Stanford commit Civana Kuhlmann scored three times and fellow Cardinal commit Kiara Pickett scored once and recorded an assist as the U.S. U17 women’s national soccer team opened its World Cup campaign with a 6-1 victory over Paraguay on Saturday.
The Americans continue play against Ghana, which lost to Japan, 5-0, on Tuesday morning at King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman, Jordan. These are the first matches by any U.S. women’s national team in Jordan and the first matches by any U.S. women’s national team in the Middle East.
The USA and Ghana have never met in a U-17 women’s World Cup, but the USA has met Ghana twice in a U-20 women’s World Cup, opening against Ghana in 2012 in Japan, a 4-0 U.S. win, and in 2010 in Germany (1-1 draw).
The U.S. U-17s have scored 47 goals in 2016 and three players have combined for more than half of them: Kuhlmann leads with 13, while U-17 captain Ashley Sanchez and Tagliaferri have eight each.
Kuhlmann’s hat trick against Paraguay was the first by a U.S. player in a U-17 WWC, but the fourth by a U.S. player in a youth women’s World Cup. She has a total of 15 goals in 18 U-17 caps.
Stanford product Jordan Morris is among the 23 players called to the U.S. national team that will play in Cuba on Friday at 1 p.m. (PT).
It is the first friendly between the nations on Cuban soil since 1947. The match will be played at Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana and broadcast on ESPN2 and UniMas.
Four days later, the U.S. will host New Zealand at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. At 5 p.m. (PT).
“These two games are very important for us because it’s the last time we can see certain players before making the decision on the 23 going in to represent us for the Mexico and Costa Rica clashes,” said Klinsmann. “There’s a lot at stake for the players to make their case, to show where they are right now. We have the opportunity to bring some players back that haven’t been with us for a little bit, and we want to see if they can put a stamp on this camp and have a chance for being in the roster next month. The bigger picture behind this is definitely Mexico and Costa Rica, and these two games will show us a lot about individual players.”