U.S. Under-17 Women's Soccer Team ties Brazil in friendly match at MSU
On Tuesday, the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team, or WNT, tied Brazil’s Under-17 WNT 2-2 at DeMartin Stadium in the first of two friendly matches in Michigan.
The U.S. U-17 WNT consists of talented young soccer players from all over the country. They will compete in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in October.
Head Coach B.J. Snow is from Kalamazoo. He played soccer for Indiana University Bloomington from 1996-1999. Two current members on the team are also from Michigan, including 16-year-old forward Alexa Spaanstra of Brighton. She will be a junior at Brighton High School in the fall.
“With these friendlies and the World Cup, it’s preparing us in many ways, like mentality-wise and what to expect, like the speed of play and how physical they are and how they’re competing as well as we are,” Spaanstra said. “They want to win for their country like we are, and we have to outmatch that same aggressiveness.”
Spaanstra plans on playing soccer in college. She committed to play for University of Virginia her freshman year of high school.
MSU Women’s Soccer players were in the stands cheering for the U.S. U-17 WNT, including central midfielder Kaylee Phillips, who will be a senior in the fall.
“It’s really cool to see the talent in these younger teams,” Phillips said. “I was really impressed by a lot of them.”
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup has been held in even-numbered years since its inception in 2008. North Korea won the first tournament, which was held in New Zealand. The U.S. U-17 WNT has not won a World Cup yet.
Spaanstra said she thinks the U.S. U-17 WNT has a chance of winning the World Cup this year.
“Everyone has the same mindset, and they all want to achieve one goal, which is ultimately winning the World Cup,” Spaanstra said. “I think that with us, if we all come together and we put our minds together, I think we can achieve it.”
The next game against Brazil will be on Friday, Aug. 12 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium at Hope College in Holland, Mich. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
This year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will run from Sept. 30 through Oct. 21 in Jordan. The U.S. team will play Paraguay in the first round on Oct. 1 at Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa.