CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team picked up its second consecutive 2-0 victory in the 2016 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational, defeating the Korea Republic on first half goals from Sophia Smith and Karina Rodriguez.
The USA beat England 2-0 on Feb. 11 and now sits in first place in the standings in the four-team tournament with six points, followed by Japan (4), England (1) and Korea Republic (0). In the first game of Match Day 2, Japan tied England, 1-1. The USA can now win the tournament for the third consecutive year and needs a win or tie against Japan on Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. PT to clinch the title. Korea Republic will take on England at 12 p.m. PT. Both matches can be seen on ussoccer.com.
It only took 13 minutes for the USA to get on the board. Forward Rachel Jones used her speed to sprint to the end line on the left side, weaving through several defenders before rolling a short pass into the middle for Smith to tap home. It was Smith’s first international goal in her ninth U-17 cap.
The USA doubled its lead on a set play in the 25th minute after a handball gave the U.S. a free kick just outside the box on the left side. Sydney Zandi sent a cross into the middle and Rodriguez, in the box from her center-back position, sliced through to volley into the lower left corner to make it 2-0. It was also the first international score for Rodriguez who was playing in her seventh U-17 international.
After Laurel Ivory earned the shutout against England, goalkeeper Hillary Beall got the nod against Korea Republic and earned the USA’s second clean sheet of the tournament.
The U.S. U-17s are well into a cycle that will hopefully see them qualify for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. The CONCACAF qualifying tournament will held be from March 3-13 in St. George’s, Grenada, and the USA will face Mexico, Jamaica and Costa Rica in group play.
U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational Match Report
Match: United States U-17 WNT vs Korea Republic U-17 WNT
Date: Feb. 13, 2016
Competition: U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational
Venue: U.S. Soccer National Training Center, Field 1
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Weather: High 50s, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
KOR 0 0 0
USA – Sophie Smith (Rachel Jones) 13th minute
USA – Karina Rodriguez (Sydney Zandi) 25
USA: 12-Hillary Beall, 15-Kennedy Wesley (7-Alexa Spaanstra, 77), 16-Karina Rodriguez, 4-Naomi Girma (6-Emily Smith, 45), 11-Izzy Rodriguez (19-Kate Weisner, 45), 5-Sydney Zandi (2-Taryn Torres, 63) 18-Jaelin Howell, 8-Brianna Pinto (20-Frankie Tagliaferri, 57), 13-Rachel Jones, 3-Sophia Smith (17-Jordan Canniff, 45), 10-Ashley Sanchez
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory, 14-Civana Kuhlmann, 21-Emina Ekic
Head Coach: BJ Snow
KOR: 18-Kim Yealin (21-Bang Mirae, 88), 15-Kang Jiwoo, 26-Kim Jinhui (8-Kang Taekyung, 45), 20-Sim Seohui (14-Im Sojeong, 45), 17-Eom Keunbyeol, 28-Mok Seungyeon (12-Kim Soeun, 45), 19-Kim Hyeju, 11-Gwon Huiseon (16-Jung Minyoung, 45), 22-Choi Jeongmin (13-Kang Chaerim, 86), 5-Mun Eunju, 9-Han Juri
Subs not used: 6-Jung Seongeun
Head Coach: Kim Hoisung
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 12 / 2
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 2 / 0
KOR – Gwon Huiseon (caution) 43rd minute
KOR – Kim Hyeju (caution) 32
USA – Rachel Jones (caution) 92
Referee: Ceciah Valero (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alicia Messer (USA)
Fourth Official: Danielle Chesky (USA)