CLAIREFONTAINE, France (Feb 17, 2023) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team put in an excellent performance to beat France, 2-0, in the first of two games between the teams at the Clairefontaine training center outside of Paris.
It was the first match of the year for the U-23s and the USA started a lineup featuring six professionals and five college players.
Forward Alyssa Thompson, who played for the USA at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, and who was taken first overall in the 2023 NWSL Draft by Angel City FC, opened the scoring in the 14th minute after she ran onto a through ball from forward Mia Fishel and sprinted into the left side of the penalty area. She rounded the goalkeeper to the left and slotted into the open net from a tight angle to give the USA the lead.
The 18-year-old Thompson is the only player on the roster with training experience and caps (2) with the full U.S. Women’s National Team. She played off the bench against England and Spain during the USA’s European tour last October.
The USA earned a clincher in what was a back-and-forth match when Michelle Cooper, who was taken second overall in the 2023 NWSL Draft by the Kansa City Current, smashed a left footed shot into the left side of the net in the 84th minute from just inside the penalty area after fellow forward Trinity Byars had laid the ball back to her.
Portland Thorns FC draftee Lauren Kozel (#32 overall) played the first half in goal before giving way to Hensley Hancuff who combined for the shutout.
Lilly Reale, who helped UCLA to the 2022 NCAA title, and is another veteran of the USA’s 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, captained the USA.
Seven players on this roster played for the USA at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup: defender Lauren Flynn, Reale, defender Laney Rouse, midfielder Korbin Albert, and forwards Byars, Cooper and Thompson. All saw action in the match.
The teams will meet again on Feb. 20.
-U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team Match Report-
Match: United States Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team vs. France U-23 WNT
Date: February 17, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stadium Pierre Pibarot; Clairefontaine, France
Weather: 55 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
FRA 0 0 0
USA – Alyssa Thompson (Mia Fishel) 14th minute
USA – Michelle Cooper (Trinity Byars) 82
USA:1-Lauren Kozal (12-Hensley Hancuff, 46); 18-Laney Rouse, 16-Lauren Flynn (5-Eva Gaetino, 46), 4-Lilly Reale (Capt.), 15-Kate Wiesner (14-Megan Bornkamp, 68); 13-Hannah Bebar (6-Lia Godfrey, 46), 8-Brianna Pinto (3-Alexis Theoret, 68), 2-Korbin Albert (20-Alexis Missimo, 68); 7-Alyssa Thompson (9-Michelle Cooper, 46), 10-Mia Fishel (19-Trinity Byars, 68), 17-Alexa Spaanstra (11-Taylor Huff, 68)
Head Coach: Carrie Kveton
FRA: 16-Marie-Morgane Sieber; 2-Ines Belloumou (12-Jade Le Guilly, 76), 5-Océane Deslandes, 3-Eva Kouache (13-Célina Ould Hocine, 76), 4-Maélys Mpome (14-Alice Sombath, 64); 7-Julie Dufour (19-Manssita Traore, 64), 20-Laurina Fazer (6-Ines Benyahia, 64), 11-Oriane Jean-Francois (Capt.), 10-Sonia Ouchene (8-Cyrielle Blanc, 76), 15-Vicky Becho (18-Madeline Roth, 76); 9-Esther M’Bakem (17-Mickaella Cardia, 63)
Substitutes not used: 1-Marie Petiteau
Head coach: Gregoire Sorin
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 7 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 8
Offside: 1 / 0
USA – Elaine Rouse (Caution) 31st minute
USA – Lauren Flynn (Caution) 43
Referee: Aurelie Efe (FRA)
1st Assistant Referee: Berengere Jourdain (FRA)
2nd Assistant Referee: Stephanie Di Benedetto (FRA)
4th Official: Morgane Chignard (FRA)