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U-17 WNT Wins 2015 NTC Invitational with 3-1 Victory against Japan

CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2015)The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team defeated Japan, 3-1, on goals from Ashley Sanchez,  Emina Ekic and Briana Pinto to sweep all three matches and win the 2015 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational.

The USA also defeated Mexico (3-1) and Canada (2-0) and out-scored its three opponents in the competition by an 8-2 margin. Coming into the match the USA needed a victory to win the tournament as Japan had the edge on goal difference. After a tense but scoreless first half, it was Sanchez who broke the deadlock. 

The SoCal Blues midfielder, who scored in every match and totaled five goals during the tournament, got on the end of an Alex Spaanstra cross in the 53rd minute, beating her defender to the ball to knock it home. 

Ekic made it 2-0 in the 61st minute, latching onto a deflection at the top of six-yard box before spinning a defender and finishing low and hard past the diving goalkeeper. 

Japan pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute on a penalty kick by Remina Chiba after she was fouled in the box to keep the game tight. But, USA substitute Pinto iced the match with nine minutes left, two minutes after she had entered the game. The goal came when Sydney Zandi beat a defender down the left side and played a cross to Pinto at the top of the penalty area. Pinto’s touch was a bit heavy but she was able to collect the ball, round her defender and finish high into the right side of the net. 

At last year’s NTC Invitational, the USA defeated Japan 2-1 to take the tournament title. Japan then went on to win the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. 

This group of players, born in 1999 and 2000, are working to qualify for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The age cut-off for that tournament is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999. 

- U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs Japan U-17 Women’s National Team
Date: February 15, 2015
Competition: 2015 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational
Venue: Glen “Mooch” Myernick Field; Carson, Calif. 

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F                                             
USA                             0          3          3
JPN                              0          1          1 

USA - Ashley Sanchez (Alex Spaanstra)        53rd minute
USA - Emina Ekic                                           61
JPN  Remina Chiba (penalty kick)                  72
USA - Briana Pinto (Sydney Zandi)                81 

USA: 22-Brooke Bollinger, 2-Joanna Harber, 13-Karina Rodriguez, 7-Karlie Paschall, 9-Kiara Pickett, 19-Taryn Torres, 5-Jaelin Howell (8-Brianna Pinto, 79), 14-Alexa Spaanstra (23-Sydney Zandi, 79), 15-Ashley Sanchez (16-Sophia Smith, 90), 21-Emina Ekic (17-Jordan Taylor, 63), 4-Rachel Jones (18–Frankie Tagliaferri, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Hillary Beall, 10-Taryn Ries, 11-Isabel Rodriguez, 20-Olivia Jo Wade
Head Coach: B.J. Snow 

JPN:  1-Moeka Yonezawa, 9-Suzuka Tamura (19-Nodoka Funaki, 78), 6-Miyu Takahira, 18-Hana Takahashi, 4-Karin Naito (14-Yume Takikawa, 78), 13-Mayu Karahashi (11-Karen Kichima, 46), 20-Oto Kanno, 2-Rio Kanekatsu, 17-Seira Kojima (3-Remina Chiba, 63), 15-Tomo Hirata, 21-Chisato Ichinose
Subs not used: 5-Miina Matsunaga, 7-Nozomi Kato, 8-Riko Ushijimam, 12-Miho Kobayashi, 16-Kaoru Hayashi 

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 9 / 7
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 5
Offside: 3 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
USA - Kiara Pickett (caution)                  56th minute 

Referee: Danielle Chesky (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Selma Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Melissa Gonzalez (USA)
Fourth Official: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN) 

U.S. Soccer to Host Second Annual U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational

CHICAGO (January 27, 2015) – For the second consecutive year, U.S. Soccer will host a four-team Under-17 women’s international tournament at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. This year’s event will run from Feb 11-15 as the USA will host Japan, Mexico and Canada in the 2015 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational. All the matches will be staged on Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at the U.S. Soccer NTC. 

Each of the match days - February 11, 13 and 15 – 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 two tie-breakers being overall goal difference and then total goals scored. Admission to the matches is free to the public, as is parking. All six matches of the tournament will be shown live on 



Kickoff (PT)

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

Wed., Feb 11

Japan vs. Canada

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Wed., Feb 11

USA vs. Mexico

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Fri., Feb. 13

Mexico vs. Japan

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Fri., Feb. 13

USA vs. Canada

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sun., Feb. 15

Canada vs. Mexico

1 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sun. Feb. 15

USA vs. Japan

4 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1 

At last year’s event, the USA defeated China PR, 4-0, New Zealand, 2-0, and Japan 2-1 to win the competition. Japan went on to win the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica later that summer. 

“We feel very fortunate that U.S. Soccer has given us another opportunity to host one of the top international tournaments in the world for this age group,” said U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow. “The inaugural event last year was a huge success and for the women’s game to continue to grow it’s critical that we provide a platform for our players to play against the best international competition at a younger age.”   

Snow has called in 21 players for the tournament, 15 born in 1999 – which is the age cut-off for the next U-17 Women’s World Cup – and six born in 2000.

“At this point in the cycle we want to continuously asses both individual player development and team development,” said Snow. “There is no better way to accomplish this than to compete against highly sophisticated and organized teams in a tournament environment. This should give us a great indication of where we are as team with a little over a year left before World Cup Qualifying.” 

The 2016 U-17 Women’s CONCACAF Championship tournament, slated for March of next year, will qualify three teams from the confederation for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup that is scheduled to take place in Jordan. 

U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
Hillary Beall (SoCal Blues; Laguna Beach, Calif.) Brooke Bollinger (Orlando City; Melbourne, Fla.)GOALKEEPERS (2):
Sierra Enge (Carlsbad Elite; Cardiff, Calif.), Joanna Harber (Eastside FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Karlie Paschall (Tennessee Soccer Club; Brentwood, Tenn.), Kiara Pickett (Camarillo Eagles; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)DEFENDERS (7):
 Emina Ekic (Javanon SC; Fairdale, Ky.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Ohio), Taryn Torres (Solar Chelsea; Frisco, Texas),MIDFIELDERS (5): Rachel Jones (Tophat; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Taryn Ries (FC Portland; Portland, Ore.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Fort Collins, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.), Jordan Taylor (Ohio Premier Eagles; Wadsworth), Olivia Wade (La Roca FC; Kaysville, Utah)FORWARDS (6): 

Additional Notes:

  • Each team is allowed 21 players on its NTC Invitational 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.
  • Substitutions made at halftime do not count as a stoppage in the second half.
  • Players eligible for the 2015 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1999, which is the age cut-off for the 2016 FIFA U-17 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.
  • If two or more teams are equal on goal difference and goals scored, the ties will be broken as follow: 1) greatest number of points obtained in the matches between the teams concerned; 2) goal difference resulting from the matches between the teams concerned; 3) greater number of goals scored in the matches between the teams concerned; 4) drawing of lots by the U-17 Women's NTC Invitational Tournament Committee.