The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will open its 2014 campaign with a challenging trip to La Manga, Spain, for the Six Nations Tournament running from Feb. 24-March 6. The USA will play three international matches, facing the U-23 sides of Japan (March 1), Sweden (March 3) and Norway (March 5).
U.S. head coach Steven Swanson will bring a 20-player roster to Spain featuring a mix of young pros and top collegiate players. Swanson named nine NWSL players, six that are heading into their rookie season and three that played in the league last year in Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns FC), Jennifer Hoy (Chicago Red Stars) and Erika Tymrak (NWSL Rookie of the Year with FC Kansas City). Tymrak just completed a three-week stint with the senior Women’s National team and currently has three caps and one goal for Tom Sermanni’s team.
The roster includes four first round picks from the 2014 NWSL Draft including No. 2 overall in forward Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), No. 5 in defender Kassey Kallman (FC Kansas City), No. 6 in forward Maya Hayes (Sky Blue FC) and No. 7 in defender Amanda Frisbie (Seattle Reign FC). Additional draftees include: midfielder Jenna Richmond, who went in the second round at No. 16 overall to FC Kansas City and midfielder Frances Silva who was the first pick of the third round, going No. 19 overall to FC Kansas City.
The roster also includes six members of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan: Ohai (who scored the game-winner in the World Cup Final), Kallman, Hayes, Stengel, Texas goalkeeper Abby Smith and Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu.
The remainder of the roster is completed by some of the top collegians in the country, including 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Abby Dahlkemper of UCLA.
The U.S. U-23 WNT will be followed into La Manga by the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team, which will play international matches there on March 8, 10 and 12.
U.S. U-23 WNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Aubrey Bledsoe (Wake Forest; Cincinnati, Ohio), Abby Smith (Texas; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA; Menlo Park, Calif.), Amanda Frisbie (Seattle Reign FC; McKinney, Texas), Arin Gilliland (Kentucky; Lexington, Ky.), Jaelene Hinkle (Texas Tech; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kassey Kallman (FC Kansas City; Woodbury, Minn.), Emily Sonnett (Virginia; Marietta, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Danielle Colaprico (Virginia; Freehold, N.J.), Caprice Dydasco (UCLA; Honolulu, Hawaii), Jenna Richmond (FC Kansas City; Centreville, Va.), Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns FC; Honolulu, Hawaii), Frances Silva (FC Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.); Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City; Bradenton, Fla.)
FORWARDS (6): Shea Groom (Texas A&M; Liberty, Mo.), Maya Hayes (Sky Blue FC; West Orange, N.J.), Jennifer Hoy (Chicago Red Stars; Sellersville, Pa.), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash; Draper, Utah), Katie Stengel (Wake Forest; West Melbourne, Fla.), Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford; Coppell, Texas)