Mt. Lebanon’s Mia Bhuta secures a starting XI spot for US Soccer U17 YNT in World Cup qualifiers


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

Mt. Lebanon‘s Mia Bhuta secured a place in the starting XI and wore the USA U-17 women’s youth national team captain’s armband as the squad kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship with a 20-0 opened win over Grenada, who set a record for most goals in a single World Cup qualifier for a US women’s national team at all levels.

Bhuta joined the USYNT 4-1-4-1 in holding midfield.

Led by four-goal performances from midfielders Shae Harvey and Charlotte Kohler and 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 US Soccer’s youth national team program on hold for a long time, this game was the first U-17 international for any US player to take the field. The game was the first U-17 international in 792 days and the first in official competition in 1,250 days since the hiatus caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The win is also the first for Natalia Astrain, who was appointed USWYNT U-17 head coach on November 17, 2021 and coached in her first U-17 international.

The U-17 WYNT continues against Puerto Rico (4:00 p.m. / FS2, ViX app in Spanish) at the Estadio Panamericano in Group G on Monday, April 25 and finishes the first round on Wednesday, April 27, v Costa Rica (16:00 / FS2 , ViX App in Spanish) at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo.

John Krysinsky has reported on football and other sports for various publications and media for many years. He is also the author of “Miracle on the Mon” – a book about Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium, with the narrative that led to and centered around a remarkable game, the helped create a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports and Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as a color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast crews for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup games across the United States together . Krysinsky also served as head men’s soccer coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to their first-ever wins and playoffs of the season (1996-98); North Catholic Boys head coach (2007-08), Shady Side Academy Boys assistant head coach (2009-2014).


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