Tribal Football

The Week in Women's Football: Hayes enjoys impressive start with USA; Australia do China double

The Week in Women's Football: Hayes enjoys impressive start with USA; Australia do China double
The Week in Women's Football: Hayes enjoys impressive start with USA;
The Week in Women's Football: Hayes enjoys impressive start with USA;Tribalfootball
This week, we look at some women’s national team matches during the recent June international window, including results and team rosters, focused on games involving the U.S., Canada’s two game series versus Mexico, Jamaica from CONCACAF (in a two match set against Brazil away), and Australia (including the final Olympic Games Finals roster, China and Korea Republic from the AFC.

We also touch on the teams involved in the expanded (24 teams) U-20 Women’s World Cup later this summer in Colombia, with the draw recently released. We also include information on the U.S. and Korea Republic, who also played two internationals in the U.S. in preparation for this summer’s U-20 FIFA Finals, and we look at the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team, which played Australia during the FIFA window.

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U.S. Women’s National Team defeats Korea Republic in Emma Hayes’ first two matches as head coach

The U.S. defeated Korea Republic 4-0 in suburban Denver on Emma Hayes debut as USWNT head coach on June 1. Mallory Swanson and Tierna Davidson both scored twice. The game attracted a sellout crowd of 19,010 to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the home of the Colorado Rapids of MLS in suburban Commerce City, outside of Denver. Davidson had only one goal in her previous 57 caps for the U.S. but ghosted at the far post twice to score from corners kicks on headers. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell earned her eighth cap but her first since October 2021 (also against Korea Republic) with the shutout.

The U.S. led Korea Republic in shots (15 vs. 4) and shots on goal (9 vs. 4) but was even on corner kicks (4 vs. 4). Defender Sam Staab will be known as the first player to make her debut under Emma Hayes; she came on as a substitute in the 61st minute and is the 249th player all-time to earn a cap for the USWNT and the first to do so in 2024. Staab has U.S. Youth National Team experience with the U-19s and earned three caps with the U.S. U-23s in 2018, scoring against Norway in a 1-0 win in Sarpsborg, Norway. The win kept the U.S. unbeaten against Taegeuk Ladies all-time (12-0-4) and is 8-0-1 for games all-time in Colorado.  

In the second game on June 4 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Crystal Dunn scored in the 13th minute and Sophia Smith and Lily Yohannes added second half goals for a 3-0 win over Korea Republic. Rose Lavelle became the 43rd WNT player to achieve 100 caps in front of a crowd of 19,169 on a night with torrential rains in the Twin Cities. Yohannes’ goal came on her national team debut as a second half substitute and the 16-year-old—who plays in Netherlands with Ajax and has WCL game experience this season, starting six WCL games for Ajax who made it to the quarterfinals before falling to… Emma Hayes’ Chelsea 4-1 on aggregate—could be pushing herself into the Olympic Games Final roster picture (see more below).

Yohannes, who became the third youngest goal scorer in U.S. national team history behind only Kristine Lilly and Tiffany Roberts, said after the match: “It’s a dream come true, really. I mean, I played this scenario out in my head like how many times before this game? Just having the idea of coming on and scoring.” Hayes said about Yohannes contributions to the team that she was a “press resistant player” who can elude pressure and is a very good passer: “She’s a natural footballer. She’s confident in her abilities. I think playing in Europe has accelerated her learning. (She) Plays for a big club in Ajax, plus she’s been playing in Champions League, so she’s had exposures that many American 16-year-olds have not. And it shows.”

This is the second consecutive call-up for Yohannes, who was on the USA roster for the SheBelieves Cup but did not see action in either match. Yohannes, who signed a professional contract at the age of 15 with Ajax, was born in Springfield, Va., and her family moved to the Netherlands when she was 10 years old. She attended U.S. Youth National Teams camps at the U-15 and U-16 levels and was invited to participate with the U.S. U-17 Women’s Youth National Team prior to CONCACAF qualifying during this World Cup cycle, but commitments to Ajax, where she is a regular starter for the team that finished runner-up finish in the Women’s Eredivisie to qualify for the 2024-25 WCL, precluded her participation. It will be interesting to see if Ajax releases her for the U-17 WWC Finals later this year in Dominican Republic.

The second game was more even than the first one in Colorado, due in part to the conditions but also a more compact and physical Korean side, resulting in a less pronounced dominance by the U.S. compared with the first game—the U.S. doubled Korea Republic on shots (14 vs. 7) in Minnesota but the two sides were much closer for shots on goal (5 vs. 3) and corner kicks (6 vs. 4), as they were for fouls committed (8 vs. 11). The U.S. continued its unbeaten run in 17 matches (13 wins and 4 ties) and is 14-3-0 all-time in Minnesota and 3-0-0 at Allianz Field, the home of Minnesota United FC Loons of MLS. This game was also the 400th all-time in the U.S., with the Americans holding a 341-36-22 record, with 1390 goals for and only 210 allowed.

As the tenth coach in team history, Emma Hayes has only four friendlies (including the two Korea games) before the Olympic Games Finals start next month, compared with 16, which was the previous record for the fewest number of games that any American coach has had before a major tournament. She will have to select her final roster before the final two friendlies in July against Mexico in Harrison, New Jersey and Costa Rica in Washington D.C.

Hayes (47) has done a masterful job with the media, particularly ahead of and at her first game in Colorado, emphasizing that her new job is “a privilege.” She was surprised initially by the offer for a position that she feels is the biggest women’s football coaching job in the world: “I needed this more than I realized. I was stunned for a couple of days, that’s for sure. It took a little bit to sink in and maybe only now I am in the job, it has sunk in. I’ve got to do the one job I wanted to do more than anything else.”

Hayes said the U.S. aren’t feared by other teams like they once were but that is the goal for the historic standard bearer in the women’s game: “For me, it’s a little bit like Brazil in the men’s game: historically what this team has stood for, what they have advocated for, what they have represented as women, not just in this country but to the women’s game worldwide. It’s fitting for me to be with them and vice versa. I think we are coming together at the right time.”

Hayes coached previously in the States with the W-League Long Island Lady Riders and the fully professional Chicago Red Stars in WPS in 2009 and 2010 and took the Chelsea job in 2012. Even though she has such short lead time, she is very excited about taking the team to the Olympics in Paris this summer: “Going to the Olympics for me is a dream. I pinch myself that I get to lead the women’s U.S. national team at the Paris Olympics. You spend so much time thinking that success is merely medals. For me it’s so much more than that. It’s being in the position I’m in and having the privilege to lead again another fabulous football team. That’s a gold medal for me, but if I am to get any medal in this tournament, for sure it will be an unbelievable summer.”

  

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Club)—June Friendlies vs. Korea Republic

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Hal Hershfelt (Washington Spirit), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax, NED)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

 

Training players (4): Croix Bethune (Washington Spirit), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), Kate Wiesner (Washington Spirit)

 

The team had to balance player minutes for players returning from injury as well as players from abroad, who recently had important games or a massive travel itinerary of late: midfielder Lindsey Horan played in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final (a 2-0 defeat) the week before while defender Emily Fox flew with Arsenal to Australia for a high-profile game against the A-League Women All-Stars, after qualifying for the 2024-25 WCL and winning the League Cup this season (see: The Week in Women's Football: A-League check; Mexico for Lehmann; Liga MX review - TribalFootball.com). Besides Horan and Fox, three other players were called in from European clubs: Catarina Macario, who helped Chelsea FC win the Women’s Super League title with Hayes, Korbin Albert, who helped Paris Saint-Germain win the French Cup and finished runner-up to Horan’s Lyon in the league, and Lily Yohannes of Ajax.

 

The other 18 players come from the NWSL, which is about a third of the way through its season. Seven NWSL clubs contributed players to this roster, led by NJ/NY Gotham FC, which had five players. The Washington Spirit had four and San Diego Wave FC had three, with two each from the Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns and with one each from the Houston Dash and North Carolina Courage. Just three players on this roster have 100 or more caps: Alex Morgan (223), Lindsey Horan (146) and Crystal Dunn (145).

Strong NWSL play has earned two players their first-ever senior National Team call-ups in 27-year-old Chicago Red Stars defender Sam Staab and 21-year-old Washington Spirit midfielder Hal Hershfelt. Staab, Hershfelt and Yohannes are the three uncapped players on the roster. Hershfelt, the fifth pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft out of Clemson, earns her first National Team call-up at any age level. She has scored two goals so far this season for the Spirit.

     

In addition, Hayes has named four training players who will not be on the game rosters but will train with the team during the camp: midfielders Olivia Moultrie, Croix Bethune, Andi Sullivan and defender Kate Wiesner. Bethune and Wiesner are U.S. Women’s Youth National Team veterans but this will be their first training experience with the senior team. Bethune has been hugely impressive this season in the NWSL for the Washington Spirit with four goals (tied for seventh in the league) and eight assists (leading the league). Moultrie has four career caps and two goals in Portland. Sullivan (28) has 52 career caps and three goals for the USA and was a member of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team where she started all four matches. All of the training players departed camp before the first match. 

 

With Emma Hayes officially in charge, TribalFootball.com has joined other media outlets of late to project the most likely U.S. roster for the Olympics. The sure picks are expected to be:

 

Possible USWNT Roster for 2024 Paris Olympic Games Finals

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago, Red Stars

DEFENDERS (5): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 

MIDFIELDERS (4): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC)

FORWARDS (4):, Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit),  Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

For the other three spots on the 18 player squad, in defense one more player could be added from the following three:

Bubble: Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars), Abby Dahlkamper (San Diego Wave)

For one more midfielder, Korbin Albert or Lily Yohannes are the most likely selections. Albert has played well with the USWNT and in France with PSG but was involved in a heated controversy with her teammates earlier this year, as she is seen as less than welcoming of the LGBTQ community through her social media posts/likes and could pay the price via a spot in France. In addition, Yohannes would be a good pick to experience the experience and help her and the U.S. youth national teams for possibly both the U-17 and U-20 WWC Finals later this year.

Bubble: Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Lily Yohannes (Ajax, NED)

For forward, Crystal Dunn, who has played in the back for many years but did lead the NWSL in goals in 2015 with 15 and was the league Most Valuable Player that season after being a late cut for the 2015 WWC, could be picked over Alex Morgan—which would have been unheard of a few years ago as Morgan’s place has always been assured as long as she was healthy—but Dunn is much more flexible at playing in different decisions, whereas Morgan is primarily a central striker.

To Morgan's credit, she always performs on the biggest stages so this will not be an easy decision at all. Not in the camp for the Korea matches, Lynn Williams has scored three goals in seven games this year and could be a late consideration as a backup striker but the 18 player Olympic roster limit is quite restrictive. Youngsters Croix Bethune and Olivia Moultrie definitely will be key players with the team in the future—very likely in the 2027 WWC—but the limited squad sizes of the Olympic Finals side likely will see them without a seat on the plane to France.

Bubble: Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC, Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Croix Bethune (Washington Spirit), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), 

For goalkeeper, as long as Alyssa Naeher recovers from her thigh injury, she is the likely starter in France. Jane Campbell has been stellar this season for Houston but could be edged out by Casey Murphy of North Carolina, who has more NWSL playoff experience and played in the top tier in France. If Naeher is still injured next month, Campbell and Murphy would both be selected.

Bubble: Casey Murphy (North Carolina).

Olympic Games Finals teams are allowed to name four alternates, who would practice with the team and could replace one of the 18 in case of injury or some unforeseen situation. TribalFootball.com projects that the four alternates for the U.S. would be Abby Dahlkemper in defense (assuming that Sam Stabb makes the final 18), Korin Albert in midfield (assuming Lily Yohannes is in the 18), Alex Morgan (behind Dunn) and Casey Murphy in goal (if Campbell is selected behind Naeher).

 

Korea Republic Roster and Notes for their U.S. trip

English native head coach Colin Bell called in 23 players for the two games against the USA. Leading the way was captain and midfielder Ji So-Yun of the Seattle Reign, who played eight seasons for current U.S. head coach Emma Hayes at Chelsea FC. Ji is by far the top scorer on this roster, with 71 goals in 160 matches, followed by Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Lee Guemmin, who has scored 27 goals in 88 games for her country. Birmingham City midfielder Cho Sohyun has 26 goals in her 152 caps.

Another NWSL player on the roster is 16-year-old Casey Phair, a Korean-American who has not yet played for Angel City but played during the 2023 Women’s World Cup (the youngest player to ever do so at 16 years and 26 days) and was the first Korean diaspora player brought into the team. She was a substitute in the first two group matches and started in the historic 1-1 tie with Germany, which knocked the latter out of the World Cup at their earliest stage ever.

Phair was born in South Korea to an American father and South Korean mother, but her family moved to the New Jersey when she was one month old. She played her club soccer for PDA and was the first multiracial player to ever receive a call-up to the South Korea Women’s National Team. She is also one of very few players to have been capped by a high-level senior national team before having ever played professionally for any club, having signed with Angel City in January of 2024.

While Ji was the first South Korean to play in the FA WSL, but she is one of three players on this roster plying her trade in Europe along with Cho Sohyn, Lee Guemmin and Madrid CFF defender Lee Yongju.

The remaining 19 players on the roster all play their club soccer domestically, five of them for the Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, the 2023 WK League champions and current league leaders.

 

The roster for Korea Republic’s June trip to the U.S. was:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-CHOI Yeseul (Gyeongju KHNP WF), 18-KIM Jungmi (Incheon Hyundai Steel WFC), 21-KIM Kyeonghee (Suwon FC Women)

DEFENDERS (8): 2-LEE Eunyoung (Changnyeong WFC), 3-HONG Hyeji (Incheon Hyundai Steel WFC), 4-WON Jueun (Ulsan Hyundai High School), 5-GO Yuna (Hwacheon KSPO), 16-KWON Daeun (Ulsan Hyundai High School), 17-LEE Youngju (Madrid CFF, ESP), 20-KIM Hyeri (Incheon Hyundai Steel WFC), 22-CHOO Hyojoo (Incheon Hyundai Steel WFC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-HONG Seoyoon (Gwangyang Girl's High School), 7-LEE Jungeun (Hwacheon KSPO), 8-CHO Sohyun (Birmingham City, ENG), 9-LEE Geummin (Brighton & Hove Albion FC, ENG), 10-JI Soyun (Seattle Reign FC, USA), 14-JEON Eunha (Suwon FC Women), 19-LEE Sohee (Incheon Hyundai Steel WFC), 23-KANG Chaerim (Suwon FC Women)

FORWARDS (4): 11-CHOE Yuri (Birmingham City, ENG), 12-MOON Mira (Suwon FC Women), 13-Casey PHAIR (Angel City FC, USA), 15-CHUN Garam (Hwacheon KSPO)

South Korea played four matches during the February and April FIFA windows this year, defeating the Czech Republic (2-1) away and the Philippines twice at home (3-0 and 2-1), while losing to Portugal away (5-1).

 

US Women’s Deaf National Team

TribalFootball.com has looked at other football codes in recent years, including indoor football (in a hockey rink) in the Southeastern U.S., beach and futsal (see last week’s column: The Week in Women's Football: Reviewing English, Scottish & Spanish Leagues; Barca win Quad - TribalFootball.com) and now deaf football (11-a-side). Deaf football holds the closest resemblance to the standard game, with only two main rules that differentiate it. First, the sport is contested by Deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes, with qualifying players needing to have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in their “better ear”. All players competing in Deaf matches must remove all hearing aids before playing. Secondly, referees have a flag which they raise along with blowing their whistle to provide a visual cue for players to know when play has stopped. Aside from those two adaptations, Deaf Soccer follows the standard 11-a-side Laws of the Game governed by the International Football Association Board.

The U.S.-Korea game WNT friendly (see above) in Colorado was the second game in a unique doubleheader with the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team facing Australia in the first ever Deaf national team match held in the U.S., which was curious as the team is a multiple gold medalists in past international events. Emily Spreeman scored a record six goals (and provided four assists) while Holly Hunter scored two goals and Ani Khachadourian, Paige Beaudry and Sabina Shysh also scored in an overwhelming 11-0 win.

This was the first time an all U.S. women’s national teams’ double header had been held in the U.S. and the deaf national team match was their first live televised match on U.S. television (truTV, while the U.S.-Korea game was on TNT—both part of the CBS/Peacock network) and the first time they had a title sponsor (Volkswagen). The U.S. led at halftime by a 6-0 scoreline. 

In the match, the U.S. had 43 shots to one for Australia (29 vs. 1 for shots on goals) and had 9 corners to only 1 for Australia. With the win, the Deaf WNT has gone a remarkable 38-0-1 in 39 all-time matches, outscoring its opponents 188-15. Their one tie came in the 2022 Deaflympics Final, when the USA tied Poland 2-2, but claimed its fourth gold medal by winning 4-2 on penalty kicks. The team has claimed gold medals at the 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2022 Deaflympics and won the 2012, 2016 and 2023 World Deaf Football Championships.

With her sixth goals, Emily Spreeman set a new Deaf U.S. WNT record for goals in a match. The previous record of five was held by two players: Erin Coppedge (Jan. 11, 2005 vs. Australia; 2005 Deaflympics) and Ani Khachadourian (May 9, 2022 vs. Kenya; 2022 Deaflympics). 

Spreeman (34) was born in California, played collegiately at the University of Kansas, at the U.S. youth national team level with Alex Morgan, and led the U.S. to their third World Deaf Football Championship last November in Malaysia with 13 goals in six games to win the Golden Boot and Golden Ball for the second time. Spreeman, who works full-time as spa esthetician in Southern California, said: “We’re the greatest team you’ve never heard of. We’ve never lost.” 

In 2023 the U.S. Soccer Federation expanded its umbrella to cover more extended national teams, including women’s futsal and cerebral palsy teams, the men’s and women’s deaf teams and a co-ed power soccer wheelchair national team. Stuart Sharp, senior director of the Extended National Teams program explained: “What we’re doing is we’re creating relevant role models for different sections of society so they can aspire to be national team players.”

This is a huge positive for the growth of the game and we hope more nations add these diverse teams to their national teams’ program.

With the win, the USA Women’s Deaf national team is now 2-0-0 against Australia. The team’s previous win came on 11, 2005 at the Deaflympics in Melbourne. In that match, the USA’s Erin Coppedge set a team record at the time with five goals to go along with another from substitute Austra Blooms in helping the Deaf WNT claim a 6-0 victory.

The lineups for the historic match were as follows:

USA: 1-Taegan Frandsen; 17-Mia White, 11-Sydney Andrews, 3-Paige Beaudry, 2-Kate Ward (Capt.) (6-Mia McMurry, 63), 5-Gracie Fitzgerald,8-Erin Cembrale (16-Emma Neff, 37), 9-Ani Khachadourian (18-Faith Wylie, 46), 14-Paris Price (7-Sabina Shysh, 64), 4-Holly Hunter (12-Sophie Post, 46), 10-Emily Spreeman 

Substitutes Not Used: 15-Beth Barbiers, 20-Hannah Romero 

Head coach: Amy Griffin  

AUS: 1-Justeen Kruger; 17-Tegan Blanch (2-Isla Custovic, 90), 15-Tahlia Zanardi, 6-Rylee Woods (12-Mikaela Magro, 46), 4-Jayde Dickerson (5-Ruby Miller, 23)( 19-Rona Lazo, 90), 9-Adelaide Wyrzynski, 16-Jessica Waters (Capt.), 21-Ella Kirby, 8-Saskia Newman, 10-Amelia Odell, 11-Kirsten Campton (14-Christabel Webber, 90) 

Substitutes Not Used: 20-Diana Ciuffetelli, 7-Henrika New 

Head coach: James Lambert 

The camp was initial preparation for the team ahead of its first appearance at the Deaf Pan American Games to be held Nov. 7-18 in Canoas, Brazil.

U.S. DEAF WNT ROSTER BY POSITION (Hometown; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPER (1): 1-Taegan Frandsen*^ (Centerville, Utah; 8/0)

DEFENDERS (6): 11-Sydney Andrews*^ (Wichita, Kan.; 27/1), 15-Beth Barbiers*^ (Atlanta, Ga.; 3/0), 3-Paige Beaudry*^ (Riverview, Mich.; 11/0), 6-Mia McMurry* (Asheville, N.C.; 4/0), 17-Mia White*^ (Littleton, Colo.; 11/1), 18-Faith Wylie*^ (Decatur, Texas; 10/6)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 8-Erin Cembrale*^ (Oyster Bay, N.Y.; 10/5), 5-Gracie Fitzgerald*^ (Georgetown, Ind.; 17/4), 24-Holly Hunter (Temecula, Calif.; 5/5), 9-Ani Khachadourian*^ (Cary, N.C.; 9/7),16-Emma Neff* (Oakwood, Ohio; 5/1), 14-Paris Price*^ (Fall City, Wash.; 11/1), 7-Sabina Shysh* (Tucson, Ariz.; 1/0), 2-Kate Ward*^ (Atlanta, Ga.; 30/8)

FORWARDS (3): 12-Sophie Post*^ (Murry, Utah; 11/6), 20-Hannah Romero (Rialto, Calif.; 0/0), 10-Emily Spreeman*^ (Fountain Valley, Calif.; 23/27)

*Part of squad at 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships

^Part of squad at 2022 Deaflympics

Headlining the U.S. roster were three all-time appearance leaders in co-captains Kate Ward (Atlanta, Ga.; 30 caps) and Sydney Andrews (Wichita, Kan.; 27 caps), as well as U.S. Soccer’s 2023 Female Deaf Player of the Year Emily Spreeman (Fountain Valley, Calif.), whose 27 goals in 23 appearances also make her the Deaf WNT’s all-time leading scorer. Defender Mia White hails from nearby Littleton, Colorado, and currently plays professionally with FC KTP in Finland.

 

 

U.S. U-20 Women National Team plays two matches against Korea Republic in Los Angeles

U.S. U-20 WNT also played two games against Korea Republic as part of a training camp in late May/early June under head coach Tracy Kevins, who is a native of England and coached women’s youth national teams in England before coming to the U.S. with the Seattle Reign as an assistant coach and then had coaching various U.S. national youth teams. Seven of the team were current NWSL players. The Americans split their matches, winning 3-0 on June 2 before falling 4-2 on June 4. The U.S. side included the following players:

Goalkeepers (2): Mackenzie Gress (Penn State; Lyndhurst, N.J.), Teagan Wy (California; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)

Defenders (8): Jordyn Bugg (San Diego Surf SC; El Cajon, Calif.), Elise Evans (Stanford; Redwood City, Calif.), Nicki Fraser (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Heather Gilchrist (Florida State; Boulder, Colo.), Savy King (Bay FC; West Hills, Calif.), Leah Klenke (Notre Dame; Houston, Texas), Maggie Taitano (South Carolina; Carlsbad, Calif.), Gisele Thompson (Angel City FC; Studio City, Calif.)

Midfielders (6): Sofia Cook (UCLA; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Sam Courtwright (Texas Tech; Dallas, Texas), Claire Hutton (Kansas City Current; Bethlehem, N.Y.), Riley Jackson (North Carolina Courage; Roswell, Georgia), Ally Lemos (Orlando Pride; Glendora, Calif.), Lauren Martinho (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.)

Forwards (8): Emeri Adames (Seattle Reign FC; Red Oak, Tex.), Katie Shea Collins (Tennessee SC; Gallatin, Tenn.), Maddie Dahlien (UNC; Edina, Minn.), Jordynn Dudley (Florida State; Milton, Georgia), Giana Riley (Florida State; Manteca, Calif.), Ally Sentnor (Utah Royals; Hanson, Mass.), Taylor Suarez (Florida State; Charlotte, N.C.), Pietra Tordin (Princeton University; Miami, Fla.)

Seven of the players are currently in the NWSL—which would have been unheard of only a few years ago for this youth national team level:

Ally Lemos (20) declared for the 2024 NWSL Draft with two years of eligibility remaining at UCLA and was taken ninth overall by the Orlando Pride, where she has two starts this season and played in nine matches. 

Emeri Adames (18) skipped college and signed with Seattle Reign FC in March as the club’s first U-18 Entry Mechanism player in club history, where she has played in all 11 games and has one goal.

Savy King (19) has played in 11 games and started nine for expansion side Bay F.C.

Gisele Thompson (18) has played in five games with two starts for Angel City FC of Los Angeles.

Riley Jackson (18) has been a substitute in 10 games this season for the North Carolina Courage

Claire Hutton (18) has started in all 11 games for the undefeated Kansas City Current, playing 960 minutes and being substituted for only a total of 30 minutes.

Ally Sentnor (20) has started all 11 games for the struggling expansion side Utah Royals, and leads the team in goals (2) and assists (2). Utah has only scored six times in 11 games so Sentnor’s contributions have been critical to the side.

Also, forward Giana Riley has transferred to college power Florida State University for the fall 2024 season; she led the West Coast Conference in scoring for Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington last season with 12 goals to go along with six assists.

For Korea Republic’s U-20 national team the roster for the two U.S. matches included players who were called into a domestic camp in mid-May:

 

Korea Republic Women’s U-20 National Team Domestic Training Call-up ahead of the trip to California

GK : Woo Seo-bin (Widuk University), Jung Da-hee (Chungnam Internet High School)

DF : Nam Seung-eun (Oh Sanbo Bogo), Ko Da-ae (Korea University), Hong Chae-bin (Korea University), Eom Min-kyung, Jung Yoo-jin (Lee Widuk University), Yang Da-min (Ulsan National University of Science), Jang Seo-yoon (Yale University), Choi Eun-seo (Gwangyang Girls' High School), Jea Park (Mynavi Sendei Ladies—Japan)

MF : Kim Shin-ji (Widuk University), Bae Ye-bin (Widuk University), Jung Ji-won (Gwangyang Girls’ High School), Choi Eun-hyung (Korea University), Choi Han-bin (Korea University)

FW : Jung Da-bin (Korea University), Cho Hye-young (Gwangyang Girls’ High School) Park Soo-jung (Ulsan National University of Science), Cheon Se-hwa (Ulsan National University of Science), Jeon Yoo-kyung (Widuk University), Jung Eun-seo (Dankook University), Kim Se-yeon (Daedeok University).

The Korean side had two players with clubs abroad, one in Japan and Jang Seo-yoon, who is a student at Yale University.

U-20 Women’s World Cup Draw for the Group Stage

Both the U.S. and Korea Republic will play at the 2024 U-20 Women’s World Cup from August 31 to September 22 in Colombia. Also from Asia will be Australia, Korea DPR and Japan, while Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica also qualified from CONCACAF. Along with host nation Colombia, four other teams from CONMEBOL will attend: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela. Africa sends Cameroon (debutants at this level), Ghana, Morocco (their first finals at this level) and Nigeria.

Five teams from UEFA are going to Colombia: reigning champions Spain, Austria (debutants at this level), France, Germany and Netherlands. Oceania will have two teams in the expanded 24 team tournament: New Zealand and Fiji—with the latter making their debut and an important event for the island nations of the region outside of New Zealand.

 

Canada defeats Mexico 2-0 and then ties 1-1 in two home friendlies in Montreal and Toronto

Adrianna Leon scored the winner in the 73rd minute and Cloe Lacasse added the second goal four minutes from time in Montreal as Canada defeated Mexico 2-0 on June 1 in front of 15,319 fans at Stade Saputo. Evelyn Viens assisted on both goals. Three days later in Toronto in front of 18,805 fans, Canada took the lead three minutes into the second half from Kadeisha Buchanan but Jacqueline Ovalle (24), who has played with UANL Tigres since their first season in 2017, tied the match in the 70th minute after a brilliant dribble out of midfield and tremendous shot from outside the box into the far corner of the net.

The roster for the Mexico friendlies included:

​​GK- Sabrina D’Angelo | ENG / Arsenal FC ​ ​ 

​​​GK- Lysianne Proulx | USA / Bay FC ​ ​ 

​​​GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / San Diego Wave FC ​ ​ 

​​​D- Kadeisha Buchanan | ENG / Chelsea FC ​ ​ 

​​​D- Gabrielle Carle | USA / Washington Spirit 

​​​D- Vanessa Gilles | FRA / FCF Olympique Lyonnais ​ ​ 

​​​D- Ashley Lawrence | ENG / Chelsea FC ​ ​ 

​D- Jayde Riviere | ENG / Manchester United FC ​ 

​​D- Jade Rose | USA / Harvard University ​ ​ 

​​​D- Shelina Zadorsky | ENG / West Ham United FC ​ ​ 

​​M- Simi Awujo | USA / University of Southern California ​ ​ 

​​​M- Jessie Fleming | USA / Portland Thorns ​ ​ 

​​​M- Julia Grosso | ITA / Juventus FC ​ ​ 

​​​​M- Emma Regan | DEN / HB Køge  

​​M- Desiree Scott | USA / Kansas City Current ​ 

​​​M/F- Olivia Smith | POR / Sporting CP ​ ​ 

​​F- Janine Beckie | USA / Portland Thorns ​ ​ 

​​F- Jordyn Huitema | USA / Seattle Reign FC ​ ​ ​ 

​​​F- Cloé Lacasse | ENG / Arsenal FC ​ ​ 

​​​F- Clarissa Larisey | SWE / BK Häcken FF ​ ​ 

​​​F- Adriana Leon | ENG / Aston Villa WFC  

​F- Nichelle Prince | USA / Houston Dash ​ ​ 

​​​F- Deanne Rose | ENG / Leicester City FC ​ ​ 

​​​F- Evelyne Viens | ITA / AS Roma  

 

*Training player 

​Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash

The Maple Leafs included a number of players for these two home friendlies who won club titles or individual league individual honors in Europe in 2023-24. Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence (both Chelsea of the WSL), Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyon in France) and Evelyne Viens (AS Roma in Italy) all helped their teams win their respective league championship and Viens was crowned top scorer of Serie A. Jayde Riviere was part of Manchester United’s FA Cup Championship-winning team, while Olivia Smith was recognized as LigaBPI Young Player of the Season in her inaugural season as a professional player in Portugal at Sporting Lisbon.

 

Quinn of the Seattle Reign FC and Sydney Collins from the NC Courage were not called into camp due to injury. Allysha Chapman of the Houston Dash rejoined the team as a training player after recently returning from maternity leave. Meanwhile Nichelle Prince, Olivia Smith, and Jayde Riviere return to national team duty after missing the SheBelievesCup earlier this year due to injury.  

 

Bev Priestman said upon naming the team: “We’re really excited as the Olympics draw closer and can’t wait to play one last time in front of our amazing fans on home soil. Mexico is a great side and just the test we need as we edge closer to finalizing an Olympic roster and continue to build on our principles and approach heading into Paris.”  

Canada improved all time to 23-3-3 against Mexico after the two friendlies.

 

Brazil takes two 4-0 home wins over Jamaica

Brazil defeated Jamaica 4-0 on June 1 in Recife in the Northwest of the country, with three of Brazil’s goals scored by Orlando Pride players, who has been flying high this NWSL season and are still undefeated after 11 games (8-3-0 W-D-L) The winner came from Adriana in the 26th minute along with two second half goals by Marta. Jamaica’s American born defender Chantelle Swaby—in her second season with Fleury 91 in France--scored an own goal for Brazil seven minutes before halftime.

Three days later in Salvador, Brazil again won 4-0 with Debinha (Kansas City Current) and Marta (Orlando Pride) each scoring once and second half substitute Jheniffer scoring twice. Jheniffer (22) plays with Corinthians of Sao Paulo. 

The Jamaica Football Federation, seemingly always a lightning rod for controversy, recently again appointed Hubert Busby (54) as WNT head coach. Busby was a Jamaican international goalkeeper who played with clubs in Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands and Oxford United in England. He also played for the Detroit Wheels of the USL, a club that this author was once a General Manager of when they were based in Windsor, Ontario and played in Canadian semipro leagues.

Busby has coached women’s W-League teams Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders, at Jacksonville University in Florida and previously as assistant and then head coach of the Jamaican Women from 2018-21. He resigned after The Guardian published allegations that he tried to solicit sex from a team recruit when he was at the Whitecaps. After three years, he has been cleared by FIFA and re-instated. In a statement from the JFF, they said: 

"The Jamaica Football Federation is pleased to announce that after careful consideration and due process, our technical committee has recommended the immediate reappointment of Hubert Busby as head coach of the Senior Women’s National Team. This is Mr Busby’s second stint with the team, having held the position from 2020 to 2021. He was removed from the position when the JFF requested FIFA to investigate unsavory media reports originating in Europe.

"FIFA subsequently cleared Mr Busby. Based on his vast experience and knowledge of the squad, we think he is the perfect individual to take the team through the next stage of its development. Mr Busby will therefore take charge of the squad which will play two international friendlies against Brazil on June 1 and June 4 in Brazil. The squad will be announced soon. The JFF would like to thank Xavier Gilbert for acting in the role of Head Coach since October 2023. He will revert to his previous role as assistant coach."

I have known Busby for years and he has always been hugely generous with his time to this reporter. I hope this works out for Jamaica in their quest to make the 2027 WWC Finals in Brazil.

Players Selected to Represent Jamaica In Two International Friendlies Against Brazil

The 23 players selected for the Brazil trip included 18 members of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. 

1. D Chantelle Swaby (25) Fleury 91 (FRA)

2. M Konya Plummer (21) UANL Tigres (MEX) 

3. M Jade Bailey (28) London City Lions (ENG)

4. D Denesha Blackwood (27) UNAM Pumas (MEX)

5. F Kayla McKeena (27) Villarreal (SPA)

6. D Allyson Swaby (27) AC Milan (ITA)

7. M Drew Spence (31) Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

8. M Atlanta Primus (27) Southampton (ENG)

9. D Vyan Sampson (27) JEF United (JPN)

10. M Peyton McNamara (22) Ohio State University (USA)

11. F Page Bailey-Gayle (22) Newcastle United (ENG) 

12. F Trudy Carter (29) Atletico San Luis (MEX)

13. F Kameron Simmonds (20) University of Tennessee (USA)

14. F Tiffany Cameron (32) Real Betis (SPA) 

15. GK Sydney Schneider (24) Chicago Red Stars (USA)

16. GK Rebecca Spencer (33) Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

17. D Naya Cardoza (19) Brown University (USA) 

18. GK Liya Brooks (19) Washington State University (USA)

19. F Amelia Van Zaten (19) Florida State University (USA)

20. F Jody Brown (22) Florida State University (USA)

21. M Israela Groves (24) London City Lions (ENG)

22. F Davia Richards (20) University of North Texas (USA)

23. D Lauren Reid (21) University of Maryland-Baltimore County (USA)

 

Missing from the Reggae Girlz was Khadija Shaw, who led the WSL in scoring in 2023-24 for Manchester City and was the Player of the Season from both the media and league players. She is recovering from a broken foot she sustained late in the WSL season and is also in a conflict with the Jamaica Football Federation over their treatment of the women’s national team players, including payment of 2023 WWC bonuses from FIFA.

 

Australia’s Matildas play China in two friendlies in Adelaide and Sydney

On May 31, Australia’s Women’s National Team played their first game in South Australia in five years and fought back to tie China 1-1 at the Oval in Adelaide in front of a sellout crowd of 52,912. Michelle Heyman of Canberra United scored in second half injury time, following up after a Mary Fowler free kick bounced off of China goalkeeper Xu Huan (25), who plays for Jiangsu of Nanjing.

This was Heyman’s sixth goal in four Matilda matches since being recalled to the national team after an absence of six years. It also marked the first match for China of coach Ante Milicic, who had taken his native Australian WNT to the 2019 WWC Finals in France (see: The Week in Women's Football: A-League check; Mexico for Lehmann; Liga MX review - TribalFootball.com

In the second match in Sydney on June 3, in goalkeeper Lydia Williams’ final match for the Matildas, Australia defeated China 2-0 in front of 76,798 fans at Accor Stadium.

Clare Wheeler—a half-time substitute—scored from a Steph Catley free kick in the 48th minute for her second national team goal. Then Cortnee Vine started the play to double the advantage in the 56th minute, feeding Hayley Raso with a perceptive through ball; Raso scored after rounding the goalkeeper to score.

Williams grew up in Western Australia (her father is Aboriginal and her mother is American) and I interviewed her years ago when she played in the States, in WPS in Chicago—near where her mother was from—Western New York and Houston in the NWSL as well as in Australia, England (with Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion), France (Paris St. Germain) and Sweden.

Williams was asked after the game about receiving a traditional buka cloak from Indigenous tennis icon Evonne Goolagong and said:  “It was all pretty emotional. To receive that gift from Evonne was just incredible. And I think that was the moment that took me over, emotion-wise. That was a cap off to the kid that grew up in the desert and fell in love with football.” 

Williams was a member of five Women’s World Cup teams, six Women’s Asian Cup sides and two Olympic teams, and is an alternate for the 2024 Olympics this summer, which would be her third team if she is called into the final 18 (see more below). The game against Korea Republic was her 104th national team appearance.

For the China friendlies, after missing the games in April, defender Clare Hunt has overcome a foot stress fracture and returns to the team along with Courtney Nevin and Lydia Williams. The squad included 21of 23 players who helped the team qualify for the Olympics and 17 play abroad, with six in the Liberty A-League Women.

Missing from the side are Katrina Gorry (West Ham United in England) who is recovering from ankle surgery in April, Aivi Luik (BK Hacken of Sweden) who is recovering from a hamstring injury, and forwards Amy Sayer (Kristianstands of Sweden) and Sam Kerr (Chelsea of England), who are both recovering from ACL injuries and will not be available for the Olympic Games Finals side. 

Just after the second China match, Tony Gustavsson named his final Olympic Games roster. On the above roster for the two home friendlies, all of the players made the final 18 while Sharn Freier, Charlotte Grant, Courtney Nevin and Lydia Williams were  named as alternates, who could replace one of the 18 members in case of an injury or withdrawal for any reason. Winonah Heatley and goalkeeper Jada Whyman did not make the cut.  

Eight players are set to become three time Olympians: captain Steph Catley, vice-captain Emily Van Egmond, Mackenzie Arnold, Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Yallop.

Kyra Cooney-Cross, Mary Fowler, Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Teagan Micah, and Hayley Raso all return for their second Olympics, while Clare Hunt, Kaitlyn Torpey, Cortnee Vine and Clare Wheeler are going to their first Olympics.

 

 

- Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football.  His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women’s football.  Get your copy today. Follow Tim on X: @TimGrainey