VALPARAISO, Chile (Nov. 3, 2023) – The U.S. Under-19 Women’s Youth National Team won the bronze medal at the 2023 Pan American Games with a 2-0 victory over Argentina during a tournament in which it faced much older players in every match.
Forward Amalia Villarreal scored on a nifty finish in the 31st minute and midfielder Clarie Hutton buried a driven shot from distance in the 38th as U.S. head coach Carrie Kveton’s young side was always in control of the match.
The USA won Group B at this tournament but fell 2-1 in a hard-fought semifinal against host Chile, a team that was playing with numerous senior National Team starters. That forced the USA into a bronze medal clash with Argentina, a team the USA beat 4-0 in group play.
This bronze medal rounded out a full complement of medal colors for the U.S. Women’s National Team program at the Pan Am Games. In 1999, the USA won gold and in 2007, the USA took silver. Those were the USA’s only two other appearances in this competition.
The young Americans, playing with players born in 2005 and 2006 who have yet to enter college, played a mature game, controlling the pace and producing more dangerous changes than their opponents.
In the group match between the teams, the USA scored in the 15th and 20th minutes to take a 2-0 lead into halftime, but it took the USA just over 30 minutes to break the deadlock in this medal match.
The goal sequence started with a long ball from central defender Nicki Fraser that turned the Argentinian backline. Forward Emeri Adames chased it down and put on the pressure, causing an errant pass that was picked up by midfielder Grace Restovich. Restovich dribbled centrally from the left wing and then slipped a perfect pass into the penalty area that beat numerous defenders and put Villarreal behind the defense. From about eight yards out, Villarreal whipped her shot into the right corner past the onrushing goalkeeper.
The USA doubled its lead seven minutes later on a world class finish from Hutton. Outside back Gisele Thompson started the attack up the right side of the field and played a pass to midfielder Charlotte Kohler who played Hutton checking down the middle of the field. Hutton turned and launched a shot from 35 yards out with her left foot that sailed over the flying goalkeeper and just under the crossbar into the right side of the goal. Villarreal’s goal was her team-leading fourth of the tournament and Hutton’s was her second.
Argentina hit the right post with a header off a free kick from Sophia Braun in 42nd minute, but the USA would keep the South Americans at bay for the rest of the game.
The USA had two more golden chances to extend the lead, but they were both well-saved by Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa. In the 64th minute, forward Katie Collins got in behind the defense, cut inside near the top of the penalty box to free herself from a retreating defender and fired a shot that drew a diving save out of Correa as she parried it away.
Seconds later, U.S. goalkeeper Kealy Titmuss, a second-half substitute, made a diving save to preserve the shutout.
In the 83rd minute, Emeri Adames got loose on a long breakaway, but that too was well-saved by the patient Correa, who got her body in front of the shot.
- Eight different players 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.
- Although the USA faced teams consisting mostly of senior National Team players, the USA 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.
- 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 the 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. Argentina Women’s National Team
Date: November 3, 2023
Competition: Pan American Games - Bronze Medal Match
Venue: Estadio Elias Figueroa; Valparaíso, Chile
Weather: 73 degrees, sunny and windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
ARG 0 0 0
USA – Amalia Villarreal (Grace Restovich) 31st minute
USA – Claire Hutton (Charlotte Kohler) 37
USA: 1-Sonoma Kasica (12-Kealey Titmuss, 46), 2-Gisele Thompson (Sammy Smith, 82), 18-Jordyn Bugg, 5-Nicki Fraser (4-Lizzie Boamah, 64), 3-Aven Alvarez; 14-Claire Hutton (Capt.) (Katie Collins, 54), 6-Grace Restovich, 8-Charlotte Kohler (10-Lauren Martinho, 46); 15-Kendall Bodak, 9-Amalia Villarreal, 16-Emeri Adames
Subs not used: 7-Ava McDonald
Head Coach: Carrie Kveton
ARG: 1-Vanina Correa (Capt.), 2-Adriana Sachs (10-Marciel Pereyra, 46), 3-Eliana Stabile, 5-Camila Gomez Ares, 6-Aldana Conetti, 7-Romina Nunez, 13-Sophia Braun (8-Daiana Falfan, 75), 14-Miriam Nayorga, 15-Milagros Martin (9-Paulina Granaglia, 46), 17-Agostina Holzheier (16-Brisa Priori, 87), 18-Estefania Palomar (11-Erica Lonigro, 60)
Subs not used: 4-Julieta Cruz,12-Laurina Oliveros,
Head Coach: German Portanova
Stats Summary: USA / ARG
Shots: 9 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 18
Offside: 3 / 2
USA – Lauren Martinho (caution) 90+2nd minute
Referee: Stefani Escobar (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Elibeth Higuera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Garcia (VEN)
Fourth Official: Gabriela Arce (PAR)