Olympian Mallory Pugh and U-17 captain Ashley Sanchez headline Michelle French’s 21-player roster for the U-20 Women’s World Cup later this year. French named her roster on Thursday for the World Cup, which runs from Nov. 13-Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea.
The U.S. will play France, New Zealand and Ghana in the group stage
Pugh played and started in the last U-20 World Cup as a 16-year-old. She debuted for the senior national team this year and already has four goals and seven assists in 17 matches at the senior international level, including a goal against Colombia at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Pugh has 17 goals in 23 caps for the U.S. U-20 team.
“Throughout this cycle, we have gone through an extensive process evaluating a number of players in various environments,” French said. “The final World Cup roster is comprised of players that provide great depth and versatility in every position. The way in which players competed to be a part of the roster, their commitment to be a part of this cycle, and their overall dedication to each other, has been tremendous. This group of players is highly motivated which has proven to be the impetus for their individual and collective development, particularly over the last six months.”
Sanchez captained the U.S. at the U-17 Women’s World Cup, which the Americans crashed out of last week to continue a wretched run in that age group. The U.S. has alternated failure to qualify and group-stage exits in the last four cycles of the U-17 World Cup. Sanchez earned a call-up to the senior team’s camp earlier this year. She will be the youngest U.S. player at this World Cup and the only player born in 1999. She tallied three goals and five assists in U-20 qualifying.
Penn State leads all schools five players on the U.S.’ U-20 roster, all of whom were with the Nittany Lions for last year’s NCAA title.
Pugh, Sanchez, Emily Fox, Savannah DeMelo and Brooke Heinsohn are age-eligible for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
The complete roster is as follows:
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.)
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