Five Things to Know About the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship

Presented by Thorne

The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team kicks off its World Cup qualifying campaign this week in Trinidad and Tobago at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. Here are five things you should know about the team’s quest for a World Cup berth and the Confederation title.


The CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship serves as the region’s championship and qualification tournament for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France. Three of the 16 World Cup spots are up for grabs in Trinidad, as the finalists and third-place match winner will advance to the World Cup in August.

Eight teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean make up the field. The U.S., Canada and Mexico received automatic bids, while Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Haiti qualified through regional competitions. Host Trinidad and Tobago received an automatic bid. The USA was drawn into Group B alongside Jamaica, Mexico and Nicaragua.

Group A

Group B

Trinidad and Tobago




Costa Rica





Head coach Jitka Klimkova has called in an experienced group for the tournament. Thirteen of the 20 players on the roster have previously played in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at the youth level and 11 have played in a youth FIFA Women’s World Cup.

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship Roster (College or Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (2): Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 5/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 2/0)          
DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.; 6/0), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; 6/0; San Jose, Calif.), Tara McKeown (USC; Newbury Park, Calif.; 11/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 9/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 2/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 8/0), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA; Torrance, Calif.; 3/0)                                                   
MIDFIELDERS (5): Samantha Coffey (Boston College; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 7/1), Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 23/4), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 12/0), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 9/0), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 10/1)                                 
FORWARDS (6): Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 11/3), Civana Kuhlmann (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.; 12/8), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 20/6), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 11/8), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 3/1), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara; Scottsdale, Ariz.; 8/2)                                  

Twelve players on the roster just completed their freshman collegiate seasons, four wrapped up their sophomore campaigns while four currently play for youth clubs- all in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy. The youngest player on the roster, forward Sophia Smith, earned U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year honors last month.

Ten colleges are represented on the roster, with three players coming from recently-crowned NCAA champion Stanford: defenders Tierna Davidson and Kiara Pickett as well as forward Civana Kuhlmann. Davidson was called to the senior WNT’s annual January Camp and will come to Trinidad directly from Southern California for the competition.  


The tournament began in 2002 as the CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Championship, serving to qualify nations to the first-ever U-19 Women’s World Cup. The inaugural tournament was also played in Trinidad and Tobago as the USA and Mexico won their groups to advance to the World Cup.

North American squads have dominated the biennial competition -- the USA, Canada and Mexico have finished as finalists at all eight previous editions of the tournament. Costa Rica is the only non-North American squad to qualify for the World Cup, earning third-place finishes in 2004, 2010 and 2014. 


The USA sports a strong history at the event, entering as the four-time defending champion (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015). The red, white and blue have appeared in all eight tournaments and qualified for the World Cup each time, earning their first CONCACF championship in 2006.

Several current WNT stalwarts have shone at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship: Kelley O’Hara, Sydney Leroux and Mallory Pugh have all taken home Golden Boot honors, in 2008, 2010 and 2015, respectively.

Four players on the current roster also appeared in the 2015 tournament: Davidson, Savannah DeMelo, Kiara Pickett and Ashley Sanchez. Davidson and DeMelo played in all five games for the U-20s, while Sanchez scored the tournament-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Canada in the Final.  Davidson, DeMelo and Sanchez all earned tournament Best XI-honors.




Kickoff (ET)


Jan. 19

USA vs. Nicaragua

5:30 p.m.

Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

Jan. 21

USA vs. Jamaica

6:30 p.m.

Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

Jan. 23

USA vs. Mexico

3:00 p.m.

Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

The U-20s open play on Friday, Jan. 19 against Nicaragua, take on Jamaica on Sunday, Jan. 21 and wrap up pool play on Tuesday, Jan. 23 against Mexico.

Fans can follow all of this month’s action on U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt) channel