U-17 WNT Kicks Off New Cycle with Trip to Italy and Slovenia for the 2nd Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni
CHICAGO (April 7, 2017) – U.S. Soccer has announced the hiring of Jitka Klimkova as head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team and Mark Carr as head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team.
Klimkova has been a U.S. Soccer Women’s Development Coach since January of 2015, serving as the head coach of the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team, while Carr has been a U.S. Women’s Development Coach since November of 2014, serving as head coach of the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team. Both have also worked as assistant coaches for other age groups. In its continuing efforts to be a world leader for the women’s game, U.S. Soccer has had full-time head coaches for the U-20 and U-17 Women’s National Teams since 2013.
U.S. Soccer will also announce its 2017 coaches for the U-14, U-15 and U-16 Girls’ National Teams and U-18 and U-19 Women’s National Teams in the near future.
The several years of experience with their respective age groups will serve Klimkova and Carr well as they transition to the U-20 and U-17 levels. Klimkova will oversee all aspects of the U-20 WNT program and will be charged with preparing the team for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World cup that will be held in France. Her first U-20 WNT camp will start on April 8 in San Diego.
Carr will oversee all aspects of the U-17 WNT program and will be charged with preparing his squad for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup that will be held in Uruguay. He will coach the U-17 WNT for the first time at the Delle Nazioni Tournament in Gradisca, Italy in late April.
The coaches will also manage the integration and programming of the National Teams just below their age groups – for Klimkova the U-18 and U-19 WNTs and for Carr the U-15 and U-16 GNTs -- to maximize the evaluation and movement of players between the age groups for training camps and matches during the World Cup cycle.
“Over the last few years we’ve hired a cadre of Development Coaches as part of a plan to expose them to the international game and develop them into future candidates for our World Cup age-groups,” said Women’s Youth National Teams Director April Heinrichs. “In hiring Mark and Jitka as our U-17 and U-20 coaches respectively, we’re putting two of our best and most experienced coaches in front of our best players. They have age-appropriate head coaching experience on the international level, are familiar with our player pools, methods of coaching, style of play and philosophy. Mark and Jitka will start with their respective teams in their upcoming camps without skipping a beat.”
Klimkova, who also speaks Czech, German and Russian, has more than 20 years of coaching and playing experience at the national team, professional and youth club levels in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and her native Czech Republic.
Klimkova, 42, came to U.S. Soccer from the New Zealand Football Federation, where she was head coach of the New Zealand U-17 Women’s National Team, coaching the team at the 2014 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Costa Rica, and an assistant coach for the Ferns U-20 Women’s National Team over 2013 and 2014. She was also the assistant coach for the senior New Zealand Women’s National Team in 2014.
“I love working for U.S. Soccer and continuing to embrace the many challenges of being successful at the international level,” said Klimkova. “I have always dreamed big, had ambitious goals and worked hard to achieve those goals, which are qualities we will ask for from our players. My main motivation is to work with extremely talented players, coaches, support staff to help make all of us better. I look forward to continuing to create a positive and successful culture within our Youth National Teams.”
In 2016, Carr coached the U.S. team that participated for the first time in the CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship (the second time the tournament has been held). Carr led the USA to wins in all seven games by shutout and defeated Costa Rica 5-0 in the semifinal and Canada 2-0 in the championship game to take the regional title. The core of that team will be transitioning to the U-17 level this year, making Carr familiar with the player pool.
Carr, 38, came to U.S. Soccer after spending three years (2012-2014) as the Girls’ Premier League Director and Technical Director for the Lonestar Soccer Club in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining U.S. Soccer full-time, Carr has been active in the Women’s National Team programs, serving as a scout, helping run U.S. Soccer Training Centers in Texas and assisting with the U-14 Girls’ National Team camps.
“Working day in and day out with U.S. Soccer and learning from some incredible people around me while coaching the U-15 Girls’ National Team has prepared me to take on this fantastic opportunity,” Carr said. “Moving up with this group is a natural progression that I feel very comfortable with and I’m extremely honored and excited to continue the development journey with this special group of players. My focus will be to help each player grow and develop and continue through our pathway, while at the same time, embracing the opportunity to qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup and then doing our best to win it.”Read more
AMMAN, Jordan (Oct. 8, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team fell to Japan 3-2 in its final group game at the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup and was eliminated from the tournament.
After a goal from Ashley Sanchez put the USA up in the 33rd minute, the Americans took a 1-0 lead into halftime and were in position to qualify for the quarterfinals, even after Japan tied the game in the 53rd minute. That all changed around the 68th minute when Ghana scored against Paraguay in the other group match taking place at the same time, meaning the USA needed a goal to win the game and earn the three required points to advance.
Instead, it was Japan that scored twice and the USA is headed home after finishing third in Group D. Japan won the group with nine points from three wins. Ghana finished second with six points from two wins and a loss and the USA was third with three points from an opening game win against Paraguay, followed by losses to Ghana and Japan. Paraguay failed to earn a point. Ghana defeated Paraguay 1-0, meaning the USA would have had to beat Japan to advance.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of how resilient our players were in the first half and the second half, as you saw from the game, our girls never quit,” U.S. U-17 WNT head coach B.J. Snow said following the game. “When you play Japan, in order to win you have to expend so much energy for 90 minutes. And we’ve done it. We beat them three times in a row before tonight. We know what it feels like, and we know what if feels like to coach against them. It is ridiculously hard. You know you’re going to give up chances against Japan, that is inevitable. Our goalkeeper had a really great game, our defense had a great game, and in the end, you have to tip your hat sometimes. The chances that they get, they put them away. We had a couple that we didn’t put away. That’s how the game goes, you take care of your chances and you need a break sometimes. We didn’t get any breaks today.”
Sanchez pulled a goal back in stoppage time for the final score line, converting a penalty kick after she was taken down in the box, but the Americans would have needed two more scores. The USA had two goals called back for offside in the second half.
Japan, as it is apt to do against any team, had most of the possession in the match, but the USA played gritty, smart and organized defense in the first half to keep Japan from creating too much danger. When the Americans gained possession, it looked to counter and put pressure on the Japan back line numerous times in the first half. The USA out-shot Japan 6-3 in the first half, putting three shots on goal to Japan’s zero and got the goal it needed from Sanchez.
“This is something that we’ve all been dreaming of since we were little and it just came to an end tonight,” said U-17 WNT starting goalkeeper Laurel Ivory. “I’m not really thinking about my individual performance tonight because there were so many people on that field that had spectacular performances. There’s a lot of people on that field, not just one, so the team effort is what I’ll focus on.”
Unfortunately for the USA, it couldn’t hold the lead against the reigning champions – who played an excellent second half and eventually out-shot the USA 22-10 for the match. The USA exits after group play for the second time in the three U-17 Women’s World Cup tournaments for which it has qualified.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ashley Sanchez, 33rd minute: Despite Japan dominating most of the possession the USA got the first goal off a goal kick as Laurel Ivory crushed her service deep into the Japan half of the field. The ball skimmed off the top of a Japanese defender’s head and behind the back line. Sanchez squeezed through two defenders to earn a breakaway and calmly slid the ball just inside the left post from 17 yards out as the goalkeeper attempted to close her down. USA 1, JPN 0
JPN – Riko Ueki, 53rd minute: Japan took a corner kick from the left side and it was headed dangerously on goal. A U.S. defender was able to clear it off the line at the left post, but the ball did not travel far enough and it fell to Ueki, who headed into the roof of the net to tie the game. USA 1, JPN 1
JPN – Oto Kanno (Hinata Miyazawa), 75th minute: Japan got its second goal once a nice combination at the top of the penalty box as 8 slipped in 9 and she had an easy finish to push it past Ivory into the lower left side of the net from eight yards out. USA 1, JPN 2
JPN – Hinata Miyazawa, 77th minute: Japan put a capper on the match off a fantastic finish from distance Miyazawa. She dribbled in from the left side and struck a blast from outside the box the flew into the upper left corner past the flying Ivory. USA 1, JPN 3
USA – Ashley Sanchez (penalty kick), 90+1: Sanchez was brought down in box as she split two defenders and then took the kick herself, slotting the ball into the lower left corner, but it was too little too late for the USA. USA 2, JPN 3. FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops
USA – Laurel Ivory, 51st minute: Riko Ueki got behind the U.S. defense off a nice flick inside the box and was squared up one-on-one with Ivory, albeit from a poor angle. Ueki tried to lift the ball into the far post and Ivory knocked it down with one hand and fell on the loose ball.
JPN – Momoko Tanaka, 56th minute: The USA sent a long pass over the top of the defense on the right side and Civana Kuhlmann ran onto it at the top of the penalty box. She was able to get off a shot, but Tanaka cut down the angle well and gobbled up the shot.
USA – Laurel Ivory, 65th minute: Japan counter-attacked after the USA gave away ball in midfield. Hinata Miyazawa got free inside the box and shot from closer range, but Ivory stood her ground to make what at the time was a key save.
USA – Laurel Ivory, 79th minute: A driven shot from the top of the box forced Ivory to dive hard to her left to push it wide.
USA – Laurel Ivory, 88th minute: With the USA pushing forward in numbers in a last ditch attempt to get the goals it needed, Japan came back the other way and Ivory brilliantly saved a breakaway.
USA – Laurel Ivory, 89th minute: Ivory saved another one-on-one attempt, this time with kick to keep the game close.
JPN – Momoko Tanaka, 90th minute: This time it was the Japanese goalkeeper’s turn to save a breakaway, and she swept the ball off the feet of U.S. substitute Sophie Smith as she tried to dribble around her.
- The USA’s two losses in the last two games of group play marked the first and only losses in international competition for this group of players in this cycle.
- The USA had beaten Japan in 2015 (3-1) and 2016 (2-1) at the U.S. Soccer NTC Invitational.
- Sanchez ends her U-17 international career with 21 goals in 21 games.
- This was the first World Cup cap in the international career of Jordan Canniff.
- The USA made all three allowed subs in the game as Frankie Tagliaferri came on for Jordan Canniff in the 63rd minute, Sophie Smith came on for Jaelin Howell in the 70th and Adrienne Richardson came on for Isabel Rodriguez in the 79th.
- U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Japan U-17 Women’s National Team
Date: Oct. 8, 2016
Competition: 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – Group D
Venue: Amman International Stadium; Amman, Jordan
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Weather: 73 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
JPN 0 3 3
USA – Ashley Sanchez 33rd minute
JPN – Riko Ueki 53
JPN – Oto Kanno (Hinata Miyazawa) 75
JPN – Hinata Miyazawa 77
USA – Ashley Sanchez (penalty kick) 90+1
USA: 1-Laurel Ivory; 9-Kiara Pickett, 5-Karina Rodriguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 13-Isabel Rodriguez (19-Adrienne Richardson, 79); 2-Jordan Canniff (20-Frankie Tagliaferri, 63), 18-Jaelin Howell (3-Sophia Smith, 70), 8-Brianna Pinto, 7-Alex Spaanstra; 10-Ashley Sanchez (capt.), 14-Civana Kehlmann
Subs Not Used: 6-Emily Smith, 11-Kate Wiesner, 12-Meagan McClelland, 15-Kennedy Wesley, 16-Sydney Zandi, 17-Lia Godfrey, 21-Hillary Beall
Head Coach: B.J. Snow
JPN: 1-Momoko Tanaka; 2-Nana Ono, 3-Reina Wakisaka (14-Seira Kojima, 62), 11-Hana Takahashi, 20-Nanami Kitamura; 7-Saori Takarada (15-Remina Chiba, 87), 8-Hinata Miyazawa, 10-Fuka Nagano (capt.), 17-Oto Kanno, 21-Sakura Nojima (13-Mayu Karahashi, 82); 9-Riko Ueki
Subs Not Used: 4-Miyu Takahira, 5-Riko Ushijima, 6-Rio Kanekatsu, 12-Chiaki Kogure, 16-Jun Endo, 18-Mayu Mizuguchi, 19-Miyu Tomita
Head Coach: Naoki Kusunose
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 10 / 22
Shots on Goal: 7 / 9
Saves: 6 / 5
Corner Kicks: 1 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 3 / 2
Referee: Yeimy Martinez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Luzmila Gonzalez (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Liliana Bejarano (BOL)
Fourth Official: Sandra Braz (POR)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Ashley Sanchez