The U.S. Under-20 women’s national team will begin its journey at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship vs. Cuba in the Domican Republic on Saturday (3 p.m. ET).
The march marks the USA’s first step towards qualification for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held this summer in Costa Rica and Panama.
The U-20 WNT continues Group C play on Monday, Feb. 24 vs. host Dominican Republic (3 p.m. ET) and wraps up the group stage on Wednesday, Feb. 26 vs. Honduras (6 p.m. ET).
All of the USA’s Group C matches will be played at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. You can follow the U-20 WNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com as well as U.S. Soccer Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The year’s tournament features a new 20-team format after all previous tournaments were comprised of eight teams in two groups of four. This year, 16 countries have been drawn into four groups of four, while four countries advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament. The top three finishers in each group will qualify to the Round of 16, where they will be joined by the four teams from the pre-qualifying tournament. From there, it’s a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The two winners of the semifinal matches will qualify to the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
This year’s Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship will only send two teams to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, rather than the usual three, due to the World Cup being played in the Concacaf region and hosts Costa Rica and Panama receiving automatic bids.
The USA has won five Concacaf championships at this level, including four of the last five. The first tournament, held in 2002, did not produce a champion as the two group winners advanced to the first FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup without semifinals or a championship game being played. The USA then won five of the next eight tournaments, losing the final to Canada in 2004 and 2008 and to Mexico in 2018. The USA has advanced to the final at every tournament that has held one, facing Canada five times and Mexico three times. This year, the U.S. will look to win its first title since 2015 after falling to Mexico in a penalty kick shootout in 2018.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.; 0/0), Julia Dohle (Penn State; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Maycee Bell (UNC; Wichita, Kan.; 4/1), Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.; 0/0), Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.; 25/0), Shae Holmes (Washington; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 2/0), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.; 4/0), Emily Mason (PDA; Flemington, N.J.; 2/0), Kennedy Wesley (Stanford; Rossmoor, Calif.; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Talia DellaPeruta (Köln/GER; Cumming, Ga.; 4/0), Katelyn Duong (Minnesota; Portland, Ore.; 3/0), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.; 4/1), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.; 32/4), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 13/2), Summer Yates (Washington; Pasco, Wash.; 4/2)
FORWARDS (5): Mia Fishel (UCLA; San Diego, Calif.; 0/0), Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Clifton, N.J.; 5/0), Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas; 7/1), Trinity Rodman (SoCal Blues SC; Newport Beach, Calif.; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 27/23)