The United States U-23 women's national soccer team is a youth soccer team operated under the auspices of U.S. Soccer. Its primary role is the development of players in preparation for the full Women's National Team. The team's most recent major tournament was the 2008 Nordic Cup, in which the United States team won 3-0 over Germany. The team competes in a variety of competitions, including the annual Nordic Cup, which is the top competition for this age group. The current head coach is Steve Swanson.
The United States U-23 team has been active since 1989, however it was run as a U-20 team from its inception until 1998. Its main goal was to prepare college players for the step up to international soccer. Women had no viable opportunities to enhance their playing abilities, aside from overseas, since the United States lacked a top-level domestic league during this time.
In 1998, United States Soccer Federation decided to make the team a U-21 team in order to give women a higher level of play to better prepare them for the full National Team. In accordance with this strategy, the U-21 team frequently rostered "over-aged" players in the U-21 training camps, as well as the Nordic Cup. It remained a U-21 team from 1998 through 2008.
2008 saw the change of the USA's oldest youth national team moved to the U-23 level. The move was made by the United States Soccer Federation in response to age-level changes FIFA had made to its oldest women's youth competition, now named FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. The age limit was raised from being a U-19 tournament to a U-20 tournament. This change, coupled with a newly introduced U-23 age limit to the Nordic Cup, prompted the USSF to rethink and eventually change the youth development team. The team continues serve as a stepping-stone for collegiate and post-collegiate players to the United States Women's National Team. Additionally, many U-23 players develop further through the new national women's league, the NWSL. While many of the post-collegiate players play in this new league to develop their game, the U-23's turned focus on college players who are out of season and may not yet be NWSL-eligible.
The United States won the tournament with victories over Japan (1-0) on March 1, Sweden (2-1) on March 3, and Norway (2-1) on March 5. Defender Abby Dahlkemper was the only U.S. player to play every minute of the three matches in the tournament.
The roster for the Six Nations Tournament from Feb. 24-March 6, 2014 in La Manga, Spain.