The U.S. Women's National Team trained one final time on U.S. soil before departing for the Olympic Games in Brazil.
The U.S. WNT will kick off Group G play at the 2016 Olympic Games against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte on Aug. 3 (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo). The team then remains in Belo Horizonte to face France on Aug. 6 (4 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo) before taking off to Manaus for its final Group G game vs. Colombia (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).Read more
For U.S. Women’s National Team, the Olympic Games will begin on Aug 3. – two days before the Opening Ceremony – and exactly one week from today.
Following its final send-off match in Kansas City on July 22, the WNT traveled to Washington D.C. for a brief training camp before hopping on a flight to Brazil. With preparations mostly completed and only some fine-tuning left to go, the U.S. is ready to embark on another Olympic journey and is hoping to earn its fourth consecutive gold medal – and fifth overall – while making history by becoming the first country to win a World Cup and an Olympic gold medal in back-to-back years.
Co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn will be playing in her second Olympic Games and fourth senior-level world championship. She won an Olympic gold medal in 2012, and helped lift the World Cup trophy in 2015, but she also experienced a crushing loss in 2011 after Japan defeated the USA in a penalty shootout at the Women’s World Cup in Germany. She has experienced the full range of emotions at a world championship and knows the significance of this competition in Brazil.
“I think coming so close in 2011 equally scarred and motivated us,” Sauerbrunn said. “It's tough to win a world championship. You prepare as much as you can and you have to hope for a little luck along the way. We fell just short of achieving our goal. Winning in 2015 was affirmation that all the work we put in between those two Finals mattered. We trust the process, we know how terrible it feels to fall short, and that badge is a reminder of our journey.”
The process will be put to the test starting August 3 when the WNT takes on New Zealand in Belo Horizonte (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo). Away from the flashy lights of Rio de Janeiro, the U.S. women will take center stage some 215 miles north, ready to continue the golden legacy established 20 years ago at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
“I don't think anything compares to the expectations we have for one another” Sauerbrunn explained. “We know how difficult it will be to be back-to-back winners. That pressure drives us. We always look for that next challenge because we constantly want to achieve that next level of greatness. People expect us to win, we know what it actually takes to win and that comes with a different level of accountability and sacrifice.”
The U.S. WNT will be but a small part of a much larger group of exceptional competitors ready to represent the red, white and blue. The WNT makes up 22 of the 555-member U.S. Olympic Team that features some of the most elite athletes in the country. All of these Olympians have worked and sacrificed for a greater objective. Olympic glory is pushing yourself beyond limits to earn the right to stand atop the podium and sing proudly as your national anthem plays for all to hear. To do it for the country you love is special and Sauerbrunn will relish the opportunity.
“I'm looking forward to cheering on my fellow Team USA teammates,” she said. “The Olympics is so much more than just soccer. It's all these wonderful athletes competing hard and representing their country with pride and integrity. It's an amazing thing to be a part of.”Read more
CHICAGO (July 27, 2016) – The 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals will air on ESPN2. The New England Revolution host the Chicago Fire in the first Semifinal on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. ET, while the LA Galaxy welcome FC Dallas in the second Semifinal on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 10 p.m. ET.
The four teams booked their Semifinal places on Wednesday, July 20. The New England Revolution drew 1-1 before dispatching the Philadelphia Union 4-2 on penalty kicks, while the Chicago Fire downed the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-0 to setup the first Semifinal. FC Dallas used a second half stoppage time strike to see off the Houston Dynamo 1-0, while the LA Galaxy tallied three goals in the final 13 minutes in a 4-2 comeback defeat of Seattle Sounders FC.
All four clubs are previous winners of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but none have appeared in the tournament Final since 2011 when the Chicago Fire fell 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC. Of the four remaining teams, the New England Revolution last won the competition in 2007, preceded by four-time winners Chicago Fire in 2006 and two-time champions LA Galaxy in 2005. FC Dallas looks for its first tournament title since lifting the trophy in 1997.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's national championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion annually since 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.Read more
CHICAGO (July 26, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will come together from Aug. 1-13 at a training camp in Michigan that will be highlighted by two matches against the Brazil Under-17 WNT as preparations for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup continue.
The USA will take on fellow U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier Brazil on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at DeMartin Soccer Stadium on the campus of Michigan State in East Lansing with a kickoff at 6 p.m. ET.
The teams will play again on Friday, Aug. 12 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium on the campus of Hope College in Holland, Mich. Kickoff is 7 p.m. ET.
Admission to both matches is free.
The matches will be among the final chances to evaluate the players before Snow chooses the final roster for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
“The decisions that we will have to make to finalize our roster will be exceptionally difficult and that is why playing these two international games is so vitally important,” Snow said. “The state of Michigan has a rich soccer tradition and we were ecstatic when we found out that we would be able to bring these two international games there. These games offer us one of the last opportunities to assess our players and our team so we are hoping to simulate a World Cup environment as much as possible. We will be playing in two first class facilities and the hope is that we can work to together with the soccer communities in Michigan to showcase the growth of women’s soccer at the youth level.”
Snow has called up 28 players for the camp, which includes all 20 players who were on the squad that in mid-March won the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship played in Grenada while earning a berth to the upcoming World Cup.
Midfielder Ashley Sanchez returns to the U-17’s after playing with the U.S. U-20 WNT since qualifying. Sanchez won the Golden Ball as the best player at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament after scoring five goals in Grenada, including the first in the 2-1 victory against Mexico in the championship game.
“We are extremely excited to bring our U-17 Women’s National Team to Michigan,” said Snow, who hails from Kalamazoo, Mich., and who played college soccer at Indiana. “The opportunity to be together for two weeks during some of the final preparations before the Women’s World Cup this fall is critical. We will be capping a long and rigorous evaluation process and the players that have matriculated their way here deserve a ton of credit. The depth of this player pool has been extraordinary, so the fact that they are even in the conversation for a final roster spot at this point in time is something that these players should be extremely proud of.”
Brazil was drawn into Group C at the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan along with Nigeria, England and Korea DPR. The USA was drawn into Group D with Paraguay, Ghana and Japan. The USA and Brazil could potentially meet in the knockout rounds in Jordan should both advance out of the group.
The U.S. plays its first Group D match against Paraguay on Oct. 1 at Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET) before facing Ghana on Oct. 4 at King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play on Oct. 8 against Japan at Amman International Stadium (7 p.m. local / Noon ET).
The players on the roster come from three birth years with 16 being born in 1999, which is the age-cut for participation in this fall’s World Cup. Eight players were born in 2000 and four were born in 2001, including three who were on the qualifying squad: defenders Kennedy Wesley and Kate Wiesner and forward Jordan Canniff.
The U-17’s are undefeated in 10 international games this year.
U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (5): Hillary Beall (So Cal Blues; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Zoe Clevely (Irvine Strikers; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Laurel Ivory (West Florida Flames; Surfside, Fla.), Meagan McClelland (PDA; Kearny, N.J.), Katie Meyer (Real So Cal; Newbury Park, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (10): Kerry Abello (Benet Academy; Aurora, Ill.), Sierra Enge (Carlsbad Elite; Cardiff, Calif.), Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Shea Holland (PDA; Toms River, N.J.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel 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; Colts Neck, N.J.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Penn.)
FORWARDS (8): Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Adrienne Richardson (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Oakdale, Minn.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.)
CHICAGO (July 26, 2016) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced Panama as the host country for the 2017 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, set to take place April 21-May 7, 2017.
Panama will host the region’s top 12 U-17 national teams at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez and Estadio Maracana in Panama City. The nations will vie to qualify for one of the Confederation’s four spots at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
The 12 teams will include: Panama as host, three additional Central American Football Union (UNCAF) teams, five Caribbean Football Union (CFU) teams and three from North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States). Caribbean teams will begin their Qualifying tournament in July, while Central American teams will begin qualification in November.
The official draw for the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship will take place in Panama City in December.
The USA has captured the U-17 CONCACAF title three times (1983, 1992, 2011), while also earning second place five times in its 15 years competing in the region’s World Cup Qualifying tournament.Read more