FRISCO, Texas (March 13, 2016) – The Under-17 U.S. Women’s National Team was already headed to the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan thanks to a 5-0 win over Canada in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship, but a late goal from US Youth Soccer ODP alum Civana Kuhlmann gave the Americans a 2-1 over Mexico in the finals to claim its third championship since 2008.
Of the 20 players on championship roster, 18 have US Youth Soccer backgrounds. Sixteen players have US Youth Soccer ODP experience, including Ashley Sanchez who won the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship Golden Ball award as the tournament’s top player. US Youth Soccer ODP alums Laura Ivory, Naromi Girma, Kennedy Wesley, Jaelin Howell, Sanchez and Kuhlmann were all selected to the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship Best XI team for the tournament.
Kiara Pickett, Isabella Rodriguez, Francesca Tagliaferri, Rachel Jones, Sophia Smith, Alexa Spaanstra, Ivory, Wesley and Howell all have reached at least the semifinals of a US Youth Soccer Regional Championship, with Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks), Tagliaferri (PDA), Jones (Tophat) and Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks) claiming regional titles.
Jones twice reached the US Youth Soccer National Championships in 2014 and 2015, while Spaanstra reached the finals of the 2013 National Championships. Jones was named to the National Championships Best XI team in both years she participated, and Spaanstra won the Golden Ball, given to the tournament’s best field player, at the 2013 National Championships.
Ivory, who played every minute in goal, was given the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship Golden Glove as the tournament’s best keeper. Ivory’s Sunrise Sting 98/99 squad currently sits in second place in the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division with one weekend to go. Jones won two National League titles and scored 12 goals in the 2014-15 season; good for the second most in National League Girls history. Kate Wiesner placed second in the 2013-14 Red National League Red Division with Legends FC (CA-S).
2016 CONCACAF U.S. U-17 Women’s Championship Team Roster
Goalkeepers (2): Brooke Bollinger^ (Space Coast United; Melbourne, Fla.), Laurel Ivory^*# (Sunrise Sting; Surfside, Fla.)
Defenders (7): Naomi Girma^ (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Kiara Pickett^* (Eagles SC; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Izzy Rodriguez^* (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez^ (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Emily Smith (De Anza Force; Los Gatos, Calif.), Kennedy Wesley^* (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Kate Wiesner^*# (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.)
Midfielders (5): Jaelin Howell^* (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Frankie Tagliaferri* (PDA; Colt Neck, N.J.), Taryn Torres^ (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sydney Zandi^ (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)
Forwards (6): Jordan Canniff^ (Richmond United; California, Md.), Rachel Jones^*# (Tophat; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann^* (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Ashley Sanchez^ (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith^* (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra^* (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.)
^= US Youth Soccer ODP
*= US Youth Soccer NCS
#= US Youth Soccer National League