Natalia Astrain Names U.S Roster For 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
CHICAGO (Sept. 22, 2022) – US Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team head coach Natalia Astrain has named the 21 players who will represent the United States at the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in India from Oct. 11-30.
The USA kicks off Group A on Tuesday, Oct. 11 against host India (10:30 am ET on FS2) in Bhubaneswar. The match will be played in a stadium that will likely be filled to capacity (19,000). The USA continues the group on Oct. 14 vs. Brazil (7 am ET on FS2) and wraps up first round play against Morocco on Oct. 17 (10:30 am ET on FS2). All of the matches of the tournament will be broadcast on either Fox Soccer Plus or FS2.
Astrain named the final roster after a successful three-game trip to Spain at the end of August in which the USA won and drew with Spain and then defeated Germany. Due to the global pandemic, this group of players didn’t return to international play until late April of this year at the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship in the Dominican Republic, a tournament in which the USA won all seven of its games to qualify for the World Cup and take the regional title.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2005, are age-eligible for this World Cup. Astrain chose 16 players born in 2005 and five born in 2006. Eleven players will be 17 years old at the start of the World Cup and 10 will be 16.
“I give a lot of credit to players for how much this group has grown in a short time,” said Astrain. “They are a very united team, not only in their dedication to playing our style of soccer on the field, but in supporting each other off the field. They are a team full of positive spirit and competitiveness, and the opportunity to represent the USA in a World Cup is one they are embracing with humbleness and tremendous excitement. We are really looking forward to seeing the positive impact this World Cup will have on their developmental journeys.”
Astrain named 15 players who were part of the USA’s Concacaf championship team (in part due to a few injuries late in the selection process) and six players who made late runs to earn a World Cup roster spot. This will be the first U-17 Women’s World Cup since 2018 after the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the global pandemic and thus the first World Cup experience for every player on the roster.
The tournament will be a truly special experience for midfielder Mia Bhuta, whose father was born in Mumbai and grew up in Rajkot in the state of Gujarat in Western India. He came to the USA when he was 16 years old and now his daughter, the first-ever player of Indian descent to represent the US Women’s National Team in a World Cup, will get to do so in a country in which she still has many relatives.
2022 US Under-17 Women’s World Cup Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Abigail Gundry (NC Courage; Wake Forest, NC; 5), Victoria Safradin (Internationals SC; Eastlake, Ohio; 7), Valentina Amaral (Florida Kraze Crush; Oviedo, Fla.; 2)
DEFENDERS (6): Ella Emri (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.; 3/0), Nicola Fraser (Real Colorado National; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 8/1), Jorydn Bugg (San Diego Surf; El Cajon, Calif.; 0 /0), Savannah King (Slammers FC HB Koge; West Hills, Calif.; 9/0), Cameron Roller (Solar SC; Sherman, Texas; 8/1), Gisele Thompson (Total Futbol Academy; Studio City, Calif. ; 9/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Mia Bhuta (Internationals SC; Pittsburgh, Pa.; 10/2), Riley Jackson (Concorde Fire; Roswell, Ga.; 8/2), Charlotte Kohler (MVLA; Woodside, Calif.; 8/6), Lauren Martinho ( NC Courage; Cary, NC; 10/5), Ella Sanchez (Racing Louisville; Louisville, Ky.; 3/0)
FORWARDS (7): Emeri Adames (Solar SC; Red Oak, Texas; 3/2), Onyeka Gamero (Beach FC; Cerritos, Calif.; 9/5), Nicollette Kiorpes (NEFC; Worcester, Mass.; 8/5), Melina Rebimbas ( PDA; Warren, NJ; 10/8), Samantha Smith (Boise Thorns FC; Boise, Idaho; 10/3), Taylor Suarez (Charlotte SA; Charlotte, NC; 9/2), Amalia Villarreal (Michigan Jaguars FC; Lansing , Mich.; 10/8)
The 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup features 16 nations divided into four groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group advance to the knockout round quarterfinals. All 32 matches of the tournament will take place across three venues in India: Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on the east coast and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa and DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, which are located on the west coast.
2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Group A Schedule – USA
USA vs. India
Kalinga Stadium; Bhubaneswar
USA vs. Brazil
Kalinga Stadium; Bhubaneswar
USA vs. Morocco
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa
- With eight career goals each at this level, forwards Melina Rebimbas and Amalia Villareal enter this World Cup as the USA’s leading scorers.
- The six players on the World Cup roster who were not a part of the US team at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship are goalkeeper Valentina Amaral, defenders Ella Emri and Jordyn Bugg, midfielder Ella Sanchez and forwards Emeri Adames and Samantha Smith.
- Nineteen of the 21 players on the roster have been capped at the U-17 level, led by midfielder Mia Bhuta, Rebimbas and midfielder Lauren Martinho, who all have 10 caps. Bugg and Smith are uncapped.
- The roster is made up of players from 17 different youth clubs and 13 different states. Defender Giselle Thompson plays in MLS Next for the U-17 boys’ team at Total Futbol Academy in Los Angeles.
- Six players hail from California, four come from North Carolina and two are from Texas. Players also come from Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania
- The youth clubs who played multiple players on the roster are the NC Courage (3), San Diego Surf (2), Solar FC (2), and Internationals SC (2).
- Of the 21 players on the roster, eight are currently high school seniors, 10 are in their junior year and two are sophomores. Bhuta has graduated from high school and will enroll early at Stanford University in January.
- This will be the first World Cup as US head coach for Natalia Astrain, who took over the program in November of 2021. Astrain joined US Soccer after spending the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season with the Kansas City Current and brings a wealth of coaching experience in both the professional and youth ranks. In her native Spain, she served as head coach for FC Barcelona, Club Damm, Club Levante Las Planas and as an assistant with Atletico Madrid and the Spain Women’s National Team. She also spent time as technical director of Barcelona’s women’s academy.