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U.S. U-20 MNT Qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup with Win Over Costa Rica

BRADENTON, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team secured its place at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Friday night with a convincing 4-0 win over Costa Rica at the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Bradenton, Fla. Alex Mendez scored a highlight-reel goal from distance early on and Ulysses Llanez, Juan Pablo Torres and Ayo Akinola closed out the scoring to give the USA three points and guarantee a top two finish in Group G of the Qualification Stage of the tournament. The USA will face Honduras next, needing a tie or win to advance to the title game.

The USA once again started on the front foot and took a lead early on off the foot of midfielder Alex Mendez. Center back Mark McKenzie played a low ball down the center of the field to Mendez, who with his back to goal, spun to set up his favored left before ripping a blast from 30 yards into the upper left corner for his sixth goal of the tournament.

Ulysses Llanez doubled the lead five minutes later, running at the defense from the left side before tucking a shot between the goalkeeper and near post for his team-leading seventh goal in five games.

Juan Pablo Torres extended the lead on a second-effort goal just after the break, and Ayo Akinola’s flicked header secured the win and the USA’s 16 th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held in Poland in May-June 2019.

The USA has qualified for four straight FIFA Under-20 World Cups – all under the guidance of head coach Tab Ramos – and 11 of the past 12. With Honduras tying Costa Rica earlier in the week, the result leaves Costa Rica with one point in the Qualification Stage triangular, guaranteeing the USA a top two finish with the last group match on Monday against Honduras.

Up Next: The U-20 MNT will face Honduras on Monday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, Fla. The USA would advance to the title game with a draw or win over Honduras. The match can be seen live on UDN and theConcacafGo app.Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt;@ussoccer_esp);Facebook; Instagram

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Alex Mendez (Mark McKenzie), 7th minute:
Center back Mark McKenzie played a direct low pass down from the midfield line down the center to Alex Mendez, who receive the ball with his back to the goal, spun to his favored left foot and ripped a shot from 30 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal. USA 1, CRC 0

USA – Ulysses Llanez (Juan Pablo Torres), 19th minute: The play started on the right side of midfield with Paxton Pomykal, who pushed it to left to Mendez, who touched to Juan Pablo Torres who found Ullysses Llanez on the left sideline. Llanez then did the work, running at the defense before shooting from the edge of the box and tucking the ball into the near post. USA 2, CRC 0

USA – Juan Pablo Torres (Ayo Akinola), 49th minute: Second half substitute Ayo Akinola sent in a low cross from the right side to the top of the six that Torres attempted to hit first-time, only to see a defender’s slight touch move the ball forward. Falling to the ground, Torres stayed with it and on the second effort - from his seat – kicked the ball past both defenders and the goalkeeper for his fourth goal. USA 3, CRC 0

USA – Ayo Akinola (Alex Mendez), 76th minute: Mendez once again was involved in a goal, this time lifting a freekick from the right side into the area finding Akinola who flicked a header over the defense for his sixth goal of the tournament. USA 2, CRC 0


  • The USA is unbeaten in its last 11 Concacaf U-20 Championship matches dating back to the opener of 2017, establishing a new team record for longest stretch without a loss in this tournament. Previously, the USA went unbeaten in 10 games from the opener of 2005 (5-0-1), 2007 (2-0-1), before falling to Costa Rica in the 2009 final after going 2-0-2.
  • With the result, U.S. head coach Tab Ramos moves to 18-3-2 all-time in Concacaf U-20 Championship play and has led the team to four straight World Cups.
  • The USA is now 5-3-4 all-time against Costa Rica in this tournament.
  • Matt Real returned to the field as team captain after sitting out the last two matches of the group stage with a yellow card.
  • Ulysses Llanez scored his team-high seventh goal of the tournament, while Alex Mendez and Ayo Akinola scored their sixth.
  • Llanez’s seven goals leave him one shy of the USA’s tournament high of eight, set by Ricky Davis in 1976.
  • Paxton Pomykal and Justin Rennicks appeared in their team-high sixth game of the tournament.
  • Jaylin Lindsey was scheduled to start at right back but sustained an injury during warmups and was replaced by Sergiño Dest before kickoff.
  • Dest and Sebastian Soto made their first appearance after joining the team following the Group Stage.
  • Brady Scott earned his third shutout and the team’s fourth of the tournament.
  • Prior to the USA match, Mexico defeated El Salvador to also qualify for its 16th FIFA U-20 World Cup, which also meant Panama qualified after having defeated El Salvador earlier in the week.

- U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: November 16, 2018
Competition: 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship; Qualification Stage
Venue: IMG Academy Stadium; Bradenton, Fla.
Attendance: 1,450
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. ET
Weather: 56 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary: 1   2   F
USA                          2   2   4
CRC                          0   0   0

USA – Alex Mendez (Mark McKenzie)          15th minute
USA – Ulysses Llanez (Juan Pablo Torres)     19
USA – Juan Pablo Torres (Ayo Akinola)         49
USA – Ayo Akinola (Alex Mendez)                76

USA: 1-Brady Scott; 22-Sergiño Dest, 4-Mark McKenzie, 5-Matt Real (capt.), 3-Chris Gloster; 8-Alex Mendez, 6-Brandon Servania, 7-Juan Pablo Torres ; 11-Ulysses Llanez (17-Ayo Akinola, 30), 10-Paxton Pomykal ; 23-Sebastian Soto (9-Justin Rennicks, 79)
Substitutes not used: 12-David Ochoa, 14-Manny Perez, 26-Chris Richards, 19-Samuel Rogers
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

CRC: 1-Kevin Chamorro; 3-Orlando Galo, 2-Diego Mesén, 4-Alexis Gamboa, 15-Carlos Martínez; 8-Sebastian Castro, 5-Amferny Arias; 16-Yecxy Jarquín, 10-Ronaldo Araya (12-Jurguens Montenegro, 51), 7-Josue Abarcak (9-Andy Reyes, 46); 11-Andrés Gómez (17-Carlos Villegas, 66)
Substitutes not used: 18-Patrick Sequeira, 6-Walter Cortes, 13-Fernán Faerron, 14-Greivin Fonseca, 19-Joshua Navarro, 20-Rashir Parkins
Head coach: Breansse Camacho

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 20 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 22 / 26
Offside: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Sergiño Dest (caution) 29th minute
CRC – Luis Ronaldo Araya (caution) 42
USA – Brandon Servania (caution) 55
CRC – Orlando Galo (caution) 55
CRC – Andy Reyes (caution) 61
CRC – Alexis Gamboa (caution) 75

Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Barwegen (CAN)
4th Official: Oliver Vergara (PAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Alex Mendez

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YNT U-20 MNT Nov 16, 2018

Julia Dohle: From Gutersloh to Bradenton to Uruguay and the Journey in Between

She expected the phone call, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. She anticipated the tears, but they still rolled down as she stared up at the wall of her bedroom, plastered with medals and Youth National Team memorabilia. In the summer of 2016, the young goalkeeper saw it all coming, like a slow roller towards the net, but stood helpless to stop any of it.

As her teammates, her second family, the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team, prepared for the biggest tournament of their young careers, Julia Dohle would stay at home in Scarsdale, New York. They would have the opportunity to represent the USA at the 2016 Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship. She would not have the chance at that tournament, or at any other international competition in the foreseeable future, all through no fault of her own.

Born in Germany, her family lived in the small town of Gütersloh, two hours from Düsseldorf, until the age of eight, when her parents moved to the United States for work. At the time of the 2016 Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship, Dohle didn’t yet have an American passport. Though she had lived in the USA for almost half her life, and her family fully intended for her to gain citizenship, the lack of a passport meant that Dohle couldn’t compete for the National Team in officially-sanctioned matches like Concacaf competitions and World Cup tournaments

“I felt like an American,” Dohle said. “It was definitely hard as I was a part of this team and we’re all one big happy family. To be cut off, for something that I can’t control, just a piece of paper, it was hard.”

In her time with the U-15 GNT, Dohle crossed paths with goalkeeper coach Jill Loyden. A former netminder with the senior Women’s National Team, Loyden invited Dohle to start training privately with her. In the depths of her disappointment, the two came together to set a new goal for Dohle to chase: a spot on the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship roster, passport willing. The fifteen-year-old decided not to waste time wallowing and resolved to set her eyes on a tournament that seemed much further than two years away.

While her teammates rolled to the Concacaf U-15 title and then kicked off the U-17 cycle, Dohle logged countless hours on the grind with Loyden and training on her own. Doubts lingered and difficulties festered, but when low moments came, Loyden would pick up her pupil’s spirits via text.

“460 days until World Cup qualifying.”
“300 days until World Cup qualifying.”

In the meantime, she waited on her citizenship. She would wait for two years, plus an extra six weeks, for the chance to represent the USA on-field in major international competition. As she waited, Dohle did everything she could to ready herself for her return.

“You have to be driven, you have to be focused, you have to work hard to even be here,” Dohle said. “It takes a lot mental toughness to keep working without having the short-term goals like making the next training camp.”

After moving to the USA, she made the switch from tennis to soccer as her primary sport, and her talent blossomed. She became a regular with the U-15 Girls’ National Team when then-head coach Mark Carr found out about her passport problem. Ahead of the Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship in Aug. 2016, Carr called Dohle to let her know that she couldn’t join the team until she resolved her citizenship issue.

“It was hard because Mark said, ‘You’d be here with the team, you definitely would be good enough, but we just can’t invite you back until you’ve got your citizenship.’” Dohle said. “It was tough because I knew it was going to be a while until I would get that passport. The fact that I was in with the U-15s a lot gave me something to look forward to. I knew what it was like to go to a camp and represent your country. Seeing all the players getting their first caps and representing the country at the U-17 level, that was just extra motivation for me.”

For Dohle, there never was a question of “if” she would get another call-up, in her mind, it was a matter of “when” she would get another chance with the USA. In the aftermath of Carr’s call, she steeled herself to be ready whenever that call-up would come, rededicating herself with help from Loyden.

“It’s unfortunate that you can't go play, but this is an opportunity,” Loyden said. “This is an opportunity to focus on yourself, your development, improving every day. This is a potential opportunity for you to develop the mental side of the game and grow some resilience in you. And when you go back, you're going to be even more prepared because you'll have the character that has withstood this really difficult circumstance.”

In the interest of developing Dohle’s mentality, Loyden threw the young ‘keeper right into the fire with an invitation to Sky Blue FC training.  A former pro herself, and formerly the NWSL club’s goalkeeper coach, Loyden knew that the experience would prove invaluable.

“She was so scared. She was nervous. Super uncomfortable, but it was exactly where I wanted her to be,” Loyden said. “Super uncomfortable at a level that's higher than what she has played at. That's quicker than what she's played at. That's more intimidating than what she's ever played at. And to see her rise up to the occasion was awesome.” 

For a fifteen-year-old Dohle, it’d be hard to find a bigger confidence boost than playing well against WNT legend Christie Rampone and Australian star Sam Kerr.

“I was pretty nervous,” Dohle said. “Every single rep I felt like I had to prove myself, prove that I could be there. One time I did save Sam Kerr’s penalty. I basically got up and I was like, alright, I’m done playing soccer.”

Of course, it was really just the start. Sky Blue players couldn’t fathom that Dohle was still in high school.

“I’m like, ‘Yeah, she can’t even drive yet, and she’s keeping all of your shots out of the back of the net,” Loyden said.

Each time she returned to sessions with the NWSL side, she felt more and more confident. If she couldn’t come into National Team camps, to train with some of the world’s best professional players served as a solid substitute.

“Having to communicate with players like Kelley O’Hara, that’s obviously something that you have to overcome as a 15-year-old girl,” Dohle said. “Not going into camp, it’s not only that I wasn’t able to have those kinds of experiences facing other countries, but I was also missing a lot of great training. Playing with Sky Blue helped me stay at a high level.”

As Dohle continued her training, Carr stayed in contact, both about her fitness and her passport. In February of 2018, the day that she had waited for finally came. Her parents had passed their interview to become American citizens, and she officially regained her eligibility for the U.S. National Team.

Almost right away, she got a text from Carr. “Please call as soon as you can.” The U-17 WNT had an upcoming camp in Argentina and Dohle’s citizenship had arrived just in time for her to join the team in South America.

“We all met in Houston at the airport and I had basically seen none of my teammates for two years,” Dohle said. “They were like, ‘Oh my god, Julia!’ I think that really helped over the past two years, but also that camp, was so inclusive. It was like I hadn’t been gone at all.”

After so much time in limbo, Dohle stood primed to represent the USA for the very first time in Argentina. The moment arrived when she received the call to start the second game, against Chile at the Copa Provincia de Buenos Aires.

“Mark came up to me before the game, he hugged me and said, ‘This is what we’ve been working towards for two years,’” Dohle said. “I was in tears a little bit because I was just super excited. I remember we walked out and they played the National Anthem. At that moment, all the hard work I’d done had paid off.”

Dohle locked down the net for the 17s against Chile, a 1-0 shutout victory to clinch the tournament title. But she still had to fight for a spot on the roster that she had worked towards for more than a year. At the final U-17 camp before qualifying, Dohle made the final cut for Concacaf qualifying.  

As heartbroken as Dohle had been before the U-15 Championship, she enjoyed a moment of euphoria as she reached the goal she and Loyden had set out nearly two years before. But like in 2016, she didn’t dwell too long on the emotional aspect.

“There were moments of just pure joy and happiness. She could breathe,” Loyden said. “She’s been grinding and grinding for two years and now, wow, this is my dream come true. She’s celebrated a little bit, she’s happy and excited, but as soon as we got back home to New Jersey, she was back to work and thinking to herself, ‘How can I best prepare myself for this qualifying tournament?’ I think she was more prepared than she had ever been and I don’t think there’s anything else that she could have done to be more prepared.”

Following two years away from the team, Dohle’s moment finally arrived at the Concacaf U-17 Championship in Nicaragua. After the USA rolled to a 4-0 victory over Costa Rice to open the tournament, Carr pegged Dohle to start in net for the USA in its second game against Bermuda. She would march out on to the field and stand with her hand on her heart for the National Anthem in a World Cup qualifying match. She would play in the tournament that she had dreamed about for so long.

Until she didn’t. On the morning of gameday, Carr announced that Concacaf had cancelled the Women’s U-17 Championship. Civil unrest in Nicaragua made it too dangerous to continue the tournament. While the team never sat in harm’s way, Dohle’s big-time debut was once again postponed.

Six weeks later, the time for Dohle and the U-17s arrived once again. Back on home soil, she played the entire match against Bermuda on June 6, and even though she allowed a goal, more important was the journey to get there. The long road back to the U-17 WNT has now brought Dohle back to South America. Her commitment over the last four years earned her a spot on the U-17 Women’s World Cup squad in Uruguay.

“I think facing that adversity definitely shapes you,” Dohle said. “Everyone has their own thing, their own story. Being cut off from that group, it really showed me that I can go through anything. It showed me that if you really put all your hard work into it, if you believe in something, if you really go 100 percent every single day and work as hard as you can for what you want, that you can be able to achieve it. Every night when I go to sleep, I look forward to stepping onto that field and hearing those National Anthems.”

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Nov 16, 2018
US Soccer

PREVIEW: USA Continues U-17 Women's World Cup Against Defending Champion Korea DPR

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team vs. Korea DPR
2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup – Group C
Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici; Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
12 P.M. ET; FS2, Universo
Nov. 17, 2018

U-17 WNT READY TO TAKE ON NORTH KOREA IN CRUCIAL GROUP C CLASH: The U.S. U-17 WNT will continue its 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup campaign against Korea DPR on Sat., Nov. 17. The host venue for the USA’s first two matches, Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici, is named after Alberto Suppici, who led Uruguay to victory in the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup. The North Koreans won this tournament last time out, taking the title at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. The USA kicked off the tournament with an exciting 3-0 victory against Cameroon, while Korea DPR suffered a setback in its World Cup opener, falling 4-1 to Germany in Wednesday’s other Group C game. 

For more on the U-17 WNT at the U-17 WWC, check out the digital media guide for complete info on players, stats, results from the full 2017-18 cycle, team history and everything else about the squad set to take on the world in Uruguay.







Nov. 14

USA vs. Cameroon

W 3-0

FS2, NBC Universo

Estadio Alberto Suppici; Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Nov. 17

USA vs. Korea DPR

12:00 p.m.

FS2, Telemundo Deportes App and TelemundoDeportes.com

Estadio Alberto Suppici; Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Nov. 21

USA vs. Germany

3:00 p.m.

FS2, Telemundo Deportes App and TelemundoDeportes.com

Estadio Charrua; Montevideo, Uruguay

WATCH THE FIFA U-17 WWC: All of the USA’s group stage matches will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2. Following pool play, all knockout round games will also be broadcast live on FS2. Matches are also available to be streamed on the Fox Sports App.

The USA’s matches will be broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo platforms. The opener against Cameroon will be available on NBC Universo, while the other two group stage games are set to be streamed live on the Telemundo Deportes App and TelemundoDeportes.com.


  • Korea DPR is one of four teams that the USA has faced more than once at this competition.
  • The two nations faced off in the final of the inaugural tournament in 2008. The USA took an early lead, but Korea DPR equalized late and came out on top in overtime, 2-1.
  • The teams last met in the group stage of the 2012 tournament in Azerbaijan, drawing 1-1.
  • Korea DPR is the reigning U-17 WWC champion and historically the tournament’s most-successful team, winning in 2008 and 2016, finishing second in 2012 and fourth in 2010.
  • Asian teams have won four of five previous tournaments, and five of eight finalists all-time come from Asia.
  • The USA has gone 3-1-3 against Asian Football Confederation members this cycle and is 1-2-2 against Asian teams all-time at this competition.
  • Head coach Sung Gwon Song named players from three birth years: eight born in 2001, eight born in 2002 and five born in 2003.
  • Four players return from Korea DPR’s 2016 championship team: defenders Pak Hye Gyong and Ri Kum Hyang as well as midfielders An Kuk Hyang and Ko Kyong Hui
  • Defender Pak Hye Gong captained the Korea DPR squad in Jordan, playing every minute in the team’s six-game championship run.
  • Defender Ri Kum Hyang also played every minute of the tournament in Jordan
  • Ko Kyong Hui and Ri Kum Hyang both started and played the full match in the tournament final against Japan, which Korea DPR won 5-4 on penalties after the game finished scoreless. Ri netted the game-winning penalty to clinch the trophy.
  • All 21 players compete for clubs in North Korea, led by 12 from Naegohyang Women's Football Club, a club sponsored by the Naegohyang company, one of the biggest brands in the country.





























Korea DPR


















Date               Result                                   Venue
Nov. 14     USA 3, Cameroon 0            Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici; Colonia, Uruguay
Nov. 14    Germany 4, Korea DPR 1     Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici; Colonia, Uruguay

EVENTFUL START FOR THE USA: After a slow start for the USA, some late first-half fireworks opened up the World Cup opener against Cameroon on Nov. 14. In the aftermath of a clearance after a corner kick, a Cameroonian player fell to the field, but play continued as the Africans lobbied the referee for a foul. Mia Fishel took advantage of the confusion, receiving a pass from Natalia Staude and racing in on the goalkeeper one-on-one. While her first attempt ricocheted off the post, she hammered home the rebound to open the scoring. At the end of the first half, the Cameroon goalkeeper Christemilie Onomo cleated midfielder Maya Doms in the stomach when the two went up for a 50/50 ball at the top of the penalty area. Onomo was sent off, and forward Sunshine Fontes converted the penalty kick to double the advantage. An impressive showing by goalkeeper Angelina Anderson and the USA back line preserved the clean sheet down the stretch against a very physical Cameroonian side that was shown six cards over the course of the match. Fontes provided the exclamation point in the 81st minute with a long-range chip over the substitute ‘keeper, locking up a 3-0 victory for the U.S. The U-17 WNT is now 2-1-1 all-time in its opening matches at the World Cup.

DEFENDING CHAMPS DEALT EARLY BLOW: In a game that was far closer than the score line suggested (Korea DPR actually out-shot Germany 15-8), Germany displayed some clinical finishing in the 4-1 victory. Germany went into the half up 2-0 and while the Asian champion responded with the first goal after the break, Germany followed it up with two more to secure the result. With a loss against the USA, Korea DPR would almost certainly face elimination from the tournament. It has reached the quarterfinals in four of five previous competitions, only falling out in the group stage in 2014.

USA -- 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-17 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Angelina Anderson (Mustang Soccer Club; Danville, Calif.; 15/0), Julia Dohle (New York City FC; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 5/0), Lindsey Romig (IMG Academy; Midlothian, Va.; 9/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Michela Agresti (FC Stars; Swampscott, Mass.; 17/2), Talia DellaPeruta (Tophat; Cumming, Ga.; 24/1), Samar Guidry (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas; 4/0), Smith Hunter (Reign Academy; Seattle, Wash.; 16/0), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.; 19/3), Natalia Staude (Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.; 19/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Hannah Bebar (Eclipse Select SC; Naperville, Ill.; 13/2), Maya Doms (Davis Legacy Soccer Club; Davis, Calif.; 27/11), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.; 27/6), Sophia Jones (San Jose Earthquakes; Menlo Park, Calif.; 17/1), Astrid Wheeler (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.; 20/2)
FORWARDS (7): Trinity Byars (Solar Soccer Club; Richardson, Texas; 3/0), Jordan Canniff (Washington Spirit Academy – Maryland; California, Md.; 26/9), Isabella D’Aquila (So Cal Blues; Mission Viejo, Calif.; 15/9), Sunshine Fontes (Hawaii Rush; Wahiawa, Hawaii; 30/24), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars; Douglas, Mass.; 23/8), Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas; 19/2); Trinity Rodman (So Cal Blues; Laguna Niguel, Calif.; 7/2)

Korea DPR – 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Ri Hyon Gyong (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 18-Yu Son Gum (Sobaeksu), 1-Yun Pyol (Naegohyang Women's Football Club)
DEFENDERS (5): 2-Kwak Un Sim (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 20-Pak Hye Gyong (Ryomyong Sports Club), 4-Pong Song Ae (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 5-Ri Kum Hyang (Naegoyhyang Sports Club), 3-Ri Sin Ok (Naegohyang Women's Football Club)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 16-An Kuk Hyang (Ryomyong Sports Club), 12-Choe Kum Ok (Naegoyhyang Sports Club), 13-Ko Kyong Hui (Ryomyong Sports Club), 11-O Si Nah (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 9-Pang Un Sim (Naegoyhyang Sports Club), 7-Ri Su Gyong (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 6-Ri Su Jong (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 8-Ryu Sol Song ((Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 15-Yun Ji Hwa (Sobaeksu)
FORWARDS (4): 17-Kim Kyong Yong (Naegoyhyang Sports Club), 10-Kim Ryu Song (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 14-Kim Yun Ok (Naegohyang Women's Football Club), 19-Pak Il Gyong (Naegohyang Women's Football Club)


  • Korea DPR qualified for the World Cup as champion of the Asian Football Confederation, winning the 2017 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship last September.
  • The tournament follows a format similar to Concacaf World Cup qualifying, with the two finalists and third-place game winner advancing to the World Cup.
  • Korea DPR rolled through its first two games of pool play, dominating Bangladesh 9-0 and downing Australia 7-0.
  • In the final group stage game, Korea DPR took an early lead on Japan, but fell 2-1 as Japan roared back with an equalizer in the 76th minute and a game-winner in the 86th.
  • With a World Cup berth hanging in the balance, Korea DPR took down China 1-0 in the semifinal on a penalty kick goal from midfielder Ri Su Gyong.
  • Korea DPR took home the tournament title with a 2-0 win over Korea Republic in the final.
  • Forward Kim Kyong Yong was named tournament MVP and was also the competition’s top goal-scorer with nine goals, including a five-goal outburst against Bangladesh.



Fontes’ Double, Fishel Goal Lift USA to 3-0 Win Opening Win Vs. Cameroon at 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup
Tournament Notes: U-17 WNT Primed for Challenge at 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
2018 U-17 World Cup Brings Four-Year Journey to a Close
Next Woman Up: U.S. U-17 WNT Rallies After Injuries
Mark Carr - Developing the Future, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance
U-17 WWC Brings Four-Year Journey to a Close
U-17 WNT Rides Wild Roller Coaster to 2018 World Cup
Smith Hunter: Work Ethic + Talent = Dream Fulfilled
Patience a Virtue for U-17 WNT GK Julia Dohle
From Hawaii, Sunshine Fontes Has Traveled Many Miles, But She’s Just Getting Started 

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U-17 WNT Nov 16, 2018

From Hawaii, Sunshine Fontes Has Traveled Many Miles, But She's Just Getting Started

Almost every trip that Sunshine Fontes takes as a part of the U-17 Women’s National Team involves a bit of extra effort. She hails from Wahiawa, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, and nearly every camp, domestic or international, requires additional travel to account for the extra five-hour flight from her hometown just to make it to mainland on the West Coast.

As with many previous camps, her trip to South America for the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup took a full additional travel day. Fontes’ extra effort is evident in her flight itineraries, but the work she puts in once she steps off the plane back in Hawaii has made her an integral part of this U-17 WNT cycle.  She entered the World Cup as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 22 goals, and added two more in the USA’s opener against Cameroon.

“Sunshine has grown into a strong, incredible, assertive young woman who has started to take ownership of her development,” said U-17 WNT head coach Mark Carr. “Sometimes, it can be a challenge for a player in Hawaii to face top competition from across the country. What I’ve seen from Sunshine in the last two years is a player who has taken it upon herself to control her development and create her environment when she’s away from camp.”

While the level of women’s soccer in Hawaii has continued to improve, only a few players from the Islands have made it to the U.S. Women’s National Teams, most notably Natasha Kai from Kahuku, who helped the senior WNT to the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing while scoring the winning goal in overtime in the 2-1 quarterfinal victory against Canada. Since then, more youth players from Hawaii have begun to earn call-ups. While players stateside have chances to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and other elite youth leagues week-in and week-out, those high-level opportunities come far less often in Hawaii.

Fontes first put herself on U.S. Soccer’s radar almost 5,000 miles from Wahiawa, in Boca Raton, Fla. at an Olympic Development Inter-Regional tournament. A few months later, she was called to join the U-15 Girls’ National Team for its first camp of 2016 in the second year of the team’s cycle. She’s earned call-ups to every camp since.

“I try to push myself at home, no matter how much time there is between camps,” Fontes said. “They tell me what to work on when I go home, and they’ve seen that it’s paying off so they’ve just kept bringing me back.”

Fontes has continued to find ways to reach higher levels in her game while back in Hawaii. She used to train with older players, but when those teammates graduated, she began training with boys to help work on her pace and physicality. She also takes advantage of her club environment with the Hawaii Rush.

Fontes exemplifies what Carr calls “player-driven” development. Throughout the cycle, he is in frequent contact with the players to monitor their progress and saw them in camp nearly monthly, but to really progress, Carr emphasizes that players have to take control of their own development. He’s seen Fontes evolve from a player once too shy to look him in the eye to an ever-inquisitive student of the game.

“Now, she wants to have conversations about her growth,” Carr said. “She says ’This is something that I want, what’s the next best development environment for me? What’s the next level that’s going to help me stay in this system?’ For any young player that shows that ownership of their development, that’s gold for me. She’s driving her development process. Ultimately, that’s going to decide where she ends up.”

That work, both at home in the 50th state and across the Pacific in U.S. training camps, has helped Fontes become the U-17s’ most lethal goal scorer. Her 22 goals in 2018 are the second-most for a youth WNT player all-time and she’s put together six multiple-goal games this year. She became the first U.S. female player to score four goals in two international games in the same year when she tallied quadruples against Venezuela and Argentina in early 2018. Her 24 career U-17 goals stand as the most on the team by a wide margin, and her 30 career U-17 caps also lead the USA. Carr says the prolific goal scoring efforts come from remarkable creativity.

“She sees things that not all of us see,” Carr said. “What she sees on the field and the creativity that she displays, some of that stuff you can’t teach. She’s a unique talent. She’s definitely got lots of things to improve upon, but her style and skillset is awesome for what our program looks for and she continues to grow.”

Fontes’ first Concacaf tournament experience came just a few months after her National Team camp debut, at the Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship in August 2016. She scored five goals and notched four assists in seven games during that competition, but Carr told her that she didn’t come into that camp in good enough shape. She hasn’t let it happen again. Her work with the USA and in Wahiawa has positioned her to make an impact in Uruguay.

“I know what I want to do in the future,” Fontes said. “I know that you can never stand still and always have to work on improving. Mark told me my goal scoring has put me in the good place, and I came in more fit to each camp, and I think that’s kept me on the team. I’m just excited to be here and try to help our team in the World Cup.”

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U-17 WNT Nov 16, 2018
US Soccer

As Latest U-20 MNT Crop Looks to Qualify for World Cup, Alums are Well-Represented with MNT

After rolling through the group stage earlier this month, the U-20 MNT opens the two-game Qualifying Round of the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Friday night against Costa Rica at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, Fla.

Thanks to a 1-1 draw in the group opener between Costa Rica and Honduras, should Tab Ramos’ side defeat either team they will book their ticket to next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

The trip through Concacaf’s qualifying tournament and ultimately the World Cup has long been a rite of passage for many as they work their way up to the U.S. Men’s National Team. That journey is well represented in the current roster that will close 2018 on Tuesday evening against Italy in Genk, Belgium.

More than half the players currently in camp – 16 of 26, to be exact -- have taken part in a previous Concacaf U-20 Championship or FIFA U-20 World Cup. Even more promising is that 11 of those players were part of the last two cycles in which the USA advanced to the World Cup Quarterfinals before falling narrowly on both occasions.

While in the early stages of their international journey, the U-20 MNT can certainly look to the current MNT pool for inspiration of what may come for them with the senior team.

Current MNT Roster U-20 MNT Experience


Concacaf U-20 Championship

FIFA U-20 World Cup

Kellyn Acosta


2013, 2015

Tyler Adams



Cameron Carter-Vickers


2015, 2017

Luca de la Torre



Marky Delgado



Romain Gall



Ethan Horvath



Jonathan Klinsmann



Sebastian Lletget



Matt Miazga



Shaq Moore



Josh Sargent



Wil Trapp



Jorge Villafaña



Bobby Wood



DeAndre Yedlin



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MNT U-20 MNT Nov 16, 2018