Monday, March 4, 2024
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Kansas City Current forward Alex Pfeiffer named to U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for U17 Concacaf Championship Tournament

Top two teams from the tournament will qualify for FIFA U17 World Cup

CHICAGO – U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team head coach Katie Schoepfer has selected a 21-player roster to represent the USA at the 2024 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship which will be played from Feb. 1-11 in Toluca, Mexico.

All matches will take place at the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FMF) headquarters in Toluca, outside of Mexico City.

As the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is taking place in the Concacaf region in the Dominican Republic, giving the hosts an automatic berth, only two teams will qualify from this tournament instead of the usual three.

In Mexico, the USA will take aim at one of those two berths to the World Cup as well as a fourth consecutive Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. The USA won this tournament in 2016, 2018 and 2022, but the 2020 competition was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“A group of these players have been playing together since they were Under-15s, and they have a lot of international experience for their age,” said Schoepfer. “Now is the time to take that next step to see what they can do in a World Cup qualifying tournament and try to qualify for their first World Cup. These are exciting times for women’s soccer, we have professional players on a U-17 Concacaf roster for the first time and we are looking forward to learning a lot in Mexico as these young players continue their soccer journeys.”

2024 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)
Goalkeepers (3): Franky Dunlap (NC Courage Academy; Raleigh, N.C.), Molly Vapensky (Chicago FC United; Evanston, Ill.), Kennedy Zorn (SC del Sol; Peoria, Ariz.)

Defenders (7): Trinity Armstrong (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Lexi Coughlin (Legends FC; Corona, Calif.), Kiara Gilmore (FC Dallas; Allen, Texas), Jordyn Hardeman (Solar SC; Midlothian, Texas), Daya King (Legends FC; Moreno Valley, Calif.), Katie Scott (Internationals SC; Fairview, Penn.), Jocelyn Travers (FC Bay Area Surf; Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Midfielders (6): Kimmi Ascanio (Florida United SC; Doral, Fla.), Melanie Barcenas (San Diego Wave; San Diego, Calif.), Riley Cross (PDA; Chatham, N.J.), Kennedy Fuller (Solar SC; Southlake, Texas), Ainsley McCammon (Solar SC; Bedford, Texas), Y-Lan Nguyen (Virginia Development Academy; Fairfax, Va.)

Forwards (5): Carrie Helfrich (Virginia Union FC; McLean, Va.), Rylee McLanahan (FC Dallas; Edmond, Okla.), Alex Pfeiffer (Kansas City Current; St. Louis, Mo.), Leena Powell (Tudela FC; Culver City, Calif.), Mya Townes (TSJ FC Virginia; Aldie, Va.)

This is the first-ever U.S. Under-17 Women’s World Cup qualifying roster to include professional players: 16-year-old midfielder Melanie Barcenas from San Diego Wave FC and 16-year-old forward Alex Pfeiffer from the Kansas City Current. Barcenas is entering her second year as a pro – she played in seven matches in 2023 for the Wave, spanning 116 minutes – while Pfeiffer will enter her rookie year this upcoming season after KC announced her contract in November as the fourth-youngest player to sign in the NWSL. Barcenas became the youngest player in league history when she signed with San Diego in March of 2023.

After Concacaf changed the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship to feature 20 teams – which resulted in quite a few lopsided scores – the tournament returns to its original format, with eight teams divided into two groups of four teams each.

The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout stage and cross over in the semifinals. The semifinal winners will qualify for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and play for the championship, while the semifinal losers will meet for third place.

The U.S. U-17s kick off the tournament on Friday, Feb. 2 vs. Panama, take on Puerto Rico on Sunday, Feb. 4 and wrap up the group stage vs. Canada on Tuesday, Feb. 6. All the U.S. group games will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) and kick-off at 5 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. local time.

The semifinals will be played on Friday, Feb. 9, and the Championship Game and Third-Place Match are on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Group A features host Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Haiti.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2007, are age-eligible for the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. Schoepfer selected 20 players born in 2007 and one born in 2008, soon-to-be 16-year-old Kimmi Ascanio from Florida United. She is the youngest player on the qualifying squad.
  • Eleven of the players on the roster played for Schoepfer on the team that won the 2022 Concacaf U-15 Girls’ Championship that was played in Tampa, Fla. Those players are goalkeepers Molly Vapensky and Kennedy Zorn, defenders Lexi Coughlin, Jordyn Hardeman, Daya King and Katie Scott, midfielders Ascanio, Kennedy Fuller and Ainsley McCammon and forwards Carrie Helfrich and Alex Pfeiffer.
  • This group of U.S. U-17s comes into World Cup qualifying having had two training camps together – one in September in Carson, Calif, where they beat Japan 2-0 and tied 3-3, and one in early January in San Diego. Pfeifer scored all three goals in that second match vs. Japan.
  • Two pro clubs and fourteen different youth clubs from 11 different states are represented on the roster, with Texas clubs FC Dallas and Solar FC each having three players on the roster. Legends FC out of Southern California has two. Five players each hail from California and Texas.
  • Before heading to Mexico, the U-17s will train in Guatemala for eight days. Schoepfer will bring four alternates to Guatemala for training purposes – forwards Maddie Padelski from Tennessee SC and Ayva Jordan from Slammers FC HB Koge (Calif.), midfielder Bella Devey from the Utah Avalanche and defender Mya Brandon from the Michigan Hawks. The alternates will not travel to Mexico, barring any injuries.
  • Jordan and Brandon were also on the team that won the 2022 Concacaf U-15 Girls’ Championship.
  • Pfeiffer, who will be participating in her first preseason training camp with the KC Current, will join the U.S. team in Mexico.
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