All 37 American players grew up playing US Youth Soccer
FRISCO, Texas (Sept. 23, 2015) — The 2015 NWSL Championship Game, featuring defending champion FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC, features a combined 37 US Youth Soccer alumnae between the two sides. The final will take place Thursday, Oct. 1 and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 live from Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
All 20 players on FC Kansas City’s roster grew up playing US Youth Soccer programs, while 17 of Seattle Reign FC’s 21 players are US Youth Soccer alumnae — with the remaining four players having grown up outside of the United States.
“Congratulations to the players and coaches at FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC on earning another chance to play for the NWSL title,” US Youth Soccer CEO Chris Moore said. “As you continue to grow the game and highlight opportunities for the next generation, it is important to celebrate the hard work and sacrifices the players have made to advance to this point and to recognize the numerous state associations, club coaches and parents who played a big role during their youth days.”
This year’s final is a rematch of last year’s championship game, which FC Kansas City won, 2-1, thanks to a pair of goals Amy Rodriguez — a two-time US Youth Soccer National Champion with Laguna Hills Eclipse (CA-S) and 2003 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships Golden Boot winner.
Defender Leigh Ann Robinson, who led the league’s top defense while playing every minute of the 2015 NWSL season, claimed the 2003 Under-16 Girls National Championship with San Diego Surf (CA-S). Meanwhile, 21-year-old rookie goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, who recorded a win and two ties for FC Kansas City while playing behind Nicole Barnhart, earned Golden Glove honors while leading San Juan Spirits 94 Blue (CA-N) to the 2008 Under-14 Girls National Championship.
FC Kansas City features four members of the 2015 FIFA World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team — Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Heather O’Reilly and Lauren Holiday — who each grew up playing US Youth Soccer.
Meanwhile, Seattle Reign FC features a pair of 2015 World Cup champions in Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe. Solo participated in US Youth Soccer ODP, where she developed into a talented goalkeeper, while Rapinoe helped Under-19 Elk Grove United (CA-N) advance to the 2003 National Championship final.
Seattle team captain Keelin Winters is a former US Youth Soccer National Champion, as she helped her Mustang Blast (CA-N) side to the 2004 Under-15 National title. Winters’ Reign teammate, Danielle Foxhoven, claimed a pair of US Youth Soccer National Championships in 2008 and 2009 with Colorado Rush (CO), while also earning the 2008 Golden Boot award.
US Youth Soccer is the largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body for soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer is a nationwide body of over 600,000 volunteers and administrators, and over 300,000 dedicated coaches, most of who also are volunteers. US Youth Soccer registers over 3,000,000 youth players between the ages of five and nineteen. US Youth Soccer is made up of 55 member State Associations; one in each state, and two in California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.