U-18 Camp Sees Core Of The U-17s Join Up

US Soccer will hold a one-week camp for the U-18s in Chula Vista, CA, from May 11th to the 18th. The camp will be concurrent with a U-20 camp. [column size=one_third position=first]

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Rosemary Chandler (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.), Darien Dunham (CFC United; Cheshire, Conn.), Casey Murphy (PDA Slammers; Bridgewater, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (6): Madeline Elliston (OMA Elite Girl’s Academy; Omaha, Neb.), Natalie Jacobs (Slammers FC; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Oakwood SC; Coventry, Conn.), Gabrielle Matulich (MVLA; Los Gatos, Calif.), Tegan McGrady (MVLA; San Jose, Calif.), Dominique Romero (North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nev.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Dorian Bailey (Sporting BVSC; Mission, Kan.), Jaye Boissiere (MVLA; Los Altos Hills, Calif.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins (Richmond Kickers; Lynchburg, Va.), Mikaela Harvey (Texas A&M; Liberty Hill, Texas), Emily Ogle (Internationals SC; Strongsville, Ohio), Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.), Jessica Vigna (PDA Slammers; Farmingdale, N.J.)
FORWARDS (7): Kayla Cappuzzo (Albertson Fury; Merrick, N.Y.), Imani Dorsey (Freestate United; Elkridge, Md.), Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Annie Kingman (PSC Union FC; Woodside, Calif.), Rebecca Rasmussen (Georgia; Golden, Colo.), Zoe Redei (Eclipse Select; Highland Park, Ill.), Michelle Xiao (Gretna SC; Omaha, Neb.)
[/column] This is the first U-18 camp to integrate the core U-17 players; this usually happens early the next cycle, when they are all U-20s, but the U-17s had nothing else to do, so why not start now? There are eight starters from that team: defenders Ellie Jean, Natalie Jacobs and Tegan McGrady; midfielders Dorian Bailey, Marley Canales and Taylor Racioppi; and forwards Zoe Redei and Madison Haley. Michelle Xiao has joined as well; she was in five camps with the U-17s in 2013-14 but did not make the WCQ roster. All nine were born in 1997 except for Haley, who was born in 1998. This is the first U-18 camp for all but Ellie Jean, who joined the team for camp in March.

Notable U-17s who have not (yet) made the U-18s: defenders Mia Gyau, Zoe Morse, and Alana Cook; midfielder Anika Rodriguez; and forward Kelcie Hedge.

Of the four U-17 players to have played in 14 matches (of the 15 total) in the 2013-14 cycle, Rodriguez is the only one to have not made this team; she started 10 of those matches, and showed herself to be a very capable midfielder before being marked out of the semifinal match against Mexico in WCQ. She may be dealing with an injury or other personal issue; we can assume she will at least get a chance to earn a spot with the older team at some point.

Mia Gyau played in 12 matches, starting 6 of them; she mostly played outside back, positions dominated by Ellie Jean and Tegan McGrady, both of whom made this roster. Assuming the U-18s already had capable outside backs, Gyau may have a hard time finding space on the new team.

Kelcie Hedge was fourth on the U-17s in goal-scoring, behind Madison Haley with 8 goals, and Zoe Redei with 6 goals. (The leading U-17 scorer in both goals and assists (15 and 6!), Mallory Pugh, is with the U-20s instead). Again, given the presumption that the U-18s already had older, capable goal-scorers, Hedge is left outside looking in.

Alana Cook has the distinction of being the most-capped U-17 player to not make the WCQ roster; she played in 6 matches, including two on a trip to England in August 2013, but was not called back with the U-17s until February of this year, where she played one full match against New Zealand. 

Zoe Morse, on the other hand, was a stalwart during qualifying, playing three full matches and subbing into a fourth; she also played both of the February matches, in full.

Also, not a single goalkeeper from the U-17 have made the move to the older team, which is perhaps not surprising considering the trouble that team had with keeping a solid starting keeper due to injury and inconsistent play.

(Two young U-17 players who had been brought up from the U-15s – Frankie Tagliaferri and Civana Kuhlmann – have been back with the U-15s since qualifying, which is to be expected; they will no doubt transition with that team to the U-17s in the next cycle, just 8 months from now.)

Of the “regular” U-18s, Rebecca Rasmussen was in the U-20 camp just last month, her first with the older group; other than that, she’s been a regular with the U-18s this cycle. Rasmussen is also one of two players already in college (Georgia); Mikaela Harvey of Texas A&M is the other.