CHICAGO – Bellmore, N.Y. resident and forward Erin Gilory was one of 21 players named to the U.S. Under-20 team for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup that will be held in the Brittany region of northwestern France Aug. 5-24, it was announced Tuesday afternoon.
Gilroy, who attends the University of Tennesse, was among six players who were not part of the American squad that participated in CONCACAF qualifying.
U.S. head coach Jitka Klimkova named the final roster after the completion of a training camp last week in Portland, Oregon, that featured two matches against Brazil.
The roster is made up of 16 collegiate players and five youth club players who will enter college this fall. All five competed in the recently completed first season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 are eligible for the World Cup. The U.S. roster is made up of seven players born in 1998, 10 born in 1999 and four born in 2000.
“Honestly, these were some of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make in my coaching career,” Klimkova said. “The overall pool was so competitive and we needed every training session and game before we selected the final 21. We are confident that the group we picked is the best team. We looked at many factors over the past year from their influence and decision making in games to their training mentality and versatility, to the intangibles, and of course their performances in international matches. The credit goes to the players for their work ethic and mental toughness throughout the process.”
The other five players who were not part of the USA’s World Cup qualifying campaign in Trinidad and Tobago: goalkeeper Hillary Beall, defender Emily Fox, defender Samantha Hiatt, forward Penelope Hocking and forward Alexa Spaanstra.
Three players – Fox, midfielder Savannah DeMelo and forward Ashley Sanchez – return for their second U-20 Women’s World Cup after featuring at the 2016 tournament in Papua New Guinea. While DeMelo only played sparingly at the tournament two years ago, she’s figured prominently in this cycle and heads to France as the squad’s most-capped player with 36 U-20 appearances. After playing in all six of the USA’s games in Papua New Guinea, Fox missed almost a year on the field due to recovery from ACL surgery, but proved her fitness during the USA’s Portland training camp to make the squad. In 2016, Ashley Sanchez became the first U.S. player to score in a U-17 and U-20 WWC in the same year.
The roster (College or club; hometown; U-20 caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Hillary Beall (Michigan; Laguna Beach, Calif.; 0/0), Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 12/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 10/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Emily Fox (UNC; Chapel Hill, N.C., 32/3), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; San Jose, Calif.; 17/0), Samantha Hiatt (Stanford; Newcastle, Wash.; 11/1), Tara McKeown (USC; Newbury Park, Calif.; 22/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 19/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 16/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 19/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 36/5), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 26/2), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 22/3), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 12/2), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 23/1)
FORWARDS (6): Erin Gilroy (Tennessee; Bellmore, N.Y.; 4/2), Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues; Anaheim, Calif.; 9/3), Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 24/6), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 33/11), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 3/0), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 25/21)