Six players from the Rush represented their respective youth national teams at the Gradisca Tournament in Italy in April.
United States U16 Girls
Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush, #19), Brianna Martinez (New Mexico Rush, #15), and Sarah Piper (Texas Rush) were called up to play with Tricia Taliaferro’s U16 side. After an opening 1-0 loss to Italy, the team played an historic match against Iran. The game, which the US won 6-0, was the first time any United States women’s team at any level had played against a team from the Middle East. The US finished fourth after a loss in penalties to Mexico in the third place game. Martinez played every minute of the tournament and was named a TopDrawerSoccer standout for her play at right back. Dyke started two matches in midfield and came on as a substitute in the third and Piper saw time as a substitute against Iran.
Mexico U17 Women
Kelsey Brann (Texas Rush, #1) and Kimberly Rodriguez (Texas Rush, #4) featured for a Mexican side that had two big results. The team played eventual champion France in the first match, before defeating England 2-1 in its second group game. In the third place match, Mexico came from 1-0 down to tie the United States and prevail in penalties. Rodriguez started Mexico off on the right foot when she made her penalty and Brann made two saves to ensure the win. Rodriguez was named a TopDrawerSoccer standout for her composed play at center back throughout the tournament.
United States U16 Boys
Luke Hansen (Colorado Rush, #3) played on the back line for the United States in its opening three group games. The United States opened its campaign with a 2-1 loss against Croatia before tying Slovakia 2-2 and defeating Brazil 2-1. At press time, US Soccer had not released any information about the fifth place match.