Alyssa Thompson competes with U-20 USWNT


Printed with permission of Alyssa Thompson

Thompson prepares a shot during a U-20 USWNT practice for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Women’s Championship.

Leo Saperstein

Alyssa Thompson ’23, forward for the Under-20 (U-20) United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Women’s Championship on March 12.

Thompson was one of 20 players selected from around the nation to play for the U-20 USWNT. During the tournament, the team scored 49 goals while keeping opposing teams scoreless, qualifying them for competition in the World Cup in Aug 22. Thompson played in five of the team’s seven games and scored three goals throughout the tournament.

Thompson said the team’s strength pushed her to compete at a high level during the CONCACAF women’s championship tournament.

“[My teammates] are all a year or two older than me,” Thompson said. “The [playing] level is high because we are all striving to be our best and earn a spot on the [World Cup] team.”

After winning the tournament, Thompson said she feels grateful for being selected to play on the team and looks forward to competing at a high level in the future.

“I feel amazing,” Thompson said. “This was truly a team win, and we played until the very end for each other. [I’m] just so happy I got to experience [the tournament] and [I am] excited for what is to come.”

Girls Soccer Program Head Richard Simms said he expected Thompson’s success and hopes she continues to compete at a high level.

“Nothing [Thompson] does surprises me,” Simms said. “She is the hardest worker I have ever seen and has married talent, work ethic and mentality in perfect harmony. I hope [Thompson] continues to be given the opportunities that her hard work deserves. She will continue to shine no matter how big the stage. There is not a defense in the world that can stop her.”

Simms said Thompson serves as a prime example of athletic competitiveness and dedication.

“[Thompson] does not just want to be great,” Simms said. “She wants to be the best. She never misses an opportunity to get better, and she is always present in every moment, whether in the weight room, practicing on the field, watching film or in a game. She ticks every box of an elite athlete, and she has earned her success. I feel very fortunate to be a witness to her development.”

Although U-20 USWNT Head Coach Tracy Kevins asked Thompson not to play for the school team during the 2021-2022, Thompson led the team to an 18-0 overall record and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) SoCal Regional State Championship in the 2020-2021 winter season.

Soccer Team Captain Daniela Quintero ’22, who first met Thompson on their youth track team, said Thompson’s talent and perseverance distinguish her from other soccer players.

“[Thompson’s] drive to improve year after year is what sets her apart,” Quintero said. “[She] dedicates so much time to refining her skills and becoming a better player, so it is crazy to imagine where she will be in a few years. There is no doubt in my mind she will continue to make an impact in the women’s game.”

Quintero said Thompson possesses offensive awareness that allows her to create scoring opportunities on the field.

“One of her greatest strengths is her movement off the ball, which ultimately sets her up to be successful on the ball,” Quintero said. “Her lightning-fast speed and vision for the game often make me feel a deep regard for anyone who is matched up to defend her.”

Next, Thompson will attend a USWNT training camp in June, before competing in the World Cup. Thompson said she aims to help the U-20 USWNT through the preliminary stages and into the end of the tournament.

“Our first objective is to make it out of the group round because the federation has not done that in years,” Thompson said. “Obviously winning the whole thing would be incredible, and that is what we are striving for.”