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Lily Yohannes: What the Young Star’s Future Could Look Like with the USWNT

June 28, 2024, by Salma Ahmed | Courtesy of www.girlssoccernetwork.com



The future of the USWNT is looking brighter than ever. For example, the new generation of young players in the NWSL and other leagues assures fans that the USWNT has a lot of talent coming up the pipeline. One player whose talent has turned eyes is Lily Yohannes. Yohannes’ name keeps getting mentioned, whether due to her undeniable talent or the question of who she’ll play for. The young star can join the Netherlands or the USWNT, which makes fans speculate about her future.

 

How Yohannes Fell in Love With Soccer


Before her career launched, Yohannes grew up in Springfield, Virginia. Her love for soccer started from an early age, as she always played with her brothers. Growing up in a family whose love for the game has always been there, Yohannes had the same passion grow inside of her.


Since she was young, Yohannes has been competitive and “always wanted to win,” as she said in The Women’s Game podcast with Sam Mewis. This competitiveness is still part of her character even today as she plays against European teams at the professional level. Yohannes has always shared that she reached the level she is at today because of her parents. The continuous support from her parents and the fact that they wanted her to follow her passion played a significant role in Yohannes’ life. The move to the Netherlands might have come after her father got a job opportunity there, but it helped her develop as a player faster.


Lily Yohannes’ Time With The USWNT

While Yohannes still hasn’t decided which team she will permanently play for, she has already made her USWNT debut. In the recent friendly between the USWNT and South Korea on June 4, Yohannes started her international debut with a great goal. In the Woman of The Match performance, Yohannes found the back of the net almost ten minutes after coming on the field.


With this goal, Yohannes started her international career by creating records under her name. She became the third-youngest player to score in the history of the USWNT at 16 years and 358 days old. She also became the youngest person to play for the USWNT since 2001. Speaking about the moment she scored in the post-match interview, Yohannes said, “It’s a dream come true.”

 

The U.S. or the Netherlands?

So, which team will she choose? 2017 the young star moved with her Eritrean-American family to the Netherlands. She was ten years old then, and the move helped her pursue her soccer career. Therefore, while Yohannes is American-born, she is eligible to play for the Netherlands.

However, Yohannes’s eligibility to join the Netherlands can only be established after she gains Dutch citizenship, and the Netherlands has already shown interest in her. Still in the process of applying for citizenship in the Netherlands, it doesn’t seem possible that Yohannes has made up her mind. Despite playing for the USWNT, she is not cap-tied yet, as it was a friendly match.

 

Would Yohannes Choose the USWNT?

During and after Yohannes’ appearance with the USWNT, it is clear that the players love her. It felt like she already fits in with players who have been on the team for years. But is this enough to make Yohannes choose the USWNT? With Emma Hayes starting a new, hopefully brighter, era for the USWNT, it sounds more inviting to choose the USWNT.


It also helps that the team has other young players like Korbin Albert and Jaedyn Shaw. This can assure that Hayes will not shy away from giving younger players a chance to prove themselves. Other than that, if Hayes included Yohannes in the USWNT Olympic team, this could convince the young player to choose the USWNT. It would show that she is part of Hayes’ plans.


Looking ahead to the Olympics, Emma Hayes left Yohannes off the roster. She has the talent, but she is still young. At this point, the USWNT will be looking to win the Olympics. This will boost the team morale, putting them on the right track again. So, Yohannes’ absence doesn’t indicate that she isn’t part of Hayes’s future plans. It could, however, affect whether Yohannes will choose the USWNT or head to the Netherlands.


No Decision Yet by Yohannes


While Yohannes has already debuted for the USWNT, her international future is still unknown. In her podcast interview, she answered the question of which team she would choose: “I haven’t made a decision on my international future yet.”


At her age, making such a decision is never easy and requires much thinking. So far, Yohannes is keeping her options open before deciding where to play. If she chooses the USWNT, she could solve a midfield issue that the team has been suffering from. Many USWNT fans have expressed how Yohannes is the missing piece in what could be a perfect team. Her future with the USWNT, if she were to join them, is definitely bright but unguaranteed. She would go against other talented players, and the spotlight might not always be on her.


One thing is sure: Lily Yohannes’ confidence, creativity, passing, and talent make her a great addition to any team she chooses. Her composure and ability to work under pressure are qualities any team would look for in their players.

 





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