16-year-old Lily Yohannes becomes the third-youngest USWNT goalscorer in her debut

Ajax midfielder Lily Yohannes became the third-youngest goalscorer ever for the U.S. women's national team when she scored an 82nd-minute goal in a friendly against South Korea on Tuesday night.

Yohannes made history just by being in the sport. When she stepped onto the sphere, the 16-year-old was the youngest player to play for the national team since 2001 and only the eighth to make her debut before her seventeenth birthday. Her goals made her the youngest goalscorer for the USWNT, behind Kristine Lilly and Tiffany Roberts.

“It's truly a dream come true,” Yohannes told TNT Sports after the USWNT won 3-0. “I've played the scenario countless times in my head. The support of my teammates, all running to me, made it even more special.”

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How did Yohannes rating?

While a friendly international doesn’t necessarily tie a player to the national team, the arrival of Lily Yohannes within the 72nd minute was one other step within the team's ongoing post-World Cup rejuvenation. She was given some freedom to take her place away from Sam Coffey and play on the wings, which she immediately thrived in. At times she was also asked to maneuver across the venerable Ji So-yun, a giant challenge for her first appearance, but a very important one which demonstrated each a level of trust and a willingness to let Yohannes rise or fall depending on her own merits.

Yohannes selected “Fly” and scored her first goal, a calmly placed shot that rolled right under goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi.

Yohannes entered her name into the record books at just 16 years and 358 days old.

“Lily is a baller. From the day she came to training camp, she was making passes that you don't see from 16-year-olds,” said forward Sophia Smith. “You don't even see experienced players making passes like that. She's confident and composed. We knew she was going to come into this game and she came in and didn't let it bother her.

“She looked like a natural out there and to then score a goal is incredible and absolutely deserved.” —

Who is Lily Yohannes?

Born in Springfield, Virginia, Yohannes spent her early childhood playing soccer alongside her brothers and father in a community of Ethiopian and Eritrean expats. When the family moved to the Netherlands, Yohannes played her way into Ajax Amsterdam's women's academy, eventually becoming a regular for the team this season.

She made 20 appearances this season, scoring five goals and providing four assists, helping Ajax reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League, where they lost to Emma Hayes and Chelsea.

“She's essentially the most mature 16-year-old I've ever met,” USWNT midfielder Rose Lavelle said Tuesday. “I truthfully feel like she's more mature than me. She was so impressive. I told her, 'I'll all the time remember my a centesimal cap since it was Lily's first cap and her first goal.'

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