CHICAGO (June 15, 2022) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team will play its first international matches since the fall of 2019 when a 21-player squad travels to Sweden during the upcoming international break for friendlies against India and the hosts in the Women’s U-23 Three-Nations Tournament.
The USA will face India on June 25 in Helsingborg the first-ever match between a U.S. Women’s National Team and the country that will host the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in October. The USA will face Sweden on June 28 in Vittsjo. Australia was scheduled to participate in this tournament but withdrew, making it a three-team competition.
The U.S. roster consists of eight current National Women’s Soccer League players, 12 collegiate players and one youth club player in Alyssa Thompson, who plays for a Total Futbol Academy boys’ team in Los Angeles. Thompson, a speedy winger, was a member of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team that won the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic in March and helped the USA qualify for the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The 17-year-old Thompson is the only player from that U-20 squad on this roster.
U.S. U-23 WYNT 2022 THREE-NATIONS TOURNAMENT ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB OR COLLEGE; HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Shelby Hogan (Portland Thorns FC; Franklin, Mass.), Ruthie Jones (Duke; Charlotte, N.C.)
DEFENDERS (5): Kerry Abello (Orlando Pride; Batavia, Ill.), Megan Bornkamp (Clemson; Mooresville, N.C.), Emily Madril (Florida State; Boise, Idaho), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.), Kate Wiesner (Penn State; Monrovia, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Hannah Bebar (Harvard; Naperville, Ill.), Croix Bethune (USC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Mikayla Cluff (Orlando Pride; Kaysville, Utah), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; Long Beach, Calif.), Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Brianna Pinto (North Carolina Courage; Durham, N.C.), Taryn Torres (NJ/NY Gotham FC; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Messiah Bright (TCU; Dallas, Texas), Ava Cook (Chicago Red Stars; Battle Creek, Mich.), Anna Heilferty (Washington Spirit; Falls Church, Va.), Samantha Meza (UNC; Dallas, Texas), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy; Studio City, Calif.)
Players in this year’s U-23 WYNT pool must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1999, but this tournament is allowing up to five overage players born before that date. The USA will bring three such players: Chicago Red Stars forward Ava Cook, Racing Louisville FC midfielder Savannah DeMelo and Portland Thorns FC back-up goalkeeper Shelby Hogan. All were born in 1998.
Nine players on this roster were a part of the U.S. U-23 WYNT squad that participated in the pre-season tournament last March against NWSL teams: Duke goalkeeper Ruthie Jones, defenders Emily Madril (Florida State), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame) and Kate Wiesner (Penn State), midfielders Hannah Bebar (Harvard), and Croix Bethune (USC) and forwards Messiah Bright (TCU) and Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia). The USA drew 0-0 with the Chicago Red Stars, fell 3-0 to Portland Thorns FC and drew OL Reign 1-1.
The U-23s will be coached by Jené Baclawski, the former long-time Technical Director of the South Texas Youth Soccer Association and current U.S. Soccer Coach Educator who also heads U.S. Soccer’s Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP selection committee.
No players on this roster have caps with the full U.S. Women’s National Team, and the only player with experience training with the full USWNT is North Carolina Courage midfielder Brianna Pinto, but six players have played for the USA in a youth World Cup: Wiesner, midfielders Bebar and DeMelo and Pinto and forwards Samantha Meza (UNC) and Spaanstra.