There will be competition for places in the England u20 World Cup squad, as the Young Lionesses won the Nike International u20 tournament in Florida.

England won the tournament with a draw against the host USA and two wins against Brazil (1-0) and Finland (6-0). Mo Marley had selected a very strong squad:

Goalkeepers: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Sandy MacIver (Clemson University), Sian Rogers (Aston Villa)

Defenders: Megan Finnigan* (Everton), Grace Fisk (University of South Carolina), Taylor Hinds (Arsenal), Mayumi Pacheco (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Anna Patten (Florida State University), Lotte Wubben-Moy (University of North Carolina)

Taylor Hinds
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY – DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Giulia Gwinn of Germany vies with Taylor Hinds of England during the U17 girl’s international friendly match between Germany and England on December 15, 2015 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Midfielders: Georgia Allen (Syracuse University), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Zoe Cross (University of Missouri), Mollie Rouse (University of Louisville), Chloe Peplow (Doncaster Belles – on loan from Birmingham City), Alessia Russo (University of North Carolina), Georgia Stanway** (Manchester City)

Forwards: Rinsola Babajide (Watford), Ellie Brazil (Fiorentina), Rianna Dean (Millwall Lionesses), Chloe Kelly*** (Everton – on loan from Arsenal), Charlie Wellings (Birmingham City).

* replaced by Lucy Parker (Louisiana State University)
** replaced by Alicia Johnson (Liverpool)
*** replaced by Kess Elmore (University of Connecticut)

The original squad was similar to the one that competed at the u19 Euros in Northern Ireland this year, with the addition of a third goalkeeper Sian Rogers and two forwards Charlie Wellings and Rianna Dean.

Isabella Sibley was a late addition in the tournament as a replacement to Georgia Stanway but was an unused substitute throughout the tournament.

mo marley leah williamson
Mo Marley (right).

The squad has players born in 1999 who are eligible for the UEFA u19 Euro qualifiers and finals, while those born in 2000 will train with the England u18 squad.

Ten out of the final 21 players in the Florida squad were US-based, having decided to move abroad to study as there are better opportunities.

Such a high proportion of players being away from England is a headache for Mo Marley and her coaching staff, as it is not easy to monitor the players.

It is quite obvious that the core players will be in the final squad of 21, barring any injury problems or refusal from their club side to let the player join the team – something that has happened this tournament.

The games will be played between August 5-24. It should fall into pre-season for the WSL teams, meaning not many players should miss out due to club commitments.

anna patten
Anna Patten, formerly of Arsenal.

All the players with a chance of making the final squad will need regular game time with their club in the next six months. It will be interesting to see if certain players have to move club to gain more minutes.

Taylor Hinds is the only Arsenal player in the current squad. Chloe Kelly who went for a full year at Everton on loan. There were also six ex-Arsenal youth players in the squad – Sian Rogers, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Lucy Parker, Georgia Allen and Rianna Dean.

It shows the quality of the academy system at Arsenal Women, but it also shows that the club cannot retain their promising youngsters.

This u20 squad is one of the best in the generation. They clearly have the potential to bring a medal home but will need to perform well against tough opposition.