LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy player Sofia Cook was one of 18 players who will represent the USA at the 2018 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship. She was selected by April Kater, who will coach the USA at the third Concacaf tournament for this age group being held from August 6-13 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Cook, the first LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy player to represent a U.S. Youth National Team side, joins the squad after having represented the U-14’s earlier this year. The USA will bring a younger team to the competition which will mostly feature players born in 2003. The USA will bring a roster that includes 14 players born in 2004 and four in 2005.
“We are so proud to have Sofia representing the LA Galaxy at this prestigious event,” said LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy Director Kevin Hartman. “When we first saw Sofia play, we knew she had the potential to play for our U.S. Youth National Team. Her hard work and commitment to the process has been fueled by a passion for the game that is tough to find in a player. We’re extremely excited to see that she is being rewarded by the staff of US Soccer with this opportunity and look forward to her reaping more rewards from those unique characteristics that got her this special invite. Our best wishes to Sofia and all of the girls as they take on the best in the region.”
With 28 nations competing in two divisions, this will be the largest Concacaf tournament ever for female participants and will feature a record number of Concacaf Member Associations as well as two invited teams from UEFA.
USA Roster for the Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nona Reason (San Diego Surf; San Clemente, Calif.), Teagan Wy (West Coast FC; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Elise Evans (San Jose Earthquakes; Redwood City, Calif.), Evelyn Shores (NTH Tophat; Atlanta, Ga.), Maia Tabion (Crossfire Premier; Sammamish, Wash.), Maggie Taitano (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.), Gisele Thompson (Real So Cal; Studio City, Calif.), Amelia Van Zanten (FC United; Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Maggie Cagle (SC Del Sol; Phoenix, Ariz.), Sofia Cook (LA Galaxy; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Juliauna Hayward (Real Colorado; Thornton, Colo.), Yuna McCormack (San Jose Earthquakes; Mill Valley, Calif.), Olivia Moultrie (Beach FC; Canyon County, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): America Frias (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Allison Montoya (MVLA SC; Los Altos, Calif.), Katherine Rader (Orlando Pride DA; Stuart, Fla.), Jaedyn Shaw (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Alyssa Thompson (Real So Cal; Studio City, Calif.)
The USA will play in Group A in the 12-team Division 1 and open its tournament on Aug. 7 against Jamaica on Field 1. The young Americans will then face guest team Portugal on Aug. 8 on Field 2 and El Salvador on Aug. 10 on Field 1. All the USA’s games are at 6 a.m. PT. Concacaf has confirmed the matches will be streamed with details to be confirmed shortly.
Group B features Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic and Group C features Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico and guest team Northern Ireland.
The tournament format dictates that the three countries who finish in first-place in the Division I groups will advance to the semifinals on Aug. 11 along with the best second-place finisher. The championship game will be on Aug. 13.
If teams are tied on points, the first tie-breaker in the group is goal difference and then goals scored.
There are four groups of four in Division 2 and those group winners will also advance to the semifinals for their division, but there will also be placement games in both Divisions for the teams that do not qualify for the semifinals.
This will mark the third time this Concacaf competition has been held for U-15 girls. The USA did not participate in the first tournament in 2014 but won the competition in 2016 in Orlando with many of the players currently with the U-17 Women’s National Team that will play in the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The USA took all seven games at that tournament by shutout while compiling a 49-0 goal difference. The USA defeated Costa Rica 5-0 in the semifinal and Canada 2-0 in the championship game to take the regional title.