Coach: Steve Swanson
Previous appearances: 5 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Best finish: Winner (2006, 2010)
World Cup qualification: 5 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
International honors: U-20 Women's World Cup champion (2008, 2002); Pan American Games champion (1999).
Key players: MF Morgan Brian, F Maya Hayes, F Lindsey Horan, DF Crystal Dunn
The two-time and defending champion United States arrives as usual with high expectations, especially on the offensive end. The team is led by Penn State University sophomore forward Maya Hayes, who was the top scorer in the United States with 31 goals and was a finalist for the U.S. women's college player of the year. Steve Swanson returns as coach after having led the team (then a U-18 side) from 2000-2002. The 2010 U.S. U-20 women were eliminated in the quarterfinals on penalties at the World Cup and the 2010 U.S. U-17 women were upset in the semifinals of the CONCACAF championship. Five players have graduated from the U-17 team that outscored opponents 38-0 at the CONCACAF championship, and three return from the U-20 Women's World Cup roster two years ago.