The squads for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 have been announced today, with 336 players in contention to represent their respective nations over the coming three weeks (see attached document).
The 16-nation event will feature several players with significant experience already on the senior international stage.
Three-time U-20 champions USA will line up with 18-year-old forward Mallory Pugh who played and scored at the recent Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio.
Mirroring that achievement is prolific Sweden striker Stina Blackstenius who netted twice in Rio, and whose goals helping her side qualify for Papua New Guinea.
Japan will be hoping to bring their 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup-winning form to Melanesia, and they have no shortage of graduates headlined by Hina Sugita who won the adidas Golden Ball two years ago in Costa Rica, while Yui Hasegawa claimed the adidas Silver Ball.
Germany boasts no less than five players from their side which were crowned champions at this level two years ago in Canada - Rieke Dieckmann, Jennifer Gaugigl, Madeline Gier, Rebecca Knaak and Joelle Wedemeyer.
France, for their part, have world champions dating all the way back from 2012. Marion Romanelli, Onema Geyoro, Juliane Gathrat, Delphine Cascarino and Cindy Perrault all featured when the Europeans won the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan four years ago.
The cast is now in place. All that is left is for the players to strut their stuff under the gaze of the stage lights.