U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup Roster filled with US Youth Soccer alumnae
FRISCO, Texas (Oct. 13, 2016) — Each of the 21 players named to the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team for the upcoming FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup grew up playing competitively with US Youth Soccer.
Nearly every player on the roster played in at least two US Youth Soccer programs during her youth career, as all 21 competed in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, 17 participated in US Youth Soccer ODP, and seven were members of teams who earned a place in the US Youth Soccer National League.
The 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup will take place Nov. 13 through Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea. The United States begins its tournament Nov. 14 against France before finishing group play against New Zealand and Ghana. All matches will be broadcast on the FOX family of networks.
The United States roster includes six players who competed in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, led by midfielder Savannah DeMelo, a 2014 Golden Ball winner who helped Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S) claim the Under-16 National Championship.
DeMelo is joined in the midfield by fellow National Championships Golden Ball winner Emily Ogle, who helped Internationals 96 Red (OH-N) to a fourth-place finish in 2012. Ogle’s college teammate at Penn State, Kaleigh Riehl, also enjoyed success on the biggest stage in youth soccer, as she helped BRYC 95 Elite (VA) to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championship.
The U.S. roster also includes 2011 National Champion Casey Murphy — who won an Under-15 National title with PDA Slammers (NJ) — and 2014 National Championships Best XI forward Parker Roberts.
Mallory Pugh, who was part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, is one of several U-20 WNT players who advanced to the knockout rounds in their respective US Youth Soccer Regional Championships but didn’t advance to Nationals. Pugh helped her Real Colorado side to the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships final in 2010 and semifinal round in 2011.
Seven of the U.S. players also competed in the US Youth Soccer National League, and four of the seven were on teams who played multiple seasons in the league. Riehl’s BRYC side played four years in the National League and claimed one division title, while DeMelo helped Beach FC claim a title in its first of two seasons in the league. Ogle was among the Top 3 scorers in both of her seasons playing in the National League and helped her team to a second-place finish in 2011-12.
Seven members of the U-20 roster have represented their state at the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships as Sabrina Flores (New Jersey 95), Natalie Jacobs (Cal South 97), Marley Canales (Cal South 97), Savannah DeMelo (Cal South 98) all claimed national titles. Meanwhile, Emily Fox reached the 2014 finals with Florida 97, Katie Cousins reached the 2012 finals with Virginia 96 and Jessie Scarpa tied for the most goals at the 2012 ODP Championships with three as her Florida 96 team placed third.
For more information on US Youth Soccer programs, visit USYouthSoccer.org/programs/.
U.S. U-20 Women's World Cup Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Rose Chandler* (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Brooke Heinsohn*^ (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.), Casey Murphy* (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7): Madeline Elliston*^ (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox*^# (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Sabrina Flores*^# (Notre Dame; Livingston, N.J.), Ellie Jean* (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Natalie Jacobs*^ (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Taylor Otto*^ (North Carolina; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl*# (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Marley Canales*^ (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins*^ (Tennessee; Forest, Va.), Savannah DeMelo*^# (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Kelcie Hedge*^ (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle*^# (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen*^ (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts*^# (Florida; Leawood, Kansas)
FORWARDS (4): Ashley Sanchez*^ (So Cal Blues: Monrovia, Calif.), Mallory Pugh*^ (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Jessie Scarpa*^ (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt*^# (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
* = US Youth Soccer NCS
^ = US Youth Soccer ODP
# = US Youth Soccer National League