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Mt. Lebanon’s Mia Bhuta earns spot in Starting XI for US Soccer’s U17 YNT in World Cup qualifying

Victoria Safradin and Mia Bhuta after the record-breaking 20-0 win over Grenada. Photo courtesy Internationals SC Twitter

Mt. Lebanon’s Mia Bhuta earned a spot in the starting XI and wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. U-17 Women’s Youth National Team as the squad opened its World Cup Qualifying campaign at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship with a 20-0 victory against Grenada that set a record for most goals in a single World Cup qualifying match for a U.S. Women’s National Team at any level.

Bhuta lined up in the holding midfield spot in the USYNT’s 4-1-4-1.

Led by four-goal performances from midfielders Shae Harvey and Charlotte Kohler plus a hat trick from forward Melina Rebimbas, the USA scored nine goals in the first half and 11 in the second.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which put U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Team programming on hold for a long stretch, this game marked the first U-17 international match for every U.S. player who stepped on the field. The match marked the first international match for the U-17 age group in 792 days and the first match in official competition in 1250 days since the pause caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The win also marks the first for Natalia Astrain, who was appointed as U-17 USWYNT head coach on Nov. 17, 2021 and was coaching in her first U-17 international match.

The U-17 WYNT continues Group G play on Monday, April 25 against Puerto Rico (4 p.m. / FS2, ViX App in Spanish) at Estadio Panamericano and finishes the first round on Wednesday, April 27 vs. Costa Rica (4 p.m. / FS2, ViX App in Spanish) at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo.

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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