U.S. Under-20 WNT Gathers To Go To Cayman Islands

U.S. Under-20 WNT Gathers To Go To Cayman Islands

U.S. Under-20 WNT head coach Michelle French will have a very talented team at her disposal at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championships, which begin Jan. 9 in the Cayman Islands.

French selected a 20-player squad that is made up of 18 collegiate players, one professional and one player still in high school.

The lone professional is Linsey Horan, who scored 16 goals for her French club Paris Saint-Germain this past season. She [show_disconnected][show_to accesslevel=’Subscriber’]originally had committed to play collegiate soccer at UNC, but changed her mind to sign a professional contract right out of high school.

Midfielder Andi Sullivan from Bethesda SC (MD) is the youngest player on the roster, having just turned 18.

“At every position, we feel these players are technically proficient and possess a great understanding of how we want to play in order to be successful as a team,” said French. Getting them to play up their potential is French’s charge.

The U.S. is favored to win the eight-team tournament. The Americans open against Costa Rica on Jan. 9, face Jamaica on Saturday, Jan. 11, and finish group play against Guatemala on Jan. 13. The top two teams in the two groups advance to the semifinals. The two finalists and the third-place winner will advance to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Four Stanford players are on the 20-player roster, including former U-17 co-captain Maddie Bauer. The other co-captain, Notre Dame’s Morgan Andrews, is also on the team.

Horan, the team’s leading scorer in the last U-20 qualifying cycle, did not play in the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Cup because of a knee injury. The U.S. defeated Germany 1-0 in the 2012 championship game.

Eight of the players selected by French were members of the U.S. team that played at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan where the Americans tied eventual champions France and runners-up Korea DPR in group play, but became the first women’s team in FIFA history to earn five points and fail to advance to the knockout round. They were eliminated on goal differential.

Among the top goalscorers coming off outstanding first-year collegiate seasons is Savannah Jordan, who scored 23 goals for the Florida Gators. Makenzy Doniak knocked in 20 goals as a sophomore in helping lead Virginia to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Women’s College Cup Final Four.

Sophomore McKenzie Meehan also scored 20 goals for Boston College, and Harvard freshman Margaret Purce tied the Ivy League in goals scored with 11.

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