USA

The past
USA have a peculiar history at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. After having reached the final in the tournament’s first edition at New Zealand 2008, they then crashed out of contention for Trinidad & Tobago 2010, making way for Canada and Mexico to grace the world’s stage. In 2008, the Americans came up just short of the winner’s trophy as Korea DPR handed them a 2-1 extra-time defeat in the final.

The present
The United States have made clear their intentions to forget the past, duly making their way through to Azerbaijan 2012 in convincing fashion. USA cruised through the CONCACAF qualifying competition largely thanks to an inspired attacking performance, which saw them bag 26 goals and concede none. They handily defeated Panama 7-0 in the semi-finals to ensure their place at the world finals, and although pleased to have their Azerbaijan ticket in hand, rounded off their qualifying campaign in good measure with a 1-0 victory over fellow-qualifiers Canada.

The future
Considerable effort has been put towards developing talent at youth level in the United States, and former MLS midfielder Albertin Montoya has been appointed as head coach with success in Azerbaijan the goal. While the Americans have long boasted a strong presence defensively, it is the new-found attacking creativity catching the eye as of late, with forward Summer Green leading the way.

Facts and figures
Former stars
Vicki DiMartino, Kristie Mewis, Courtney Verloo

Key players
Morgan Andrews, Summer Green, Margaret Purce

The numbers game
12 – The number of goals USA forward Summer Green scored at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, setting the record for the most goals ever scored at the qualifying tournament.