Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Lily Yohannes, a 16-year-old rising star in women’s soccer, has been called up to represent the United States in the She Believes Cup. The decision to bring Yohannes into the national squad was made by interim head coach Twila Kilgore, who acknowledged the interest in Yohannes from the Netherlands, where she could also qualify to play through residency. Yohannes’ grandfather, Bekuretsion Gebrehiwot, was a player for Ethiopia in the 1968 Africa Cup of Nations before eventually settling in the United States.

Born in Virginia in 2007, Yohannes moved to the Netherlands with her family in 2017 where she began training at the Ajax academy. She signed a professional contract with Ajax last April, becoming the youngest female professional in the club’s history. Despite being the only non-Dutch national in the Ajax squad, Yohannes has made a significant impact in European competitions like the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Yohannes had previously attended U.S. Youth National Teams camps and was invited to participate with the U.S. U-17 Women’s Youth National Team, but commitments to Ajax prevented her from joining. The Netherlands head coach, Andries Jonker, has expressed interest in having Yohannes play for the Dutch national team, but her participation in the She Believes Cup does not definitively tie her to the United States as it is considered a friendly competition. However, playing in the Summer Olympics would require her to commit to a national team.

Despite missing a key match due to suspension, Yohannes has received praise from her Ajax teammates, including captain Sherida Spitse, for her talent and impact on the team. Kilgore, who personally scouted Yohannes in Europe, believes that Yohannes has been on the radar of U.S. Soccer for some time and that her acceptance of the invitation to the national squad shows that she is on the path to making a decision about her international soccer career. The young star’s choice to represent either the United States or the Netherlands will ultimately be a personal decision for her to make.

In the upcoming She Believes Cup, Yohannes will have the opportunity to showcase her skills on an international stage alongside some of the best players in the world. Her performance in this competition could potentially influence her decision on which national team to commit to in the future. Overall, Yohannes’ talent and potential have garnered attention from both the United States and the Netherlands, making her a player to watch in the world of women’s soccer.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.