U-17 USWNT: Roster For Final Training Camp Before U-17 WWC Qualifying Announced

u17-uswnt-feb2020camp

Later this month, the Under-17 United States Women’s National Team will hold their second camp of the year and “its final training camp before the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.”  Head coach Tracey Kevins has called in 24 players for this camp, which will run from Saturday, February 15th to Sunday, February 23rd.  During the camp, the U-17 USWNT will play their counterparts from England in a pair of friendlies, giving Kevins two last competitive opportunities to evaluate players for the 20-slot qualifying roster.

(With this year’s CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship being pushed back from March to April, the “final training camp” declaration in U.S. Soccer’s roster release is somewhat surprising, as there will be over six weeks from the end of this camp until the team leaves for Mexico, instead of three, under the original schedule.)

Six attendees of the 28-player January camp were not included on this roster, most notably defensive-minded midfielder Annie Karich, who had been a regular call-up during 2019, while seeing significant minutes on the pitch in recent U-17 friendlies.

Meanwhile, midfielder Carina Lageyre returns for her second U-17 camp of the cycle, following the UEFA developmental tournament in the Czech Republic, back in May 2019.

Earning her first known U-17 USWNT call-up is the 2004-born Evelyn Shores, who was a member of the U-14 USGNT in 2018 that won the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship.  Shores, who appears to be an outside back candidate, attended the recent U-16 USGNT camp that was held at the end of January.

In addition to Shores, three other players on the camp roster were born in 2004:  Regular call-up – and fellow UNC-commit – Allyson Sentnor, plus midfielder Jaedyn Shaw and forward Alyssa Thompson, who are both attending their third-straight U-17 camp of the cycle.  The youngest and only 2005-born player is Olivia Moultrie, who is attending her second U-17 USWNT camp.  All other players were born in 2003.

Besides Karich, the five other players not called back from the January U-17 camp are dual-national goalkeeper Azul Alvarez, defenders Allyson Brown and Madeline Mooney, midfielder Bella Sember, and forward Drew Coomans.  Except for Alvarez, all of these excluded players also attended the November 2019 U-17 camp in Carson, California.

The two friendly matches against the England U-17 WNT are scheduled for Wednesday, February 19th (2:00 p.m. ET) and Saturday, February 22nd (1:00 p.m. ET) at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.  Both matches are open to public.  The roster release does not include any information on streaming options for the match.

* * *

Below is a modified version of U.S. Soccer’s roster for this camp, augmented with the player’s NCAA verbal commit school (if available) and their expected freshman year of college (high school graduation year).


U-17 USWNT ROSTER FOR FEBRUARY 2020 CAMP

Parenthetical Key:  Club; Hometown; NCAA verbal commit, Expected Freshman Year (a/k/a High School Graduation Year)

Goalkeepers (3):
Nadia Cooper (Challenge SC; Katy, Texas; Washington State, 2021)
Haley Craig (Michigan Jaguars FC; Dexter, Mich.; Stanford, 2021)
Neeku Purcell (Reign Acad.; Seattle, Wash.; n/a, 2022)

Defenders (8):
Baleigh Bruster (NTH Tophat; Smyrna, Ga.; Duke, 2021)
Andrea Kitahata (San Jose Earthquakes Acad.; Hillsborough, Calif.; Stanford, 2021)
Aidan McConnell (Michigan Hawks; Dexter, Mich.; Wisconsin, 2021)
Ayooluwa Oke (NTH Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.; California, 2021)
Shea O’Malley (NC Courage Acad.; Cary, N.C.; Ole Miss, 2021)
Lilly Reale (South Shore Select; Hingham, Mass.; Boston College, 2021)
Evelyn Shores (NTH Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.; North Carolina, 2023)
Kolo Suliafu (So Cal Blues SC; Victorville, Calif.; n/a, 2022)

Midfielders (7):
Tatiana Fung (Legends FC; Fullerton, Calif.; Texas, 2021)
Carina Lageyre (Weston FC; Cooper City, Fla.; Duke, 2022)
Devin Lynch (Sockers FC; Naperville, Ill.; Duke, 2022)
Alexis “Lexi” Missimo (Solar SC; Southlake, Texas; Texas, 2021)
Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC Acad.; Wilsonville, Ore.; n/a, 2024)
Jaedyn Shaw (Solar SC; Frisco, Texas; North Carolina, 2023)
Jillian Shimkin (Sky Blue-NYSC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Penn State, 2021)

Forwards (6):
Trinity Byars (Solar SC; Richardson, Texas; Texas, 2021)
Simone Jackson (Beach FC; Redondo Beach, Calif.; USC, 2021)
Karlie Lema (MVLA; Morgan Hill, Calif.; California, 2021)
Allyson “Ally” Sentnor (South Shore Select; Hanson, Mass.; North Carolina, 2022)
Alyssa Thompson (Real So Cal SC; Studio City, Calif.; n/a, 2022)
Amelia White (Fort Wayne United FC; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Penn State, 2022)


PREVIEWING THE QUALIFYING ROSTER

Since the long review of this U-17 cycle was published, the only additional insights into player selection have been the three most recent camp rosters (November 2019, January 2020, and this current camp).

Even with the recent exclusions of regular call-ups Emma Egizii (not listed on the last three camp rosters) and Annie Karich (not named on this roster), Tracey Kevins’ preferred core remains intact, especially with the return of defenders Baleigh Bruster and Andrea Kitahata, who are both attending their second-straight camp after missing the November 2019 camp (both, presumably for injury reasons).

Expected Qualifying Roster – Core Players:

  • Goalkeepers:  Nadia Cooper,  Neeku Purcell
  • Defenders:
    • Center Backs:  Baleigh Bruster, Lilly Reale, Aidan McConnell
    • Outside Backs:  Ayooluwa Oke, Shea O’Malley, Andrea Kitahata
  • Midfielders:  Alexis Missimo, Jillian Shimkin, Devin Lynch, Tatiana Fung
  • Forwards:  Allyson Sentnor, Trinity Byars, Amelia White, and Simone Jackson

The above list leaves four slots unfilled, with the midfield and forward lines each needing at least one more player or, for a balanced roster, two players.

Bubble Options

For the back line, Kolo Suliafu, who plays as a forward for her high school team (vvdailypress.com) and Evelyn Shores, both appear to be outside back candidates (TopDrawerSoccer.com).

In the midfield, if another attacking-minded player is needed, Jaedyn Shaw looks to be the most likely candidate.  Meanwhile, the Nike-signed Olivia Moultrie remains an enigma.  And, then there’s the curious return of Carina Lageyre.

If Annie Karich, who has been sharing the “6” position with Devin Lynch, was only excluded from this current camp roster due to a minor injury or other excused absence, she will probably be on the qualifying roster.

Up front, with just six forwards listed for this camp, it is possible that both the 2003-born Karlie Lema, who is also a track speedster (milesplit.com), and the 2004-born Alyssa Thompson could both make the qualifying roster.

In the net, Haley Craig has been a fairly regular call-up under Tracey Kevins, though not in 2019 with the U-17s, so it would not be all that surprising if she gets the nod over one of the two core goalkeepers.


ON ENGLAND

The England U-17 WNT is also looking to qualify for this year’s U-17 WWC, but first they have to win a four-team “Elite Round” qualifying group that contains France (UEFA.com).  Then, if they survive the Elite Round, the Young Lionesses will need to be one of the top three teams in May’s UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship, which will be hosted by Sweden.

The England U-17 WNT roster for this camp was also announced on February 12th (TheFA.com).  Head coach Lydia Bradford has called up 24 players, including 17 who were on the Young Lionesses’ UEFA preliminary round roster, back in October 2019.

Of the 24 players, 20 are attached to the academies of FA WSL teams, with Chelsea FC providing 7 players for this camp.  Birmingham City has 4 players, including Lily Simkin who has some first-team experience (bcfc.com).

In 2019, this England squad, as a U-16 team, played at least two opponents in common with the U-17 USWNT:  Sweden, a 1-nil victory (SvFF match details) and Germany, a 1:4 loss (dfb.de match details).  Both of those matches happened during the 2019 Under-16 Nordic Cup in July.

In September 2019, the U-17 USWNT played those two teams as part of a preparatory tournament, earning a 2:1 victory against host Sweden (in rainy and windy conditions) (SvFF match details), while drawing 1:1 with Germany (dfb.de match details).

* * *

The following is a modified version of the roster in TheFA.com write-up, augmented with position information, which is mostly pulled from the above-mentioned UEFA preliminary round roster.

England U-17 WNT Roster for February 2020 Camp

Goalkeepers:  Hermione Cull* (Southampton FC), Sophie Hillyerd (Bristol City), Khiara Keating** (Manchester City)

Defenders: Jessica Brown (Sunderland), Anouk Denton (Arsenal), Jorja Fox (Chelsea), Ruby Mace (Arsenal), Caitlin Smith (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Laura Brown (Birmingham City), Mia Ross (Liverpool), Lily Simkin* (Birmingham City), Maisie Symonds (Chelsea), Charlotte Wardlaw (Chelsea)

Forwards:  Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea), Maria Edwards (Manchester United), Deearna/Missy Goodwin (Birmingham City), Freya Gregory (Birmingham City), Lexi Lloyd-Smith (Chelsea), Emily Murphy (Chelsea), Lucy Watson (Sheffield United)

Position Unverified:  Tara Bourne (Manchester United), Grace Clinton (Everton), Teyah Goldie (Arsenal), Lucia Kendall (Southampton FC)

*Position sourced from club website
**Position sourced from social media