Five Things to Know About the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will kick off its quest to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this weekend at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will kick off its quest to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this weekend at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic. 

This year’s tournament features a new format and the competition will send just two teams to this summer’s U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica/Panama, one less than the usual three due to the World Cup being played in the Concacaf region and hosts Costa Rica and Panama receiving automatic berths. 

Here are five things to know about the USA’s chase for a World Cup bid and a record sixth confederation title.  


The Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship will qualify teams to the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as well as crown an age group champion in North America, Central America and the Caribbean region. Two of 16 World Cup spots are up for grabs in the Dominican Republic.  

Twenty teams from the region make up the field. Sixteen have been drawn into four groups of four, while four advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament.  

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F








Trinidad and Tobago

Dominican Republic



Saint Kitts and Nevis


Puerto Rico

El Salvador

Cayman Islands

The top three teams from each group advance to the Round of 16. From there, a knockout tournament will commence all the way to the championship game. The winners of the semifinal matches will punch their tickets to Costa Rica/Panama and battle for the confederation crown.  


The U-20 WNT launches its World Cup qualifying campaign on Saturday, Feb. 22 vs. Cuba, faces host Dominican Republic on Monday, Feb. 24 and finishes the group stage vs. Honduras on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Broadcast information for the U.S. games is forthcoming.

Fans can follow all of the action from Santo Domingo on as well as U.S. Soccer Facebook, Twitter and Instagram



Kickoff (ET)


Feb. 22

USA vs. Cuba

3:00 p.m.

Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez;

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Feb. 24

USA vs. Dominican Republic

3:00 p.m.


Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez;

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Feb. 26

USA vs. Honduras

6:00 p.m.

Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez;

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic




Head coach Laura Harvey named 20 players to represent the USA in the Dominican Republic. The last two U.S. Soccer Young Female Players of the Year headline the roster in forward Sophia Smith (2018) and midfielder Brianna Pinto (2019). With 27 and 32 caps, respectively, the pair are the roster’s most-experienced players and two of four attempting to qualify for their second U-20 World Cup.  

2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship Roster by Position (College or Club; Hometown; U-20 Caps/Goals) 

Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.; 0/0), Julia Dohle (Penn State; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 6/0) 

Maycee Bell (UNC; Wichita, Kan.; 4/1), Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.; 0/0), Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.; 25/0), Shae Holmes (Washington; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 2/0), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.; 4/0), Emily Mason (PDA; Flemington, N.J.; 2/0), Kennedy Wesley (Stanford; Rossmoor, Calif.; 0/0)   

MIDFIELDERS (6): Talia DellaPeruta (Köln/GER; Cumming, Ga.; 4/0), Katelyn Duong (Minnesota; Portland, Ore.; 3/0), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.; 4/1), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.; 32/4), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 13/2), Summer Yates (Washington; Pasco, Wash.; 4/2)  

FORWARDS (5): Mia Fishel (UCLA; San Diego, Calif.; 0/0), Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Clifton, N.J.; 5/0), Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas; 7/1), Trinity Rodman (SoCal Blues SC; Newport Beach, Calif.; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 27/23)   

Pinto and Smith, plus defenders Maycee Bell and Naomi Girma, were all called to the full WNT’s December Identification Camp, though Bell and Girma had to withdraw from the event due injuries.

Of the 16 collegiate players on the roster, the most come from NCAA finalists North Carolina (four) and Stanford (three). Smith is the only professional on the roster after she was drafted by the Portland Thorns last month, becoming the first teenager to be taken No. 1 overall in the NWSL College Draft. Midfielder Talia DellaPeruta is currently playing as an amateur in Germany with Frauen-Bundesliga club FC Koln. 


This competition began in 2002 as the CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Championship, serving as a qualifier for the first-ever U-19 Women’s World Cup. The inaugural tournament was played in Trinidad and Tobago as the USA and Mexico won their groups and advanced to the World Cup in Canada.

North American squads have dominated the biennial tournament - the USA, Canada or Mexico have finished as finalists at all nine previous editions. In 2018, Haiti became just the second non-North American team to qualify for the U-20 World Cup with its third-place finish. Costa Rica is the only other Central American or Caribbean nation to qualify, finishing third in 2004, 2010 and 2014. 


The USA sports a strong history at this event, qualifying for all nine World Cups at this level since 2002. The red, white and blue have won a record five Concacaf titles since their first in 2006 and will take aim at a sixth this month in the Dominican Republic.

A number of WNT mainstays have shone well at this tournament. Kelley O’Hara, Sydney Leroux and Mallory Pugh all took home Golden Boot honors, in 2008, 2010 and 2015, respectively.

Three players on the roster also logged significant minutes for the USA in the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in Girma, Pinto and Smith. After topping Haiti in a dramatic penalty kick shootout to clinch its World Cup berth, the U.S. dropped a PK loss to Mexico in the final. 

The 2018 tournament also marked defender Tierna Davidson’s final youth camp before joining the senior WNT in full and eventually helping the USA win the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

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