Members of two Racing Louisville FC teams have received call ups to the U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team for its first matches since the fall of 2019.
Both the NWSL’s Savannah DeMelo and USL W League’s Emily Madril appear on a 21-player squad that will participate in this month’s Three-Nations Tournament, competing June 25 against India and June 28 versus host Sweden.
Players in this year’s U-23 WYNT pool must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1999. But the 24-year-old DeMelo is among three permitted overage players for this tournament.
The University of Southern California product has quickly cemented herself as a Racing starter since going No. 4 overall to Louisville in the 2022 NWSL draft. A dynamic midfielder, she scored a game-winning free kick in Racing’s May 18 victory over San Diego Wave FC and registered her first regular season assist last Saturday on another set piece versus Angel City FC.
DeMelo, who has represented the U.S. often, including in the 2016 and 2018 U-20 World Cup, parlayed her early contributions as a pro into a spot on the NWSL Best XI for May.
“I just want to help as much as I can,” DeMelo said after the Angel City game. “I think the rookie year is a hard year, and I just want to take as much as I can learn from the older players, whether that be playing the six, the eight, the 10 or out on the wing.
“I’m just trying to do all I can to help this team, and I wouldn’t be getting the accolades without the rest of my team. So as much as it’s an accolade for me, it’s also to my team I can thank.”
Madril, who plays collegiately for Florida State University, is in Louisville this summer for Racing’s inaugural W League season. The W League — the nation’s premier pre-professional women’s soccer circuit — enhances the player pipeline between college and pro ranks while allowing players to preserve their amateur status.
Madril is a highly decorated defender who started all 25 games for the Seminoles during their 2021 national championship run. She missed only nine minutes all season and has continued that sort of consistency in lavender with the W League team off to a 5-1-2 start to lead the Great Lakes Division.
DeMelo and Madril are also on the full U.S. Women’s National Team radar having been listed on the American preliminary roster for this summer’s Concacaf W Championship, which serves as both a 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics qualifier.
Coincidentally, they’ll square off against a familiar face in the Three-Nations Tournament with Racing midfielder Freja Olofsson called in to represent Sweden’s U-23s during the upcoming international window. First, Racing continues NWSL play Friday, meeting the reigning league champion Washington Spirit for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia.
Three-Nations Tournament Roster (Club or College; Hometown)
Goalkeepers (2): Shelby Hogan (Portland Thorns FC; Franklin, Mass.), Ruthie Jones (Duke; Charlotte, N.C.)
Defenders (5): Kerry Abello (Orlando Pride; Batavia, Ill.), Megan Bornkamp (Clemson; Mooresville, N.C.), Emily Madril (Florida State; Boise, Idaho), Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.), Kate Wiesner (Penn State; Monrovia, Calif.)
Midfielders (8): Hannah Bebar (Harvard; Naperville, Ill.), Croix Bethune (USC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Mikayla Cluff (Orlando Pride; Kaysville, Utah), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; Long Beach, Calif.), Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Brianna Pinto (North Carolina Courage; Durham, N.C.), Taryn Torres (NJ/NY Gotham FC; Frisco, Texas)
Forwards (6): Messiah Bright (TCU; Dallas, Texas), Ava Cook (Chicago Red Stars; Battle Creek, Mich.), Anna Heilferty (Washington Spirit; Falls Church, Va.), Samantha Meza (UNC; Dallas, Texas), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy; Studio City, Calif.)