FRISCO, Texas (July 20, 2023) – The US Youth Soccer (USYS) alumni connections are strong down under with 23 former USYS players competing for the United States in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The total of 23 represents the entire U.S. squad.
Additionally, six referees are set to take the fields in Australia and New Zealand to officiate World Cup matches.
The United States Women’s National Team roster features 21 players who participated in the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP), with two more who also played under the US Youth Soccer banner.
The ODP alumnae are:
- Alanna Cook, New Jersey
- Savannah Demelo, Cal South
- Crystal Dunn, Eastern New York
- Julie Ertz, Arizona
- Emily Fox, Virginia
- Naomi Girma, Cal North
- Lindsey Horan, Colorado
- Sofia Huerta, Idaho
- Aubrey Kingsbury (née Bledsoe), Ohio
- Rose Lavelle, Ohio
- Kristie Mewis, Massachusetts
- Alex Morgan, Cal South
- Casey Murphy, New Jersey
- Alyssa Naeher, Connecticut
- Kelley O’Hara, Georgia
- Megan Rapinoe, Cal North
- Ashley Sanchez, Cal South
- Emily Sonnett, Georgia
- Sophia Smith, Colorado
- Andi Sullivan, New Jersey
- Alyssa Thompson, New Jersey
In addition to the successes in US Youth Soccer ODP, two members of the U.S. World Cup roster enjoyed team success while competing in USYS competitions.
- Trinity Rodman and the 13U SoCal Blues (Cal South) were runners-up at the 2015 National Championships. Moreover, Rodman squared off against USYS ODP competition while playing for a U.S. Youth National Team at the 2016 USYS ODP Interregional in Boca Raton, Fla.
- Lynn Williams competed in the Far West Regional Championships in 2011 after claiming a State Cup title with East Fresno United (Cal North).
You can view the 2023 USWNT Roster here.
USYS is also well represented with six referees officiating Women’s World Cup matches this year. They include:
- Tori Penso – Referee | NCS Regionals, ODP
- Katja Koroleva – Referee |National Championships, Regionals
- Kathryn Nesbitt* – Assistant Referee | Regionals, ODP
- Felisha Mariscal – Assistant Referee | National Championship, Regionals, ODP
- Brooke Mayo – Assistant Referee | National Championship, Regionals for both NCS and Presidents Cup
- Armando Villareal* – Video Assistant Referee | National Championship, Regionals
*Officiated at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup
The U.S. Women’s National Team will open its journey at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Vietnam, squaring off in Group E play at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand, on July 22 (1 p.m. NZT; July 21 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock). The World Cup opener will be the first match ever between the two nations, as well as the first ever World Cup game for Vietnam.
Links to Photos of former USYS players and current USWNT Players During Their Youth Careers:
Savannah DeMelo (Golden Ball)
Savannah DeMelo (Team)
Savannah DeMelo (Action)
Alex Morgan (ODP)
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide worldclass support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and one million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects
families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, coach and referee offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment at every level of the game.
– USYS –