CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) – After losing three players from the training camp roster due to injuries, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has called up 16-year-old forward Sophia Smith. Smith will depart the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team event in Portland, Oregon, and will join the U.S. camp today. The roster now features 23 players.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster – April Friendlies vs. Russia:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (8): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)
Smith, who hails from Windsor, Colorado, attends the same high school (Fossil Ridge) and plays for the same club (U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy member Real Colorado) as 17-year-old Jaelin Howell who is also from Windsor and was also called into this camp from the U.S. U-23s. Howell was named to replace the injured Lindsey Horan on March 29.
Like Howell, Smith was a member of the U.S. team at the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Smith played in all three matches, coming off the bench in each game.
It’s been a remarkable seven weeks for the high school junior. Between Feb. 15 and March 8, Smith was in Europe, first with the U.S. U-18 WNT in England, where she scored five goals in three games. That performance earned her a first call-up to the U.S. U-20 WNT and she traveled directly to La Manga, Spain, where she scored another four goals in three matches.
It is believed to be the most goals scored over six consecutive international matches for any U.S. Youth Women’s National Team player (although Ashley Sanchez did score 12 goals over 11 consecutive international matches for the U.S. U-17 WNT in 2015 and 2016).
Her performance in Europe earned Smith a call-up to the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team which is currently participating in the Thorns Spring Invitational in Portland. On March 29, Smith scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute during the U.S. U-23 WNT’s 2-1 victory against the Thorns, giving her 10 goals across three age levels this year. Howell started and played 62 minutes against the Thorns while Smith went the full 90.
Smith will miss the final match for the U.S. U-23s against the Chicago Red Stars on April 1 to join the U.S. camp. Smith is the fourth player from the USA’s 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team to see training time with the senior side, along with Howell, forward Ashley Sanchez and midfielder Brianna Pinto, who was on the USA’s roster for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup in March.
Midfielders Morgan Brian (knee), Horan (hip) and Tobin Heath (back) were forced to withdraw from the training camp roster due to injuries.
Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the upcoming matches against Russia on April 6 at Toyota Stadium (7:30 p.m. CT on FS1 with the pre-game show starting at 7 p.m.) and on April 9 in at BBVA Compass Stadium (1 p.m. CT on ESPN).