16-year-old Lily Yohannes shines in her international debut for the US women’s soccer team, scoring a goal in a 3-0 victory against South Korea. Read about her incredible journey and the praise from coach Emma Hayes.

A Dream Debut for Lily Yohannes

Lily Yohannes, at just 16, made an unforgettable debut for the US women’s soccer team, scoring in a decisive 3-0 victory against South Korea on Tuesday. Coming on as a substitute in the second half, Yohannes netted her first international goal within 10 minutes, capping off a perfectly executed corner routine in the 82nd minute.

Emotional Celebration

The young prodigy, currently playing for Dutch club Ajax, was visibly overwhelmed with emotion as she celebrated her goal with teammates. “It’s a dream come true, really,” Yohannes expressed in her post-match interview. “I played this scenario out in my head countless times before this game. The support from my teammates running up to me made it so much more special. I’m just really happy, really excited.”

Praise from the Coach

Yohannes’ debut was orchestrated by new US manager Emma Hayes, who has been highly impressed with the midfielder during recent training sessions. “She doesn’t look like a 16-year-old,” Hayes commented. “She knows what I think about her. I’ve really pushed and wanted her in this squad.”

Rapid Rise to Stardom

Born in Virginia, Yohannes moved to the Netherlands with her family in 2017. Her exceptional talents quickly caught the attention of soccer powerhouse Ajax, leading to her integration into the first team. In November of last year, she became the youngest player to start a Women’s Champions League group stage game.

“She is a natural footballer, confident in her abilities. Playing in Europe has helped accelerate her development,” Hayes noted. “She’s had exposures that many American 16-year-olds have not had, and it shows. There was a maturity to her performance even at a tender age.”

Looking Ahead

Goals from Crystal Dunn and Sophia Smith had already put the US in control against South Korea before Yohannes’ strike topped off another successful night for the Americans. As Hayes aims to usher in a new era for the four-time Women’s World Cup winners, Yohannes is set to be a crucial part of the team. With Hayes at the helm, the US women’s team has now secured two victories in a row, both against South Korea, setting a promising tone for the future.