Open Announce

Nelson Represents Lobo Soccer at the U.S. Women’s Youth National Team Level

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— New Mexico Soccer Associate Head Coach Karley Nelson joined the staff of the Under-17 United States Women’s Youth National Team in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Championship and World Cup qualifiers. As an assistant coach, she shared responsibilities of scouting opponents, film review and breakdown, the preparation and running of training sessions, along with working with the forwards.

“US Soccer is the highest level of soccer in our country, and the Youth National Team system identifies the highest level of talent for both players and coaches that the United States has to offer,” said UNM Head Coach Heather Dyche. “Their selection of Karley is no surprise to anyone who has worked with her or seen her coach; she is absolutely one of the best. We are proud to have UNM and our program represented at an international stage.”

The 21 player roster was released on Jan. 17th, and this U17 tournament was the first-ever to include US professional players. Melanie Barcenas, whom Nelson coached previously, was the youngest player to sign with the NWSL at age 15 and is a member of San Diego Wave FC. Alex Pfeiffer, a 16-year-old forward, will play in her rookie professional season this year with the Kansas City Current.

Nelson traveled with the team for training preparation in Guatemala from Jan. 21st-29th and then to Toluca, Mexico for matches from Jan. 29th to Feb. 11th.

During the group stage of the tournament, the US went undefeated, earning wins against Panama (13-0), Puerto Rico (3-1), and Canada (5-0). The US defeated Haiti 7-1 in the semifinal round, and then moved on to the championship match, shutting out Mexico 4-0. The Americans outscored its opponents 32-2 in the tournament and the win against Mexico was the U17 group’s fourth consecutive CONCACAF title and sixth overall.

The U17s will play in the 2024 FIFA World Cup this coming October in the Dominican Republic.

“I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be affiliated with US Soccer and proudly represent UNM with the U17 Women’s Youth National Team at the CONCACAF Championships and World Cup Qualifying,” said Nelson. “It was an incredible experience to coach players at an international level. I gained valuable knowledge that I am excited to bring back to UNM to enhance our program. Additionally, I’m grateful to work with a head coach (Heather) who recommends me for these kinds of opportunities and supports my development as a coach.”

Nelson was previously an assistant coach and traveled with the U-23 US Women’s Youth National Team to Sweden in July of 2022 for international friendlies.