VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile (Oct. 31, 2023) – The U.S. Under-19 Women’s Youth National Team mounted a furious comeback after falling behind by two goals in the first half but ultimately fell short, losing to host Chile 2-1, in the semifinal of the 2023 Pan American Games.
The USA advanced to the semifinal by taking the top spot in Group B, a run that included victories against Costa Rica and Argentina, each of whose rosters included about a dozen players who were at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Forward Emeri Adames scored the USA’s lone goal on a long run and finish in the 53rd minute, but the USA gave up two goals on set plays – a direct free kick and a penalty kick – at the end of the first half and will now play for bronze on Nov. 3 against Argentina, which fell to Mexico, 2-0, in the other semifinal.
Chile’s roster for this tournament featured 11 players who were part of its squad for the Intercontinental Playoff tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (from which Chile failed to advance to New Zealand and Australia), including Olympique Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler, long recognized as one of the best in the world. In Chile’s starting lineup were five players from that World Cup playoff roster and six players who played against the USA in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The USA, playing with players born in 2005 and 2006 who have yet to enter college, kept even with the hosts – whose roster had 12 players born in the 1990s – in a first half that produced just seven total shots between the teams and 10 fouls committed by Chile. In the end, both teams fired eight shots with the USA putting five on goal to Chile’s four, but as often happens in a soccer match, set plays would be the difference.
The USA had kept the Chile attack away from its goal for most of the half before a 32nd minute flicked header by defender Camila Saez off a free kick was saved by U.S. goalkeeper Sonoma Kasica.
Chile then proceeded to put the USA on its back foot towards the end of first half, and it paid off after the U.S. was called for a handball at the top of its own penalty area. From 23 yards out on the left side, midfielder Karen Araya, who plays professionally in Spain for Madrid CFF, struck her free kick perfectly, bending the ball over the wall, off the left post and just over the goal line as Kasica almost got to the ball with a full-out dive but couldn’t turn it away.
The USA’s best shot in the first half came in stoppage time via a well-hit free kick from distance by team captain Claire Hutton, but it was easily saved by the experienced Endler, who has finished in the top three in the voting for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper over the past four years and won the award in 2021.
The USA suffered a body blow at the end of the first half as with just seconds left in the second minute of the allotted stoppage time, a ball was chipped into the penalty area and U.S. defender Nicki Fraser crashed into forward Daniela Zamora from behind. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot, and midfielder Yanara Aedo stepped up to send Kasica the wrong way as she slotted her shot into the right side of the net. Forty seconds later the referee blew the whistle for halftime.
The USA had a golden chance to pull back early in the second half as forward Amalia Villarreal got down the right sideline in the 49th minute and crossed into the middle on the ground. Midfielder Lauren Martinho’s shot from close range was well-saved by Endler. Forward Emeri Adames had a crack at the rebound, but Endler closed the space quickly and blocked the point-blank shot with her legs.
The USA did pull one back in the 53rd as team captain Claire Hutton did well to work herself free in midfield and sent a long pass over Chile’s back line. It skimmed off the head of a defender and into the path of the streaking Adames, who raced in on goal on the left side and beat Endler inside the near post with a shot from a few yards to the left of the six-yard box. The goal was the third of the tournament for Adames.
The USA pushed hard for an equalizer over the final third of the match as U.S. head coach Carrie Kveton made all five of her allowed substitutes, but the USA could not break through a tough and physical Chile defense backed by a world-class goalkeeper.
The USA had two last-gasp efforts to equalize in the final two of seven minutes of stoppage time – a dangerous-looking free kick into the penalty area and a well-struck cross on the ground from the right side from Villarreal – but Endler gobbled up both chances.
- Eight different players have scored for the USA in the tournament.
- This is the first time since 2007 that U.S. Soccer has sent a women’s team to the Pan American Games, a continental multi-sport event in the Americas featuring Olympic summer sports.
- While the USA is facing teams consisting mostly of senior National Team players, the USA has brought a U-19 team featuring the younger part of the USA’s Under-20 Women’s National Team player pool. The entire roster has yet to enter college as the collegiate players in the U-20 pool are all currently embroiled in their college campaigns.
- Seven players on the roster played for the USA at the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, in which the USA dominated Nigeria before falling in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal, so they have some experience at a major world event.
- The U.S. players who played in the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup are defenders Nicki Fraser and Jordyn Bugg, midfielders Charlotte Kohler and Lauren Martinho and forwards Samantha Smith (who is a defender on this roster), Emeri Adames and Amalia Villarreal.
- All the players on the U.S. roster are age-eligible for the team that will compete in the 2024 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup about a year from now in Colombia. U.S. Under-19 WYNT head coach Carrie Kveton named a Pan Am roster with 15 players born in 2006 and five born in 2005. The age cut-off to play in the U-20 World Cup next year is players born on or after Jan. 1, 2004.
- U.S. Soccer has competed in two Pan American Games for women’s soccer, the first in 1999 in Canada when U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team, coached by Jay Hoffman, won the gold medal with a 1-0 victory over an older Mexico squad.
- U.S. Soccer sent an Under-20 women’s team to the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil and advanced to the gold medal game by beating the senior Canada Women’s National Team, 2-1, in the semifinal, but then ran into a buzzsaw host side at the famed Maracanã Stadium and lost 5-0 to earn a silver medal. That U.S. team, coached by future two-time Women’s World Cup champion Jill Ellis, featured several future USWNT stars, including Alyssa Naeher, Lauren Cheney, Kelley O’Hara and Tobin Heath.
-U.S. UNDER-19 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States U-19 Women's National Team vs. Chile Women’s National Team
Date: October 31, 2023
Competition: 2023 Pan American Games – Semifinal
Venue: Estadio Sausalito; Viña Del Mar, Chile
Weather: 59 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CHI 2 0 2
CHI – Karen Araya 37th minute
CHI – Yanara Aedo (Penalty Kick) 45+3
USA – Emeri Adames 53
USA: 1-Sonoma Kasica; 2-Gisele Thompson, 18-Jordyn Bugg, 5-Nicki Fraser (4-Lizzie Boamah, 62), 13-Sammy Smith (3-Aven Alvarez, 72); 17-Eleanor Klinger (6-Grace Restovich, 73), 14-Claire Hutton (Capt.), 10-Lauren Martinho (8-Charlotte Kohler, 84); 7-Ava McDonald (11-Katie Collins, 61), 9-Amalia Villarreal, 16-Emeri Adames
Subs not used: 12-Kealey Titmuss, 15-Kendall Bodak
Head Coach: Carrie Kveton
CHI: 1-Christiane Endler (Capt.); 2-Michelle Olivares, 3-Helen Su Galaz (5-Fernanda Ramírez, 52), 18-Camila Sáez, 17-Fernanda Pinilla; 8-Karen Araya, 6-Yastin Jimenez, 10-Yanara Aedo, 9-Maria José Urrutia (14-Franchesca Caniguán, 80); 15-Daniela Zamora (16-Isadora Olave 90+2), 11-Yessebua Lopez (4-Karen Fuentes, 90+1)
Subs not used: 7-Yenny Acuña, 12-Antonia Canales, 13-Anais Alvarez
Head Coach: Luis Arturo Mena Irarrazával
Stats Summary: USA / CHI
Shots: 8 / 8
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 22
Offside: 2 / 2
USA – Lizzie Boamah (Caution) 65th minute
CHI -- Fernanda Ramírez (Caution) 90+4
Referee: Andreza Siqueira (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bárbara da Costa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Anne Gomes de Sa (BRA)
Fourth Official: Giselle Giler (ECU)