With the U.S WNT program in need of a boost after some disappointing recent results 18-year-old Olympic veteran, Mallory Pugh headlines the 21 player roster announced today to represent the U.S. at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup next month in Papua New Guinea.
U.S.A. coach Michelle French will be hoping that Pugh is fully recovered from a troublesome ankle injury suffered at the Olympics that limited the star forward during the Americans disappointing winless and goalless effort at the NTC Challenge Cup held last month at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Pugh leads what should be a formidable U.S. attack also featuring rising U17 star Ashley Sanchez, who heads to Papua New Guinea fresh off of a discouraging early exit from the U17 World Cup.
French can also call on talented forwards Jessica Scarpa and Ally Watt, so unlike at the U17 WWC, goals shouldn’t be a problem for the Americans at the U20 tournament.
Although the Americans have never won U17 WWC, expectations will be higher for the older group given the U.S. history at this event. The Americans captured the inaugural U20 tournament in 2002, also taking the title in 2008 and 2012. Defending champions Germany are also three-time winners, having claimed the spoils in 2004 and 2014.
The Young Yanks were eliminated by North Korea after penalty kicks in the 2014 Women’s World Cup in Canada and will be hoping to improve on that performance while attempting to put the recent disappoints in the U.S. Women’s National Team including premature exits at the Olympics and U17 World Cup program behind them.
U.S. Group Games Schedule:
Monday, November 14 vs. France.
Thursday, November 17 vs. New Zealand
Monday, November 21 vs. Ghana
U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup Team Roster :
GOALKEEPERS (3): Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7): Madeline Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Sabrina Flores (Notre Dame; Livingston, N.J.), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Natalie Jacobs (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Taylor Otto (North Carolina; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins (Tennessee; Forest, Va.), Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Florida; Leawood, Kansas)
FORWARDS (4): Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues: Monrovia, Calif.), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.)