US SoccerUS Soccer
  • DateWednesday, June 3, 2009
  • VenueEstadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Kickoff8:00 PM
  • Attendance19,200

Swim on Through to the Other Side

“You want to hear a story about Kelley O’Hara? Here’s one that tells you everything you need to know,” says Paul Ratcliffe, coach of Stanford University’s women’s soccer team.

Before O’Hara’s senior year at Stanford, the women’s soccer team traveled to the University of Hawaii for preseason matches. On their off morning, they went sightseeing at Kailua Beach Park. Ratcliffe left the team on one side of the beach and took a walk with his family to the other.

“When I get back, all the girls are sitting down, kind of laughing and looking uneasy. I was like, ‘Uh, what’s up?’ That’s when they pointed out two tiny flecks swimming out in the water, en route to an island that is far away –I’m talking like far, far out,” says Ratcliffe. “And I’m responsible for these girls, and I’m panicked. When I told the Hawaii coach about it, he says, ‘Yeah, people die doing that.’”

O’Hara and teammate Ali Riley (who plays for the New Zealand national team) had been sitting in the sand, idly wondering whether it was possible to swim out to that island in the distance. The daydreaming prompted reactions from their teammates: “Not possible,” “No way,” “You guys are out of you mind if you think you could swim all the way there!”

U.S. Soccer to Host Four-Team U-20 Women’s Tournament at the NTC in Carson

CHICAGO (May 25, 2015) – U.S. Soccer will stage a four-team Under-20 women’s international tournament from June 2-6 as the USA will host Brazil, Japan and Mexico in the 2015 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational. All the matches will be played on the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.

Each of the match days – June 2, 4 and 6 – will feature a doubleheader with the USA playing the second game of the day. The winner of the competition will be based on total points with the first tiebreakers being overall goal difference and then total goals scored. Admission to the matches is free to the public. Parking is free on June 2 and 4, but not on June 6 as there is a Los Angeles Galaxy game that evening at the StubHub Center. All tournament matches will be streamed live on



Kickoff (PT)

Location (U.S. Soccer NTC at StubHub Center)

Tues., June 2

Mexico vs. Brazil

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Tues., June 2

USA vs. Japan

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Thurs., June 4

Brazil vs. Japan

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Thurs., June 4

USA vs. Mexico

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sat., June 6

Japan vs. Mexico

12 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sat., June 6

USA vs. Brazil

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

All of the teams are currently preparing for qualifying for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup which will be held in Papau New Guinea. Like the USA, Brazil has participated in all seven of the FIFA U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cups that have been contested thus far. Japan has participated in four tournaments and Mexico has played in all but the 2004 tournament in Thailand that was a U-19 event.

U-20 Women’s National Team head coach Michelle French has called in 20 players for the tournament, seven of whom are already in college (two players enrolled early and have yet to play a college season in forward Kelcie Hedge (University of Washington and defender Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State) with seven more graduating this summer and heading off for their freshman seasons this fall.

Seven players on the roster were born in 1996, which is the age cut-off for next U-20 Women’s World Cup. Nine were born in 1997 with midfielder Jordan Harr, midfielder Savannah DeMelo and forward Mallory Pugh (all 1998s) and forward Ashley Sanchez (1999), the youngest players on the roster. Pugh was a starter for the U.S. team at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, while Sanchez was recently called up from the U-17 WNT and is age-eligible for the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in Jordan.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Roster by Position
2015 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Samantha Leshnak (Ohio Elite; Liberty Township, Ohio), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (Match Fit FC; Far Hills, N.J.), Maddie Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Sabrina Flores (Notre Dame; Livingston, N.J.), Natalie Jacobs (Slammers FC; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Courtney Petersen (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Megan Buckingham (UNC; Novi, Mich.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Jordan Harr (Dallas Sting; Sachse, Texas), Mikaela Harvey (Texas A&M; Liberty Hill, Texas), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Parker Roberts (KC Metro Dynamos; Leawood, Ks.)
FORWARDS (4): Hana Kerner (Match Fit FC; Upper Saddle River, N.J.), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA; Ocean Township, N.J.), Ashley Sanchez (SoCal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.)

Additional Notes:

  • The CONCACAF qualifying tournament 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be held in December in Honduras.
  • Each team is allowed to name 20 players on its tournament roster.
  • Teams will be allowed six total substitutions per game with no re-entry. In the second half of the matches, a team may stop the game a maximum of three times to make substitutions. During each of these stoppages, a team may make more than one substitution, up to the limit of the six total per match.
  • After goal difference and goals scored, the next tie-breakers will be the head-to-head result.
  • Players eligible for the 2015 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996, which is the age cut-off for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • There will be no suspensions for accumulation of yellow cards during the tournament, but a player receiving a red card will have to sit out a minimum of one match.

Russell Canouse Pulls Out of U-20 MNT World Cup Squad with Injury; Replaced by Conor Donovan

CHICAGO (May 25, 2015) – U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos has replaced midfielder Russell Canouse, who was injured in training earlier in the week, on the USA’s FIFA U-20 World Cup roster by Conor Donovan. Canouse sustained a right ankle injury while the team was training in Australia and will require additional time to recover. Donovan was named as an alternate and has been with the team since the pre-World Cup camp began on May 11 in Carson, California.

“Today was a very tough decision to make,” said Ramos. “Obviously Russell led our team to qualification in the last four matches in Jamaica, so I think that we lose a player that’s very important on the field, but also off the field. So it’s a big loss for us.

“At the same time, we were prepared by having Conor be here the whole time. Conor has been working hard with us, he’s adapted and he has been with the team for a while. So we were ready with a replacement and we’re excited to have Conor on board, who also brings a lot on the field and off the field.”

Canouse, who plays at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany, captained the USA in the final four matches of the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship in January in Jamaica, helping the team post four consecutive shutouts en route to earning a berth at the World Cup in New Zealand.

Donovan was also a member of the U-20 World Cup qualifying team in January, appearing in two matches, including a start in the team’s 8-0 victory over Aruba. The 19-year-old was selected by Orlando City SC with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft after one season at North Carolina State.

Donovan joined the U.S. Residency Program in 2011 and was a member of the U-17 team that participated at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. He played in the Development Academy in 2013-14, competing for Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL’s U-18 squad. He previously played for North Carolina Alliance.

Since the U-20 Championship, Donovan has appeared in friendlies against England, Qatar and Croatia. He scored the tying goal against Qatar on April 21 in Salzburg, Austria.

The U.S. arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday and will make its way to Whangarei on Tuesday. The team opens Group A play against Myanmar at 12 a.m. ET on May 30 in Whangarei, followed by matches with New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland. All of the U.S.’s group matches will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and NBC Universo.

U.S. Set for Run in Historic Toulon Tournament

In France it has been called le lieu où naissent les étoiles, the place where stars are born. Always a gathering of the world’s top soccer powers, this year’s 43rd edition of the Toulon Tournament features regular competitors Netherlands, England and host France, as well as Costa Rica, China, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Mexico, Qatar and the USA.

“It’s a huge tournament,” U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog said. “I think at this age group, there’s the World Cup and for sure there’s the Olympic Tournament, but apart from those competitions, this is the biggest tournament in this age group. With all the teams like England, Netherlands, France, Mexico, and the USA competing against each other, at this age group that’s a really, really good competition and it’s a good challenge for us to show that we have a good team together.”

In 1975, Cesar Luis Menotti coached an Argentina youth squad featuring Daniel Passarella, Americo Gallego, Alberto Tarentini, and Jose Daniel Valencia to a championship in the third Toulon Tournament. Three years later, those four players were a part of the Argentina side that won the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Following the win, Menotti recalled Toulon as being a fundamental piece of the players’ development that led to their victory, and hence, le lieu où naissent les étoiles.

In the 40 years since, many of the biggest and most renowned footballers have made their mark in Toulon, and the tournament has proven to be a foreshadower of what’s to come in international play. In 2011, Colombian striker James Rodriguez earned honors as the Toulon Player of the Tournament. Three summers later, Rodriguez burst onto the scene and won the Golden Boot at the 2014 FIFA World cup after scoring six goals in five games.

Other international footballers who have also gained experience in the Toulon Tournament include: Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Shearer, Javier Mascherano, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Nuno Gomes, Rui Costa and many more.

The U.S. was in Toulon for the tournament in 2013, competing with its U-20 MNT and taking seventh place. Their best finish in Toulon history dates back to 1989, when the team took third place behind Bulgaria and champion France.

This year the U-23’s will try to best that finish. To do that, they will have to navigate through group play matchups with France on May 27, Netherlands on May 29, Costa Rica on May 31 and Qatar on June 2. 

Q&A: Andi Herzog Talks Toulon

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog spoke with about the Toulon Tournament and the U-23’s continued preparation for October’s CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship What can you say about this group that’s been brought together for the Toulon Tournament?
Andi Herzog: “I’m happy; I think we have a good group together. It’s mostly the same players we had against Mexico and the first Bosnia and Denmark trips. I want to have a little continuity and hopefully it will work in France. Obviously it’s a situation where a lot of MLS teams have a lot of games during the same time period, so mostly the players starting for the MLS teams were not released.” How does this renowned tournament help prepare the team for the Olympic Qualifying Championship?
AH: “This tournament in France is huge because there are a lot of great opponents. The other thing is we play a game every second day, so we will need everyone on the field and we’ll have to make a lot of changes from game to game. I think it’s a great chance for every single player to be able to be a big part of the team who will qualify for the Olympics.” How did the fact that the tournament schedule features games every other day go into the makeup of this roster?
AH: “It’s clear: You need to double up every position. Overall we have a good group together with some young kids playing, like Marc Pelosi coming back after a long injury, so it will be interesting to see all of them.” Over the years a number of the world’s great international footballers have played in this tournament. What does that say about the challenge ahead for the team?
AH: “It’s a great challenge and it’s a great opportunity for us to play against some of the best. The France team is the defending World Champion at the Under-20 level from two years ago in Turkey. They were the best team in the world two years ago and they are our first opponent, so that will be a real good possibility to see how good we already are.”

“It’s a huge tournament. I think at this age group, there’s the World Cup and for the Olympics, but apart from those competition, this is the biggest tournament in this age group. You have all the regular teams like England, Netherlands, France, Mexico, USA competing against each other, so at this age group that’s a really, really good competition. How would you describe the form of the players on the roster coming in?
AH: “We have two or three players that had injuries before, but I talked to them and they’re fine, so it’s normal. For every National Team coach it’s always the same. You don’t train on a regular basis, so it’s just from month to month you see your players. That’s why I want to keep going always with most of the same players if they do well. Hopefully we made the right decisions. How does a tournament like this fit into the bigger picture of preparing these players for the next level of play?
AH: “Developing players for the senior National Tam has to be our goal. I think for a youth team it’s important to compete on the highest level at World Cups and Olympics, but overall the most important thing is you get at least two or three players for the National Team as regular starters afterwards. Otherwise we did a bad job as coaches.”