNT player pool.
The roster includes two players from the 2018 NCAA Champion Florida State Seminoles in midfielder Jaelin Howell and defender Kirsten Pavlisko. The roster also features two players from runner-up University of North Carolina in midfielder Brianna Pinto and defender Emily Fox, who has recently seen significant training time with senior U.S. WNT and has earned three caps, two at the end of 2018 and one this year.
Three players from Stanford University were also called up, including 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Catarina Macario, who scored all four of the USA’s goals at this tournament last year.
Pinto, Howell, and UCLA forward Ashley Sanchez have also trained with the full National Team, but none are capped.
Ten players from the USA’s 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Team are on the roster and forward Ally Watt played in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea where she scored twice off the bench.
Howell, Pinto, Sanchez and Penn State defender Kaleigh Riehl (Sanchez and Riehl also played in PNG) are the only members of the roster with previous U-23 international caps. Reihl has three with one goal, that scored against Norway in 2017, and Howell has three with two goals, having scored against Norway and Sweden in 2017. Pinto has two U-23 caps and Sanchez has three.
The U.S. Under-23s are taking part in Thorns Spring Invitational for the third year in a row and all the matches will take place at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. The competition will take place over three matchdays, with an early game that has free admission and a later match featuring the Thorns that will be a ticketed event. Tickets for the matches featuring the Thorns are general admission. Individual tickets are on sale to the public online at www.thornsfc.com.
The USA opens against Reign FC on Sunday, March 24 at 11:30 a.m. PT, while Portland will face Chicago at 5 p.m. PT. The second matchday on Wednesday, March 27, features Chicago vs. Reign FC at 1:30 p.m. PT and the USA taking on Portland at 7:30 p.m. PT. The U.S. finishes against the Red Stars on Saturday, March 30 at 1:30 p.m. PT and Portland wraps things up with rival Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. PT.
2019 Thorns Spring Invitational Schedule – Merlo Field, University of Portland
Sunday, March 24
Reign FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT 11:30 a.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars 5 p.m. PT
Wednesday, March 27
Chicago Red Stars vs. Reign FC 1:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT 7:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 30
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Chicago Red Stars 1:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Reign FC 7:30 p.m. PT
At last year’s Thorns Spring Invitational, Snow called in a roster of 23 collegiate players and one professional. The USA fell 2-1 to the Houston Dash, drew the Thorns 2-2 and took down the Red Stars 1-0.