PORTLAND, Oregon (March 5, 2022) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team drew 0-0 with the Chicago Red Stars in a hard-fought and entertaining match in its first of three matches at the 2022 Thorns Preseason Tournament.
The match was the first for the U.S. U-23s since September 2019, with the entirety of its 2020 and 2021 programming put on hold due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a moment of silence held before the game to honor former U.S. Youth Women’s National Team player and Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer, who tragically passed away on March 1. All the U.S. players also wore black armbands to honor Meyer.
The Red Stars were on the front foot early on, but the USA, with a group of players playing in a match together for the first time, worked its way into the game and had a bit more of the possession and attacking chances in the first half. Among those chances were a wicked drive from forward Alexa Spaanstra that sailed over the bar early on and a backheel shot off a corner kick at the near post from forward Penelope Hocking that was kick-saved by Red Stars and senior USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Defender Megan Bornkamp sent a header over the net off a corner kick in the final minute of the half.
The Red Stars did create some danger from the flanks, but U.S. goalkeeper Ruthie Jones made at least three solid catches off crosses to defuse those chances.
The six-foot Jones came up huge in the 58th minute after Red Stars forward Sara Griffith had wriggled her way free inside the penalty area. Jones pulled out an explosive dive to her left to push away the close-range shot.
On ensuing corner kick, the Red Stars sent a header on goal that was destined for the lower right corner of the net, but Jones pushed that one around the post with another nice diving save. For good measure, she caught the next corner kick in traffic.
The Red Stars picked up their attack in the second half and earned six corner kicks after getting none in the first half, but neither team could create a goal over the 90 minutes against two talented goalkeepers. The USA did outshoot the Red Stars 19-9, but Naeher saved all six shots on goal.
The tournament continues Tuesday, March 8 with the Red Stars facing OL Reign at 5 p.m. PT while the USA will play the Thorns at 7:30 p.m. PT. The friendly competition will finish on Friday, March 11 as the USA faces OL Reign at 5 p.m. PT and the Thorns take on the Red Stars at 7:30 p.m. PT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
- The U.S. roster is made up of all collegiate players from 12 different colleges.
- There are no players with full USWNT experience on the U-23 roster, but eight players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Youth World Cup:
o Hocking and Spaanstra were a part of the U.S. team at the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup while defenders Michela Agresti and Talia Staude, midfielders Hannah Bebar and Sophie Jones as well as forward Payton Linnehan played for the USA at the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
o The 2020 U-20 and U-17 Women’s World Cups were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
o Forward Lia Godfrey set the record for the youngest player ever to represent the USA in a Women’s World Cup when she appeared at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at the age of 14.
-U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team Match Report-
Match: United States Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: March 5, 2022
Competition: Thorns Preseason Tournament
Venue: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. PT
Weather: 55 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
CRS 0 0 0
USA: 12-Ruthie Jones; 3-Sydney Collins (2-Kirsten Pavlisko, 72), 14-Talia Staude (4-Michela Agresti, 62), 6-Megan Bornkamp, 5-Brianna Martinez; 18-Sophie Jones (16-Cori Dyke, 46), 20-Jenna Nighswonger (Capt.), 10-Croix Bethune (8-Hannah Bebar, 61); 17-Lia Godfrey (23-Summer Yates, 46), 19-Penelope Hocking (21-Payton Linnehan, 85), 11-Alexa Spaanstra (7-Messiah Bright, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Meagan McClelland, 9-Ally Schlegel, 13-Kate Wiesner, 15-Anna Haddock
Head Coach: Twila Kilgore
CRS: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Tatum Milazzo, 26-Tierna Davidson, 3-Arin Wright (19-Channing Foster, 70); 22-Bianca St. Georges (20-Zoe Morse, 63), 10-Vanessa DiBernardo (Capt.) (34-Regan Steigleder, 27), 24-Danielle Colaprico, 15-Jillene Aguilera (33-Amanda Kowalski, 46); 7-Yuki Nagasato, 8-Ella Stevens (32-Ava Cook, 63), 29-Sara Griffith (27-Sam Fisher, 80)
Substitutes not used: 21-Emily Boyd, 30-Brianna Alger, 13-Morgan Gautrat, 31-Jayda Hylton-Peraia, 4-Alyssa Mautz, 36-Mikenna McManus, 35-Bridgette Skiba, 99-Haley VanFossen
Head coach: Chris Petrucelli
Stats Summary: USA / CRS
Shots: 19 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 1 / 2
CRS – Tatum Milazzo (Caution) 65th minute
CRS -- Ava Cook (Caution) 90+2
CRS -- Yuki Nagasato (Caution) 90+4
Referee: Karan Callado (USA)
1st Assistant Referee: Kate Wasiak (USA)
2nd Assistant Referee: Christian Clerc (USA)
4th Official: Adorae Monroy (USA)