23 Players Called Up To U.S. U-23 Women’s Youth National Team Roster For Thorns Preseason Tournament In Portland, Oregon

USA Will Face the OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC and Racing Louisville from March 12-18 at Providence Park

CHICAGO (March 2, 2023) – Twenty-three players have been named to the U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team roster for the Thorns Preseason Tournament which will feature three matches against NWSL teams over seven days from March 12-18.

The USA opens against OL Reign on Sunday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m. PT followed by Portland Thorns FC taking on Racing Louisville at 5 p.m. PT. The tournament continues Wednesday, March 15 with the OL Reign facing Racing Louisville at 5 p.m. PT and the USA playing the Thorns at 7:30 p.m. PT. The friendly competition will finish on Saturday, March 18 as the USA faces Racing Louisville at 5 p.m. PT and the Thorns take on the OL Reign at 7:30 p.m. PT. None of the matches will be streamed.

The February trip to Paris for the U.S. U-23s during the FIFA international window included eight professional players but with the NWSL preseason well underway, this roster is made entirely of collegiate players. Seven college players who traveled to France and helped earn a 2-0 win and a 1-1 draw with the France U-23s will come to Portland.

Just two players on the U.S. roster played in this tournament last year, defenders Talia Staude of Virginia and Kate Wiesner from Penn State, but eleven players from the U.S. U-23s roster that played in last year’s Thorns Preseason Tournament on are NWSL preseason rosters this spring.

The roster for this tournament includes players from 13 different colleges. Seven of those players come from the ACC, six are from the Pac-12, five are from the Big 12 and two are from the Big Ten (although UCLA and USC will play in the Big Ten this coming fall). There are four players each on the roster from Texas and reigning NCAA champion UCLA, with two each from North Carolina and Virginia. Brown forward Brittany Raphino is representing the Ivy League and midfielder Annie Karich of Santa Clara is representing the West Coast Conference.

The U.S. team will be coached by Margueritte Aozasa, who led the UCLA Bruins to the 2022 NCAA title in her first year as head coach. The assistant coaches will be U.S. U-15 WYNT head coach Katie Schoepfer, Wake Forest assistant Courtney Drummond and University of Virginia goalkeeper coach Sam Raper.

There are no players on the U-23 roster with full USWNT experience, but 10 players have played for the USA in a FIFA Youth World Cup. Goalkeeper Mia Justus, defenders Lauren Flynn and Lilly Reale, midfielders Talia DellaPeruta and Annie Karich and forwards Trinity Byars and Simone Jackson were all part of the USA’s 2022 Under-20 Women’s World Cup Team in Costa Rica. Defender Talia Staude and midfielder Sunshine Fontes played for the USA at the 2018 Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay. Byars and DellaPeruta were also on that team. Defender Kate Wiesner played in the 2016 Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

Fontes, who holds the record for most goals in a calendar year for a U.S. Women’s Youth National Team player when she scored 22 international goals in 2018 for the U.S. U-17 WNT, returns to the YNTs for the first time since recovering from an ACL injury in 2019 that forced her to redshirt her freshman season at UCLA. Her most recent action for the USA came at the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Fontes, Reale, defender Quincy McMahon and forward Reilyn Turner all helped lead the Bruins to the 2022 NCAA title.

Tickets for the tournament are included in Thorns FC Annual Memberships. Individual tickets for the preseason tournament are on sale online at www.thornsfc.com.

U.S. U-23 WYNT Roster – 2023 Thorns Preseason Tournament:

Goalkeepers (2): Mia Justus (Texas; Lakewood, Ohio), Cayla White (Virginia; Arlington, Va.)

Defenders (8): Lauren Flynn (Florida State; Arlington, Va.), Eva Gaetino (Notre Dame; Dexter, Mich.), Quincy McMahon (UCLA; Highland Ranch, Colo.), Ayo Oke (California; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Lilly Reale (UCLA; Hingham, Mass.), Talia Staude (Virginia; Atlanta, Ga.), Ellie Wheeler (Penn State; Fairfax, Va.), Kate Wiesner (Penn State; Monrovia, Calif.)

Midfielders (7): Talia DellaPeruta (UNC; Cumming, Ga.), Sunshine Fontes (UCLA; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Annie Karich (Santa Clara; Surfside, Calif.), Felicia Knox (Alabama; Shawnee, Kan.), Lexi Missimo (Texas; Southlake, Texas), Jillian Shimkin (Texas; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Sarah Weber (Nebraska; Gretna, Neb.)

Forwards (6): Trinity Byars (Texas; Richardson, Texas), Taylor Huff (Florida State; Mansfield, Ohio), Simone Jackson (USC; Redondo Beach, Calif.), Avery Patterson (UNC; Jacksonville, Fla.), Brittany Raphino (Brown; Randolph, Mass.), Reilyn Turner (UCLA; Aliso Viejo, Calif.)

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