Head Coach: Mark Carr
Major Competition: 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
Eligibility: Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2001
The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team saw Mark Carr named the full-time head coach at the beginning of 2017. He will oversee the program with the goal of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Players eligible for the upcoming Women’s World Cup must be born on or after Jan. 1, 2001.
Carr and his staff will run the squad through a vigorous preparation schedule that will include a mixture of domestic camps and foreign trips this year which includes multiple tournaments as the staff and coaches get the chance to get acclimated to the conditions they hope to face during the next U-17 Women’s World Cup.As this is the first year of the new cycle, the players are technically Under-16s and in the second year – the World Cup year – the players will be U-16s and U-17s, with perhaps some of the top U-15s thrown into the mix as well. The busy schedule is designed to prepare these 15, 16 and 17-year olds for the biggest competition of their young careers.
U.S. Soccer first added the U-17 Women's National Team to its programming at the end of 2002. The U-17 program was initiated as U.S. Soccer felt it was vitally important to get more talented players training with national team coaches and with the best players in their age group. The philosophy for the U-17s is to accelerate the development of the USA’s best young players and better prepare them for the game’s highest levels through training with top players and international matches.
Starting in 2008, the age group got its own world championship, an exciting prospect for the young Americans who will get the chance to compete for their country in a CONCACAF qualifying competition and then hopefully the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
The U-17s had a successful year in 2012, going 19-1-4 overall and 13-0-4 in international matches, but learned how cruel the game can be, especially in a World Cup, when the squad became the first U.S. women’s team to fail to advance out of group play in a World Cup tournament. Despite not losing a match, the USA’s 6-0 win against Gambia and draws with eventual finalists France (0-0) and Korea DPR (1-1) made the USA the first team ever to exit a FIFA women’s tournament after the group stage while earning five points.
Still, 2012 saw the USA register wins over the U-17 teams from Germany and China, the U-19 teams from France and the Netherlands and a win over the full Slovenian Women’s National Team. The USA also drew 0-0 with China’s U-20s. The USA rolled through CONCACAF qualifying while earning five shutouts, out-scoring their opponents 26-0 including a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Canada to win the regional title in Guatemala. Summer Green led the USA in scoring with 16 goals, including 12 at qualifying, the most ever for an American player during a CONCACAF qualifying event.
In 2011, Albertin Montoya took over the program and started building but also refining the player pool as he developed a team that played an attractive ball-possession attacking style. The young U.S. team went 1-1-2 in international matches, facing Germany and Japan twice each.
The U.S. U-17s had an odd year in 2010 as head coach Kazbek Tambi put together an incredibly talented group that outscored its opponents 38-0 at CONCACAF Qualifying in Costa Rica, but fell in the all-important semifinal in penalty kicks to Canada to end its World Cup dreams.
The U-17s had a tremendous build-up schedule in place which included games against the Germany, Brazil and Japan U-17s, but one missed penalty kick rendered the preparation moot. The team nevertheless went 16-2-3 during 2010 including a 13-2-3 record in international play with its only losses coming to Japan three months after the disappointment at qualifying.
In 2009, the U-17s put together an overall record of 7-2-2 including 4-2-1 in international games and ended the year with an impressive four-game sweep of the U-17 and/or U-20 sides from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay in Buenos Aires. The U.S. played three close matches with a German team one year older to start the year, but tied once and lost twice at the event in Florida.
After coaching the U.S. U-16s in 2007, Tambi moved with the age group to U-17s in 2008 to prepare for qualifying for the historic 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the first of its kind for this age group. In 2008, the U-17s compiled a record of 19-3-2 and 11-2-1 in international matches while winning the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Trinidad & Tobago and came within minutes of winning the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, eventually falling 2-1 in overtime to Korea DPR.
In 2007, as this age group began its run to the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the team went 9-1-0, defeating two college teams as well youth sides from Germany (U-17), Denmark (U-19), England (U-19), Argentina (U-20) and Uruguay (U-17). The only setback was a loss to the Argentina U-17s.
In 2006, the U-17s defeated and tied the German U-17s twice early in the year and then lost to two women’s clubs before reeling off six straight wins including a 4-1 triumph against the Argentina U-20s. The only setback in international matches was a 2-1 loss to the full Argentina Women’s National Team. In 2005, the U-17s defeated Germany’s U-17s twice, and defeated Japan’s U-18s, but struggled on a trip to Mexico where they lost to Mexico and Canada’s U-20s and Mexico’s U-18s.
In 2004, the U-17s defeated Canada’s U-17s with a resounding 5-2 win and downed Germany’s U-17s, 2-1. In 2003, the U.S. went undefeated in international matches, defeating Canada and Germany (twice). The U-17s also went undefeated against much older competition at the U.S. Soccer Festival in Houston, Texas. In fact, the only loss of the year came in a 4-3 shootout to the U.S. U-16 Girls in the first match of the year.
The U-17s played their first three matches in late November of 2002, two against older regional teams, and then won its first international 3-0 against Scotland in Boca Raton, Fla. on Nov. 30, 2002.