US SoccerUS Soccer

Lessons Learned from the 2003 Women???s World Cup and How to Apply Them to the Youth Game

As part of our continuing effort to service and educate our membership, U.S. Soccer Communications Center will send out an informative article from one of its departments. Once a week, you will receive an article/paper/essay in your inbox that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of the game of soccer - on and off the field.

This week, April Heinrichs and the U.S. Women’s National Team Staff bring you a document that evaluates the development needs of the U.S at all levels following the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


By April Heinrichs and the U.S. Women's National Staff Coaches

We are pleased to provide America’s soccer community with an evaluation of the needs of the youth game. This has been compiled through observations made while coaching and scouting at the 2003 Women’s World Cup and evaluating talented female players at the club, state, regional and national team levels.

The positive strides our young players are making in every aspect of the game has been exciting to watch over the years. Evaluations of our U-14, U-16, U-17, U-19 and U-21 Youth National Team players bear out the facts that they are more athletically gifted, technically sound and tactically sophisticated than players of previous generations.

However, we must constantly search for ways to improve in order to continue to develop some of the world’s best players and teams. After observing our youth players and reflecting on the 2003 Women’s World Cup, our staff has identified several specific topics for all coaches to address on a daily basis, including the U.S. Women’s National Team, which aspires to win gold at the 2004 Olympic Games.

The following document is a list of priorities that is provided to help enhance player and team development throughout the country.

It is impossible to write a post-World Cup document and include all our thoughts and analysis without it becoming a hard cover book. With that in mind, we judiciously chose topics of urgency for all levels.

To read the complete document, please click on the following link: (lessons_from_WWC03.pdf)

For more information, please contact the U.S. Soccer Coaching Department at (312) 528-1218 or