While the U.S. U23 Women's National Team may not lead to an international competition, it remains a useful vehicle to provide college players a chance in front of U.S. Soccer coaches.
And last week’s trip to Portland saw the U23s fare relatively well against a trio of NWSL squads. The U.S. put together a 1-1-1 record against the Houston Dash, Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars.
Stanford’s Catarina Macario finished as the talk of the U.S. U23s. Despite not being currently eligible to represent the USA (though intending to do so eventually), Macario scored all four goals against pro teams.
After a scintillating free kick finish in last Sunday’s 2-1 loss against the Houston Dash, Macario bagged a brace in a come-from-behind draw against host side Portland Thorns on Wednesday.
In the finale on Saturday afternoon, Macario won and converted a penalty kick, as the U.S. U23s held on for a 1-0 win against the Red Stars.
With NWSL draftee Bella Geis the lone pro player on the roster, the U23s featured several college players in a variety of roles. Penn State center back Kaleigh Riehl donned the captain’s arm band in the first two matches. Stanford’s Tegan McGrady played a significant chunk of the minutes, starting in all three games and playing 253 minutes.
Below is a look at the U.S. lineup and substitutions from each game.
U.S. U23 WNT 1, Houston Dash 2 (March 11)
Goals: Catarina Macario
Lineup: Bella Geis, Ellie Jean (Julia Ashley, 64), Kaleigh Riehl (capt.) (Ella Stevens, 64), Julie James (Natalie Jacobs, 46), Tegan McGrady (Kristina Fisher, 73); Jordan DiBiasi (Samantha Staab, 73), Parker Roberts (Phoebe McClernon, 64), Jaye Boissiere (Dorian Bailey, 64); Catarina Macario (Paige Monaghan, 79), Kayla McCoy (Tziarra King, 35, Jamie Cheslik, 64), Morgan Weaver (April Bockin, 46)
U.S. U23 WNT 2, Portland Thorns 2 (March 14)
Goals: Catarina Macario x2
Lineup: Bella Geist; Ellie Jean (Phoebe McClernon, 62), Kaleigh Riehl (capt.) (Julia Ashley, 62), Samantha Staab, Tegan McGrady; Julie James (Parker Roberts, 46), Jaye Boissiere (Jamie Cheslik, 46), Jordan DiBiasi (Kayla McCoy, 87); Paige Monaghan (Morgan Weaver, 41), Catarina Macario, Dorian Bailey (Natalie Jacobs, 76)
U.S. U23 WNT 1, Chicago Red Stars 0 (March 17)
Goals: Catarina Macario
Lineup: Ella Dederick; Julia Ashley (Ellie Jean, 73), Phoebe McClernon (Kaleigh Riehl, 73), Hailie Mace (Jamie Cheslik, 46, Paige Monaghan, 83), Tegan McGrady; Parker Roberts (Julie James, 61), Jordan DiBiasi (capt.) (April Bockin, 73), Jaye Boissiere (Dorian Bailey, 33), Catarina Macario (Natalie Jacobs, 66), Kayla McCoy (Morgan Weaver, 46, Tziarra King, 90), Kristina Fisher (Samantha Staab, 33)