With U.S. Soccer now officially launching a new version of its development program for Under-14 Girls, it is useful to put those changes into context.
Prior to 1999, the youngest age-level for U.S. Soccer’s female youth teams, was the Under-16 Women’s National Team, which appears to have been established in 1996. (Danielle Slaton, Abby Wambach, and Hope Solo are all listed as members of the U-16 team in 1996 per their media guide biographies.) Before that, the only youth USWNT was the original Under-20 USWNT, which began in 1989 (if not earlier, as a U-19 program) and exists to this day as the U-23 USWNT, having adjusted its maximum age level twice.
U.S. Soccer’s first Under-14 Girls’ program began in 1999, as part of the federation’s Under-14 National Development Program, which started two years earlier, on the boys’ side. Participants of that first girls’ camp included Heather O’Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Becky Sauerbrunn and Ashlyn Harris. Continue reading “A Quick History of U.S. Soccer’s Under-14 Girls’ Programs”