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US Soccer

U.S. U-20 WNT Falls to France 2-1 in Tightly-Contested Nike Friendlies Opener

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2018)—The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team dropped a hard-fought 2-1 result to France in its opening match of the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies. France struck first and last goal in Florida, while the USA showed it mettle to initially equalize behind a goal from forward Samantha Kroeger just after halftime.

The early-going was evenly-matched, as France showcased its speed and skill on the ball while the USA worked hard to create the game’s first chances. Forwards Reilyn Turner and Samantha Kroeger were spark-plugs for the U.S. attack in the opening stages, while Kroeger served as the turn-key in two of the USA’s best early opportunities, getting her foot on a nice ball into the box from Brianna Martinez in the opening 10 minutes and slotting in a threatening ball in the 20th.

France struck quickly in transition for the game’s opening goal in the 22nd. Winning the ball near the midfield stripe, Sonia Ouchene dribbled across the middle and threaded it to Melvine Malard streaking towards goal. While U.S. goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff got her fingertips on it, Malard pounced on the deflection to slot home the first goal for France.

While the U.S. managed a few dangerous balls into the box as the half progressed, it couldn’t find a finish. Heading into the break, the U.S. defense stood tall to fend off a few good chances from France. Hancuff made some nice saves in the 31st and first minute of stoppage time, while Martinez made a big tackle to squash a good look for France in the 44th.

The USA’s equalizer came with an exclamation point shortly after the half. Allen played a booming ball over the top up the left wing in the 53rd. Kroeger beat her defender to the ball and the five-foot-two forward unleashed a dipping long-range one-timer from outside the box to the far top corner.

Following the goal, the USA searched for a game-winner and held the better of the attack as Turner continued to provide danger and some second-half substitutes provided a spark. However, France broke through in the 77th, on another quick-strike goal. A nice interchange opened up Selma Bacha on the left wing and she played it to Malard near the six-yard-box, where the forward slotted it past a sliding defender and the ‘keeper for the goal that proved to be the difference.

U.S. substitute Rebecca Jarrett won a footrace on the right wing in the 86th and sent a cross in for a sliding Kroeger, but the goalkeeper slid to match her and deflected it off of her foot. In stoppage time, Jarrett was free again on the wing, and with the ‘keeper coming out to face her swung her shot just wide as France escaped giving up a second equalizer.

The USA continues the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies on Sunday, Dec. 9 against China PR at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on ussoccer.com and U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel.

Goal Scoring Rundown

FRA - Melvine Malard (Sonia Ouchene), 22nd minute: When Mickaella Cardia won the ball near the half line, France wasted no time getting forward in transition. Cardia played it to Ouchene, who controlled it and touched up to Malard on the run towards the net. She beat her mark by a step, and while U.S. goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff got her fingertips on the initial attempt on-goal, Malard took the deflection and put it into the back of the net for the game’s opening goal. USA 0, FRA 1

USA – Samantha Kroeger (Abby Allen), 53rd minute: After a free kick in the U.S. defensive third, Maycee Bell played to Abby Allen. From near the midfield stripe, she launched a booming ball up the left wing over the France defense to forward Samantha Kroeger. She one-timed a rocket from outside the box into the top right corner of the net to draw the USA even. USA 1, FRA 1

FRA – Melvine Malard (Selma Bacha), 77th minute: After winning the ball, Selma Bacha played it up to Sandy Baltimore near the half-line. Following the pass, Bacha cut up the left wing and Baltimore played it back to her through the defense. As she curled towards the corner of the box, she passed to Malard on the run towards goal. When a U.S defender slipped in the box, Malard took a moment, settled and slotted a ball to the right post, just beating a U.S. tackle attempt. USA 1, FRA 2 FINAL

Key Defensive Stops

FRA – Justine Lerond, Grace Kazadi, 10th minute: Brianna Martinez sparked the game’s first dangerous chance, playing a great ball in from just outside the top right corner of the box towards goal. Samantha Kroeger was there to receive near the six-yard-box, and got her leg up on the ball, but was sandwiched by French goalkeeper Justine Lerond and Grace Kazadi to keep things scoreless early.

USA – Hensley Hancuff, 31st minute: Maelvine Malard made a nice run across the middle of the field and played a nice ball past a diving U.S. defender to Mickaella Cardia on the run up the right wing. U.S. ‘keeper Hensley Hancuff was aggressive and dove on the attempt to snuff out any chance for a shot on goal.

USA – Brianna Martinez, 44th minute:
As France worked the ball upfield, Eva Kouache played a nice ball over the U.S. defense up the left wing to Julie Dufour. While she got to the ball first, Brianna Martinez, her marking defender, stuck with her and played her tight. A tough tackle poked the ball out and stifled any potential attempt.

FRA – Justine Lerond, 86th minute: Rebecca Jarrett provided a spark down the stretch as a substitute and catalyzed the USA’s best late chance. She used her speed to get loose on the left wing, beating her first marking defender and then evaded a slide-tackle attempt from another French player. As she approached the end line, she slotted a cross into the six-yard-box, and Samantha Kroeger was well-positioned to meet it. As she slid to put it on-goal, the French goalkeeper slid at the same time, getting a foot on it to poke it out of bounds.

- U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: December 7, 2018
Competition: 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Attendance: TBD
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:             1               2               F
USA                                             0               1               1
FRA                                              1               1               2

FRA – Melvine Malard (Sonia Ouchene)     22nd minute
USA – Sam Kroeger (Abby Allen)                     55
FRA – Melvine Malard (Selma Bacha)          77

Lineups:

USA: 22-Hensley Hancuff; 14-Abby Allen, 2-Brianna Martinez, 4-Maycee Bell, 3-Natalie Maurer, 8-Brianna Pinto (capt.), 23-Coriana Dyke (13-Isabella Cook, 70), 10-Emily Gray (6-Megan Bornkamp, 82), 7-Alexa Spaanstra (17-Rebecca Jarrett, 70), 9-Reilyn Turner, 11-Samantha Kroeger (20-Jaelyn Eisenhart, 82)
Substitutes not used: 1-Claudia Dickey, 12-Lisa Martinez, 5-Tori Hansen, 15-Elaine Rouse, 19-Leah Godfrey, 21-Sydney Simmons
Head Coach: Keri Sarver

FRA: 1-Justin Lerond, 5-Maëlle Lakrar, 14-Grâce Kazadi, 4-Emeline Saint Georges, 3-Selma Bacha, 19-Mickaella Cardia (18-Lorena Azzaro, 63), 8-Sonia Ouchene (9-Margaux Le Mouel, 63), 11-Sandy Baltimore, 10-Eva Kouache (capt.) (6-Carla Polito, 70), 17-Julie Dufour, 7-Melvine Malard (2-Magou Doucoure, 88)
Substitutes not used:  16-Camille Pinel, 13-Caroline Pimentel, 15-Laurène Martin, 20-Naomie Feller,
Head coach: Gilles Eyquem

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 16
Offside: 2 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
FRA – Selma Bacha (caution)                            76th minute

Officials:
Referee: Samantha Martinez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Cortez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wasiak (USA)
4th Official: Nicole Green (USA)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Samantha Kroeger

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U-20 WNT Dec 7, 2018

- U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: December 7, 2018
Competition: 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Attendance: TBD
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:           1             2             F
USA                                      0             1             1
FRA                                      1             1             2

FRA – Melvine Malard (Sonia Ouchene)   22nd minute
USA – Sam Kroeger (Abby Allen)                55
FRA – Melvine Malard (Selma Bacha)       77

Lineups:
USA: 22-Hensley Hancuff; 14-Abby Allen, 2-Bri Martinez, 4-Maycee Bell, 3-Natalie Mauer, 8-Brianna Pinto (capt.), 23-Cori Dyke (13-Isabella Cook, 70), 10-Emily Grey (6-Megan Bornkamp, 82), 7-Alexa Spaanstra (17-Rebecca Jarrett, 70), 9-Reilyn Turner, 11-Sam Kroeger (20-Jaelyn Eisenhart, 82)
Substitutes not used: 1-Claudia Dickey, 12-Lisa Martinez, 5-Tori Hansen, 15-Laney Rouse, 19-Leah Godfrey, 21-Sydney Simmons
Head Coach: Keri Sarver

FRA: 1-Justin Lerond, 5-Maëlle Lakrar, 14-Grâce Kazadi, 4-Emeline Saint Georges, 3-Selma Bacha, 19-Mickaella Cardia (18-Lorena Azzaro, 63), 8-Sonia Ouchene (9-Margaux Le Mouel, 63), 11-Sandy Baltimore, 10-Eva Kouache (capt.) (6-Carla Polito, 70), 17-Julie Dufour, 7-Melvine Malard (2-Magou Doucoure, 88)
Substitutes not used:  16-Camille Pinel, 13-Caroline Pimentel, 15-Laurène Martin, 20-Naomie Feller,
Head coach: Gilles Eyquem

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 16
Offside: 2 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
FRA – Selma Bacha (caution)                       76th minute

Officials:
Referee: Samantha Martinez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Cortez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wasiak (USA)
4th Official: Nicole Green (USA)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: TBD

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US Soccer

U.S. U-20 WNT Falls to France 2-1 in Tightly-Contested Nike Friendlies Opener

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2018)—The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team dropped a hard-fought 2-1 result to France in its opening match of the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies. France struck first and last goal in Florida, while the USA showed it mettle to initially equalize behind a goal from forward Samantha Kroeger just after halftime.

The early-going was evenly-matched, as France showcased its speed and skill on the ball while the USA worked hard to create the game’s first chances. Forwards Reilyn Turner and Samantha Kroeger were spark-plugs for the U.S. attack in the opening stages, while Kroeger served as the turn-key in two of the USA’s best early opportunities, getting her foot on a nice ball into the box from Brianna Martinez in the opening 10 minutes and slotting in a threatening ball in the 20th.

France struck quickly in transition for the game’s opening goal in the 22nd. Winning the ball near the midfield stripe, Sonia Ouchene dribbled across the middle and threaded it to Melvine Malard streaking towards goal. While U.S. goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff got her fingertips on it, Malard pounced on the deflection to slot home the first goal for France.

While the U.S. managed a few dangerous balls into the box as the half progressed, it couldn’t find a finish. Heading into the break, the U.S. defense stood tall to fend off a few good chances from France. Hancuff made some nice saves in the 31st and first minute of stoppage time, while Martinez made a big tackle to squash a good look for France in the 44th.

The USA’s equalizer came with an exclamation point shortly after the half. Allen played a booming ball over the top up the left wing in the 53rd. Kroeger beat her defender to the ball and the five-foot-two forward unleashed a dipping long-range one-timer from outside the box to the far top corner.

Following the goal, the USA searched for a game-winner and held the better of the attack as Turner continued to provide danger and some second-half substitutes provided a spark. However, France broke through in the 77th, on another quick-strike goal. A nice interchange opened up Selma Bacha on the left wing and she played it to Malard near the six-yard-box, where the forward slotted it past a sliding defender and the ‘keeper for the goal that proved to be the difference.

U.S. substitute Rebecca Jarrett won a footrace on the right wing in the 86th and sent a cross in for a sliding Kroeger, but the goalkeeper slid to match her and deflected it off of her foot. In stoppage time, Jarrett was free again on the wing, and with the ‘keeper coming out to face her swung her shot just wide as France escaped giving up a second equalizer.

The USA continues the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies on Sunday, Dec. 9 against China PR at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on ussoccer.com and U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel.

Goal Scoring Rundown

FRA - Melvine Malard (Sonia Ouchene), 22nd minute: When Mickaella Cardia won the ball near the half line, France wasted no time getting forward in transition. Cardia played it to Ouchene, who controlled it and touched up to Malard on the run towards the net. She beat her mark by a step, and while U.S. goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff got her fingertips on the initial attempt on-goal, Malard took the deflection and put it into the back of the net for the game’s opening goal. USA 0, FRA 1

USA – Samantha Kroeger (Abby Allen), 53rd minute: After a free kick in the U.S. defensive third, Maycee Bell played to Abby Allen. From near the midfield stripe, she launched a booming ball up the left wing over the France defense to forward Samantha Kroeger. She one-timed a rocket from outside the box into the top right corner of the net to draw the USA even. USA 1, FRA 1

FRA – Melvine Malard (Selma Bacha), 77th minute: After winning the ball, Selma Bacha played it up to Sandy Baltimore near the half-line. Following the pass, Bacha cut up the left wing and Baltimore played it back to her through the defense. As she curled towards the corner of the box, she passed to Malard on the run towards goal. When a U.S defender slipped in the box, Malard took a moment, settled and slotted a ball to the right post, just beating a U.S. tackle attempt. USA 1, FRA 2 FINAL

Key Defensive Stops

FRA – Justine Lerond, Grace Kazadi, 10th minute: Brianna Martinez sparked the game’s first dangerous chance, playing a great ball in from just outside the top right corner of the box towards goal. Samantha Kroeger was there to receive near the six-yard-box, and got her leg up on the ball, but was sandwiched by French goalkeeper Justine Lerond and Grace Kazadi to keep things scoreless early.

USA – Hensley Hancuff, 31st minute: Maelvine Malard made a nice run across the middle of the field and played a nice ball past a diving U.S. defender to Mickaella Cardia on the run up the right wing. U.S. ‘keeper Hensley Hancuff was aggressive and dove on the attempt to snuff out any chance for a shot on goal.

USA – Brianna Martinez, 44th minute:
As France worked the ball upfield, Eva Kouache played a nice ball over the U.S. defense up the left wing to Julie Dufour. While she got to the ball first, Brianna Martinez, her marking defender, stuck with her and played her tight. A tough tackle poked the ball out and stifled any potential attempt.

FRA – Justine Lerond, 86th minute: Rebecca Jarrett provided a spark down the stretch as a substitute and catalyzed the USA’s best late chance. She used her speed to get loose on the left wing, beating her first marking defender and then evaded a slide-tackle attempt from another French player. As she approached the end line, she slotted a cross into the six-yard-box, and Samantha Kroeger was well-positioned to meet it. As she slid to put it on-goal, the French goalkeeper slid at the same time, getting a foot on it to poke it out of bounds.

- U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: December 7, 2018
Competition: 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Attendance: TBD
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:             1               2               F
USA                                             0               1               1
FRA                                              1               1               2

FRA – Melvine Malard (Sonia Ouchene)     22nd minute
USA – Sam Kroeger (Abby Allen)                     55
FRA – Melvine Malard (Selma Bacha)          77

Lineups:

USA: 22-Hensley Hancuff; 14-Abby Allen, 2-Brianna Martinez, 4-Maycee Bell, 3-Natalie Maurer, 8-Brianna Pinto (capt.), 23-Coriana Dyke (13-Isabella Cook, 70), 10-Emily Gray (6-Megan Bornkamp, 82), 7-Alexa Spaanstra (17-Rebecca Jarrett, 70), 9-Reilyn Turner, 11-Samantha Kroeger (20-Jaelyn Eisenhart, 82)
Substitutes not used: 1-Claudia Dickey, 12-Lisa Martinez, 5-Tori Hansen, 15-Elaine Rouse, 19-Leah Godfrey, 21-Sydney Simmons
Head Coach: Keri Sarver

FRA: 1-Justin Lerond, 5-Maëlle Lakrar, 14-Grâce Kazadi, 4-Emeline Saint Georges, 3-Selma Bacha, 19-Mickaella Cardia (18-Lorena Azzaro, 63), 8-Sonia Ouchene (9-Margaux Le Mouel, 63), 11-Sandy Baltimore, 10-Eva Kouache (capt.) (6-Carla Polito, 70), 17-Julie Dufour, 7-Melvine Malard (2-Magou Doucoure, 88)
Substitutes not used:  16-Camille Pinel, 13-Caroline Pimentel, 15-Laurène Martin, 20-Naomie Feller,
Head coach: Gilles Eyquem

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 16
Offside: 2 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
FRA – Selma Bacha (caution)                            76th minute

Officials:
Referee: Samantha Martinez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Cortez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wasiak (USA)
4th Official: Nicole Green (USA)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Samantha Kroeger

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U-20 WNT Dec 7, 2018
US Soccer

PREVIEW: U-20 WNT Ready to Compete at 2018 Women's Nike International Friendlies

DAWN OF A NEW CYCLE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team kicks off a new cycle this week at the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies. Acting U-20 WNT head coach Keri Sarver has called in 20 players born after Jan. 1, 2000, the age cut-off date for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. In the second edition of the Nike Friendlies for U-20 WNT, the USA will take on France on Dec. 7 (6:30 p.m. ET) and China on Dec. 9 (6:30 p.m. ET) in the triangular tournament at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.  

Schedule - 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies

Dec. 7

USA vs. France

6:30 p.m. ET

Dec. 9

USA vs. China

6:30 p.m. ET

Dec. 11

China vs. France

3:00 p.m. ET

HOW TO FOLLOW: The 2018 Nike International Friendlies will be streamed live on ussoccer.comFacebook, Twitter and YouTube. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram.

REPPING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE: The U-20 WNT roster features 12 players born in 2000, four born in 2001 and four born in 2002. It’s headlined by two veterans from this summer’s U-20 Women’s World Cup: midfielder Brianna Pinto and forward Alexa Spaanstra. They’re the only players capped at the U-20 level, with 25 and four appearances, respectively. The pair also appeared at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, alongside current U-20 teammate Lia Godfrey, who made the 2016 roster as a 14-year-old.

Nine players logged minutes for the U-19 WNT in 2018, while four appeared for the U-18 WNT. Four also saw the field with the U-17 WNT, including forwards Samantha Kroeger and Reilyn Turner, who helped the team punch its ticket to the 2018 FIFA U-17 WWC at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship last summer. Turner scored the game-winning goal for the USA in its third group stage game against Canada at that tournament.

Eight players come from the collegiate ranks, while nine are currently playing in the second season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy.  

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster by Position – 2018 Nike Women’s International Friendlies
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.), Hensley Hancuff (Villanova; Edmond, Okla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Allen (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Maycee Bell (NC Courage Academy; Wichita, Kan.), Tori Hansen (NC Courage Academy; Raleigh, N.C.), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.), Natalie Maurer (Richmond United; Glen Allen, Va.), Elaine Rouse (NC Courage Academy; Cary, N.C.)     
MIDFIELDERS (6): Megan Bornkamp (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Mooresville, N.C.), Isabella Cook (Eclipse SC; Elmhurst, Ill.), Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Emily Gray (Virginia Tech; Sewell, N.J.), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.), Sydney Simmons (Duke University; Van Alstyne, Texas)              
FORWARDS (6): Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Washington Township, N.J.), Jaelyn Eisenhart (LAFC Slammers; Henderson, Nev.), Samantha Kroeger (NYCFC; West Milford, N.J.), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.), Reilyn Turner (So Cal Blues; Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Lia Godfrey (United Soccer Alliance; Fleming Island, Fla)          

BACK AT THE NIKE FRIENDLIES: While U.S. Soccer has hosted the Nike International Friendlies annually since 2001, and the men’s tournament has run in its current format with the U-17 Men’s National Team since 2008, this year marks the second U-20 international women’s competition at the Friendlies. Last year’s Women’s Nike International Friendlies featured Brazil, England and Finland. The USA finished third at the tournament, its last competition before the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, while England took home the title.

USA VS. FRANCE

  • The USA played France four times during the 2017-18 U-20 WNT cycle, going 3-0-1
  • Host of the 2018 U-20 WWC, France made it to the semifinals of the tournament on home soil, finishing fourth.
  • Ten players from France’s 2018 U-20 WWC roster are age-eligible for the 2020 U-20 WWC, and six of those players are with the team in Florida: goalkeeper Justine Lerond, defenders Selma Bacha and Maelle Lakrar, midfielder Melvine Malard and forward Sandy Baltimore.

France Roster by Position – 2018 Nike Women’s International Friendlies
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Justine Lerond (FC Metz), 16-Camille Pinel (Dijon FCO)
DEFENDERS (7): 3-Selma Bacha (Olympique Lyonnais), 2-Magou Doucoure (Stade de Reims), 14-Grâce Kazadi (Olympique Lyonnais), 5-Maelle Lakrar (Montpellier HSC), 12-Lisa Martinez (Montpellier HSC), 13-Caroline Pimentel (Paris FC), 4-Emeline Saint Georges (US St. Malo)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 17-Julie Dufour (LOSC), 10-Eva Kouache (Olympique Lyonnais), 8-Sonia Ouchene (Valencia CF/ESP), 6-Carla Polito (LOSC), 15-Laurene Martin (ESOF La Roche)
FORWARDS (6): 18-Lorena Azzaro (Olympique Lyonnais), 11-Sandy Baltimore (Paris Saint Germain), 19-Mickaella Cardia (Olympique de Marseille), 9-Margaux Le Moule (EA Guingamp), 20-Naomie Feller (Stade de Reims), 7-Melvine Malard (Olmypique Lyonnais)

  • All but one of France’s 20-player roster play domestically for 12 clubs across France, led by five players from Olympique Lyonnais.
  • Fourteen players are currently on the books at clubs playing in the Division 1 Feminine, French’s top professional flight for women.
  • Midfielder Sonia Ouchene is the lone foreign-based player, competing in Spain for Valencia CF.
  • Head coach Giles Eyqum has been in charge of the France U-20 squad since 2014, and started working in the French youth national team set-up in 2012. He enjoyed a long professional career in France, highlighted by long spells at Bordeaux, Cannes, Chamois Niortais and Angers.  
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U-20 WNT Dec 7, 2018
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About the 2018 Women's Nike International Friendlies

The 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies will take place from Friday, Dec. 7 through Monday Dec. 11. at the Premier Sport Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. While U.S. Soccer has hosted the Nike International Friendlies since 2001, this is the second year of the event for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. This year’s tournament will see the U-20 WNT launch a new cycle against France and China.

Here are five things to know about the tournament:

THE COMPETITORS

The 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies will feature the U-20 Women’s National Teams from China, France and the United States. All three squads will bring players born on or after Jan. 1, 2000, the age cutoff date for the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

It is the first international event for the new U.S. U-20 WNT cycle following last summer’s World Cup. The majority of the players are progressing to the U-20 age-group after spending the last cycle with the U-17, U-18 and U-19 sides. Acting U.S. head coach Keri Sarver will begin the process of building the player pool as the team spends 2019 preparing for the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship and the 2020 U-20 WWC.

China comes into the tournament after just missing out on the knockout round of last summer’s U-20 World Cup. The Asian side finished even on points with Nigeria for second place in Group D, but the Africans progressed with a better goal difference. This tournament begins the build-up to 2019 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship, to be held in Thailand in fall. 2019. The competition will serve as Asia’s qualifying tournament for the 2020 U-20 WWC as China looks to make its seventh appearance in the age-group’s culminating event.

France enters its new cycle on a high, finishing fourth at last summer’s U-20 World Cup. The tournament host lost in the semifinals to Spain, before missing out on the podium via penalties following a 1-1 draw with England in the third-place match. The Nike International Friendlies will serve as the beginning of preparations for the 2019 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championships, which will be held next July in Scotland. The tournament will serve as the UEFA qualifying competition for the 2020 U-20 World Cup.

HOW TO FOLLOW

The USA opens the tournament against France on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET and faces off against China on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Both matches will be live-streamed on ussoccer.com and the U.S. Soccer YouTube page. 

Schedule - 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies

Dec. 7

USA vs. France

6:30 p.m. ET

Dec. 9

USA vs. China

6:30 p.m. ET

Dec. 11

China vs. France

3:00 p.m. ET

 ALONGSIDE THE DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY WINTER SHOWCASE

For the second straight year, the Women’s Nike International Friendlies will take place alongside the girls portion of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase.

A total of 212 teams across four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-16/17, U18-19) will gather to play three games against teams they normally wouldn’t face in their regular season schedule. 

Every one of the 318 matches that will take place in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. during the girls event is hand-picked by the Development Academy staff based on geography, form, style of play, level of opposition and other factors to ensure the most meaningful competition.

With U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coaches in attendance alongside 44 members of U.S. Soccer’s Talent Identification staff, the Winter Showcase is a great opportunity for players to demonstrate that they deserve to be called into the YNT program.

REPRESENTING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE
The first roster of the new U-20 cycle features a mixture of college and youth club players born between 2000 and 2002. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2000 are age-eligible for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. 

Eight players ply their trade in college while the other 12 are members of youth clubs. Nine currently play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The NC Courage Academy is most well-represented with three players.

Claudia Dicky and Brianna Pinto were 2018 College Cup participants with the University of North Carolina, making a run to the tournament final. Alexa Spaanstra is also coming off a strong freshman campaign with University of Virginia, as she led the team in scoring with nine goals and six assists.

In the Academy, Maycee Bell is anchoring the defense of a NC Courage U-18/19 side that has four clean sheets in seven games. A 2016 U-17 WWC veteran, Lia Godfry gets the call-up to the U-20s with six goals in five games for a United Soccer Alliance outfit that is leading the Southeast Division as the clubs head into the Winter Showcase.

Players hail from 13 different states with North Carolina producing five players in Dickey, Tori Hansen, Elaine Rouse, Megan Bornkamp and Pinto. New Jersey is the next best-represented state with three players, while two players hail from Texas.

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster by Position – 2018 Nike Women’s International Friendlies:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.), Hensley Hancuff (Villanova; Edmond, Okla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Allen (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Maycee Bell (NC Courage Academy; Wichita, Kan.), Tori Hansen (NC Courage Academy; Raleigh, N.C.), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.), Natalie Maurer (Richmond United; Glen Allen, Va.), Elaine Rouse (NC Courage Academy; Cary, N.C.)     
MIDFIELDERS (6): Megan Bornkamp (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Mooresville, N.C.), Isabella Cook (Eclipse SC; Elmhurst, Ill.), Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Emily Gray (Virginia Tech; Sewell, N.J.), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.), Sydney Simmons (Duke University; Van Alstyne, Texas)              
FORWARDS (6): Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Washington Township, N.J.), Jaelyn Eisenhart (LAFC Slammers; Henderson, Nev.), Samantha Kroeger (NYCFC; West Milford, N.J.), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.), Reilyn Turner (So Cal Blues; Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Lia Godfrey (United Soccer Alliance; Fleming Island, Fla)                                                

YNT EXPERIENCE

In 2018, seven players on the roster saw time with the U.S. U-18 WNT while nine players featured for the U.S. U-19 WNT. A further four players garnered action with the U-17s.

Pinto and Spaanstra are the only holdovers from last summer’s U-20 World Cup team. Pinto came off the bench in all three matches in France and leads the squad with 25 U-20 caps and three goals. Forward Alexa Spaanstra featured four times for the U-20s in the last cycle, scoring once.

Abby Allen, Bell, Dyke, Natalie Maurer, Elaine Rouse, Bornkamp, Jaelyn Eisenhart, Samantha Kroeger and Reilyn Turner were all members of the U-19 squad that travelled to Holland at the beginning of the month for a pair of matches with the host.

Emily Gray and Brianna Martinez led the U-18s with four appearances each in 2018. Martinez is the cap-leader of the roster at the U-18 level with nine matches played. Dickey kept goal for three U-18 contests in the past year, going 1-0-2 with just four goals against. 

None of the current players represented the USA at the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup, although Reilyn Turner and Samantha Kroeger were members of the side that won the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship last summer.

 

 

 

 

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U-20 WNT Dec 5, 2018
US Soccer

U.S. U-20 WNT Opens New Cycle at 2018 Women's Nike International Friendlies

CHICAGO (Dec. 3, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will begin its new cycle this week as 20 players come together for the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies.

This year’s tournament will feature three teams – France and China PR along with the USA. The U.S. will take on France on Dec. 7 and China PR on Dec. 9, with both games set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET. China will face France on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. ET. All the matches will take place at the Premier Sports Campus and the USA’s two games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Keri Sarver will coach the U.S. team and has called up a mixture of college and youth club players who were born in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2000 are age-eligible for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Two players return from the USA’s 2018 FIFA U-20 WWC team: midfielder Brianna Pinto and forward Alexa Spaanstra. Pinto has earned 25 caps and scored three goals for the U-20s, while Spaanstra has made four appearances and netted once last cycle.

Both players just completed stellar freshman campaigns at North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. Pinto helped the Tar Heels to the 2018 College Cup Final, scoring six goals and adding eight assists alongside U-20 WNT goalkeeper Claudia Dickey, while Spaanstra led UVA in scoring with nine goals and also notched six assists playing on the front line for the Cavaliers with U-20 teammate Rebecca Jarrett.

In 2018, seven players on the roster saw time with the U.S. U-18 WNT, nine logged minutes with the U.S. U-19 WNT and four took the field with the U.S. U-17 WNT, but no players on this roster were on the USA’s 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup Team. Forwards Samantha Kroeger and Reilyn Turner were members of the U.S. team that won the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship that qualified the USA for the World Cup. Turner scored the USA’s lone goal in the 1-0 victory against Canada during group play.

Of the 11 youth club players, nine are currently playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including three from NC Courage.

U.S. U-20 WNT -  2018 Nike International Friendlies Roster by Position (Club/College; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.), Hensley Hancuff (Villanova; Edmond, Okla.)         
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Allen (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Maycee Bell (NC Courage Academy; Wichita, Kan.), Tori Hansen (NC Courage Academy; Raleigh, N.C.), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.), Natalie Maurer (Richmond United; Glen Allen, Va.), Elaine Rouse (NC Courage Academy; Cary, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Megan Bornkamp (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Mooresville, N.C.), Isabella Cook (Eclipse SC; Elmhurst, Ill.), Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club; Littleton, Colo.), Emily Gray (Virginia Tech; Sewell, N.J.), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.), Sydney Simmons (Duke University; Van Alstyne, Texas)               
FORWARDS (6): Jaelyn Eisenhart (LAFC Slammers; Henderson, Nev.), Lia Godfrey (United Soccer Alliance; Fleming Island, Fla.), Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Washington Township, N.J.), Samantha Kroeger (NYCFC; West Milford, N.J.), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.), Reilyn Turner (So Cal Blues; Aliso Viejo, Calif.)                                                                                

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U-20 WNT Dec 3, 2018

2018 Women's Nike International Friendlies

U-20 WNT December 7, 2018 - December 11, 2018
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