Archive | U-20

U.S. blow out Switzerland behind Leroux hat trick

Posted on 17 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Switzerland 5-0 in its second Group D match at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as forward Sydney Leroux scored three times while Kristie Mewis and Zakiya Bywaters also added goals.

Leroux’s hat trick was just the fourth in Women’s World Cup history for the USA and first in a youth World Cup since Kelly Wilson scored three times against Denmark during a 6-0 quarterfinal victory at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup. The other hat tricks came in the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup when Michelle Akers scored five times in a 7-0 win against Chinese Taipei and Carin Gabarra famously notched three goals in a 5-2 semifinal victory against Germany. The right-footed Leroux scored all three goals with her left foot.

Against the Swiss in front of a crowd of 17,234 vocal fans, the USA scored three times in the first 25 minutes, including a fourth-minute goal from Mewis and then adding two more in a three-minute span from Leroux and Bywaters to head into halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead.

The USA heads into its final Group D match against the Korea Republic on July 21 in Bielefeld (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) needing a win or a tie to advance to the quarterfinals. A win would clinch the group title for the USA.

The Americans sit second in the group with four points from two games behind the Koreans, who have six points after two wins. The USA could possibly advance even with a loss as the Americans hold a commanding goal difference lead over Ghana, which has just one point after falling 4-2 to the Koreans in the first Group D match of the day. The Swiss, who face Ghana in Bochum on July 21, have zero points and have been eliminated from the tournament.

The USA currently has a goal difference of plus five while Ghana sits at minus two. The Ghanaians would have to hope for a big Korean victory against the USA and win their match by a large margin against Switzerland in order to tie the USA on points and make up the seven goal difference that separates the teams in the first tie-breaker.

After dodging an early bullet when a header from Swiss forward Ana Crnogorcevic flew just wide of the right post, the Americans went at the Europeans and scored less than four minutes into the game.

Against Ghana it was the USA who gave up an early goal but it was the Americans who raced ahead this time though a marvelous strike from Mewis. Leroux won a header at the top of the penalty area and the ball fell to Mewis who took a touch to the left and cranked her shot off the bottom of the crossbar. Switzerland goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery a got flicker of a hand on the shot, but not enough to push it over the top and the ball bounced down just over the goal line. After a few seconds of confusion as to whether the ball has indeed crossed the line the goal was rightfully given and the Americans had a 1-0 lead.

Leroux would start her hat trick in the 23rd minute as Amber Brooks won a header that sent the ball looping into Maya Hayes who had her back to the goal at the top of the penalty area. Hayes deftly touched the ball down to Leroux, who took a touch to her left and blasted a shot from 20 yards into the upper left corner of the net.

It was Hayes’ second assist of the tournament after also setting up Leroux’s goal against Ghana. Hayes, who came off the bench in the USA’s first match, earned the start today and went 78 minutes before being replaced by Meg Morris.

The USA finished the first-half scoring two minutes after Leroux’s goal and it was Mewis that sliced open the Swiss defense with a perfectly slipped pass behind two defenders into the left side of the penalty area to the streaking Bywaters. The speedy flank midfielder got a step on her defender and then skillfully rolled a left-footed shot into the lower right corner from six yards out.

The USA had three other great chances to score in the first half. The first came in the eighth minute as Swiss goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery came off her line to stuff a Leroux shot after the U.S. forward had powered through the defense. Then in the 17th minute another great pass from Mewis to Bywaters looked to have gotten her in, but as Bywaters tried to touch the ball past Schewry, the Swiss ‘keeper made great play to smother the ball at her feet. In the 36th minute, Bywaters turned the corner in the left side of the penalty area and laid a pass back into the path of Hayes who had a great look at goal, but she couldn’t get a good strike on the ball.

The U.S. defense did a great job of keeping Swiss star Ramona Bachmann out of dangerous areas. The Atlanta Beat forward had several intriguing dribbling runs, but she always found multiple U.S. defenders in her way.

Her strike partner Crnogorcevic had the more dangerous chances. Aside from the early header, she smoked a shot just past the right post in the first half and hit the crossbar, although U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger did well to get a glove on the ball to force it off the woodwork.

The temperatures were much cooler than in the first round of Group D matches and the Americans slowed the match down a bit in the second half, but that did not stop Leroux from scoring on two breakaways.

She added her second goal in the 52nd after running onto a long ball from Toni Pressley that was sent almost from the top of her own penalty area. Leroux spun off her defender about 20 yards past midfield and raced in alone on Schwery. She faked a shot to freeze the Swiss ‘keeper, then took a touch around her to the left and tucked a left-footed shot into the net from a stiff angle as two sliding Swiss defenders were too late.

Leroux completed her hat trick in the 76th minute when she read a square pass from Swiss center back Rahel Kiwic and stepped in the passing lane to win it. The ball hit Leroux in the side and she raced in on the breakaway, showing the composure to slow as she approached Schwery, then threw a stutter-step to once again round the ‘keeper with ease and slot the ball into the open net.

The three scores gave Leroux four for the tournament and put her in second place behind South Korean JI So Yun, who has scored five of her team’s eight goals so far.

U.S. center midfielders Brooks and Christine Nairn had a good day of clogging up the middle and helping run the U.S. attack. Brooks’ ball-winning was particularly impressive and her headers led to two of the U.S. goals.

The Mewis sisters, Kristie (19) and Samantha (17) played in their second Women’s World Cup together after the younger Mewis came on in the 81st minute for Leroux. They also played together at the 2008 U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Outside midfielder Mollie Pathman also saw her first World Cup action, coming on in the 70th minute for Bywaters.

On another note, the match was played with two different center referees as fourth official Alexandra Ihringova of England relieved Etsuko Fukano of Japan at halftime after she suffered a calf injury.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Switzerland U-20 Women’s National Team
Date: July 17, 2010
Competition: 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
Venue: Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Local (12 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 17,234
Weather: 77 degrees; Humid, light breeze

Scoring Summary:
USA – Kristie Mewis (Sydney Leroux) 4th minute
USA – Sydney Leroux (Maya Hayes) 23
USA – Zakiya Bywaters (Kristie Mewis) 25
USA – Sydney Leroux (Toni Pressley) 52
USA – Sydney Leroux (unassisted) 76

USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 3-Rachel Quon, 2-Toni Pressley, 4-Crystal Dunn, 5-Kendall Johnson; 16-Maya Hayes (14-Meg Morris, 78), 20-Amber Brooks, 11-Christine Nairn (capt.), 12-Zakiya Bywaters (13-Mollie Pathman, 70); 9-Kristie Mewis, 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.) (8-Samantha Mewis, 81)
Subs not used: 6-Vicki DiMartino, 7-Courtney Verloo, 10-Teresa Noyola, 15-Jenna Richmond, 17-Casey Short, 18-Adrianna Franch, 21-Bryane Heaberlin
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

SUI: 1-Nathalie Schwery; 3-Sarah Steinmann, 4-Muriel Bouakaz (19-Rahel Kiwic, 46), 5-Danique Stein (capt.), 6-Selina Kuster, 7-Lara Keller, 8-Chantal Fimian, 15-Lia Waelti, 17-Jehona Mehmeti (14-Cinzia Joerg, 46); 9-Ana Crnogorcevic, 10-Ramona Bachmann (16-Cora Canetta, 74)
Subs not used: 2-Carolyn Mallaun, 11-Samira Susuri, 12-Pascale Kueffer, 13-Michelle Probst, 18-Vanessa Pittet, 20-Nadine Baker, 21-Stefanie Kaderli
Head Coach: Yannick Schwery

Statistical Summary:
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

USA – Meg Morris (caution) 81st minute

Referee: 1st Half: Etsuko Fukano (JPN); 2nd half: Alexandra Ihringova (ENG)
Assistant Referee: Allyson Flynn (AUS)
Assistant Referee: Sarah Ho (AUS)
Fourth Official: Alexandra Ihringova (ENG); 2nd Half: Etsuko Fukano (JPN)

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U-20s draw Ghana in World Cup opener

Posted on 14 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team opened Group D play at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with 1-1 draw against Ghana as forward Sydney Leroux scored in the 70th minute to answer an early goal from the Africans.

Leroux’s goal came after Teresa Noyola stripped a Ghana player in midfield and sent Maya Hayes through on a long break-away into the right side of the penalty area. Hayes raced at the ‘keeper and then slipped a pass square to Leroux who slid to knock the ball into the open net from just inside the six-yard box. It was Leroux’s sixth goal in her U-20 Women’s World Cup career after scoring five during the 2008 tournament.

The USA is now tied with Ghana for second place in the group behind the Korea Republic, which trounced Switzerland 4-0 in the other Group D match. The USA continues first round play on Saturday, July 17, at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium against the Swiss. The USA-Switzerland match will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 12 p.m. ET

The match was played in stifling heat that reached almost 90 degrees despite the 6 p.m. local kickoff. Even though seven players in the starting lineup had previous FIFA Women’s World Cup experience at the U-17 or U-20 levels, the young Americans suffered from some early jitters when surrendering an early goal off a give-away in midfield in the seventh minute.

That change in possession led to an attack down the right wing which was stalled by U.S. left back Kendall Johnson, but the Americans could not clear their own defensive third. The ball then dropped to Elizabeth Cudjoe, who took a touch forward and cracked an unstoppable shot from at least 30-yards that struck the inside of the left post and rolled around the back of the net.

After the Ghana goal, the majority of the match was controlled by the USA, but the talented Africans showed some great skill and composure on the ball to diffuse pressure while also counter-attacking effectively on few occasions.

After the Ghana goal, the USA racked up five corner kicks to Ghana’s zero and at nine shots to Ghana’s one before halftime, but some tough defense kept the Americans off the board. The teams combined for 40 shots during the match but the U.S. put just seven of their 25 on goal.

U.S. midfielder Christine Nairn had the first U.S. chance of the game in the 13th minute, but scuffed her shot from 16 yards after a poor Ghana clearance.

In the 22nd minute, a cross from the left wing from Johnson was almost headed into the Ghana net by defender Edem Atovor, but it bounced just over the top of the goal.

One minute later, Ghana had to scramble at the top of its own six-yard box to block point blank shots from Vicki DiMartino and Amber Brooks before the ball was cleared out of danger.

The USA also had several free kicks from dangerous spots during the first half, but Nairn fired over from 30 yards on the half hour and Zakiya Bywaters struck a set play way over the goal from just outside the left corner of the penalty box in the 32nd minute.

Just before halftime, Ghana goalkeeper Patricia Mantey had to bat away a blistering drive from center-back Toni Pressley.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made one change at halftime, sending on the speedy Hayes for Vicki DiMartino, and then making another change early in the second half, sending on Noyola for Nairn in the 54th. Those changes would lead to the tying goal.

Leroux had the first chance of the second half in the 54th as she ran onto a nice pass slipped between Ghanaian defenders from Kristie Mewis, but her sliding shot from 18 yards out was well saved by Mantey.

The USA was pressing for the tying goal and looked the more likely of the two sides to score. Ghana, however, did not sit back and remained dangerous while putting together a few fine attacking moves.

Mewis struck a low shot from just outside the right corner of the penalty box in the 60th minute, but it was easily gobbled up at the near post by Mantey.

In the 65th minute, Leroux got her head on a long free-kick service from Pressley, but the ball spun wide right of the goal. Five minutes later, she tied the match, and then the Americans launched an all-out quest for the winning goal which stretched the game out and led to chances for both teams.

In the 72nd minute, Hayes ran onto another long through ball, but her cross was blocked up in the air at the last moment and Mantey grabbed it.

U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, playing in her first Women’s World Cup match, put in an excellent performance and had to knock down a dangerous looking Ghanaian shot in the 79th minute before pouncing on the rebound.

Ghana almost got a break-away of its own soon after, but Pressley ran it down and her center-back partner Crystal Dunn, who played a fine match, swept the ball away.

The USA had several excellent chances to win the game, one coming in the 80th minute after working the ball off a short corner kick to substitute Courtney Verloo at the top of the penalty area, but she lashed her shot over the top.

In the 82nd minute Henninger made another big save as she scooped a dipping shot from distance over the end line for a corner kick.

The USA had two chances to win the game in the five minutes of extra time, most of it given due to numerous stoppages for injured Ghanaians. First, Noyola’s shot from the top of the penalty area flew straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. Then Mewis crushed a shot from distance in the last seconds that was seemingly headed into the upper right corner, but somehow Mantey stuck a hand up to deflect the ball away and seconds later the match was over.

Pressley, Johnson, Bywaters, Hayes and Noyola made their World Cup debuts, along with Henninger.

It was the first time the USA has tied an opening match of a U-19/U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup after winning four straight openers since the inaugural tournament in 2002.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Ghana U-20 Women’s National Team
Date: July 14, 2010
Competition: 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
Venue: Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Local (12 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 9,430
Weather: 88 degrees; Sunny, very hot

Scoring Summary:

GHA – Elizabeth Cudjoe 7th minute
USA – Sydney Leroux (Maya Hayes) 70

USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 3-Rachel Quon, 2-Tony Pressley, 4-Cyrstal Dunn, 5-Kendall Johnson; 20-Amber Brooks, 11-Christine Nairn (10-Teresa Noyola, 54), 12-Zakiya Bywaters (Courtney Verloo, 77), 9-Kristie Mewis; 6-Vicki DiMartino (16-Maya Hayes, 46), 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.)
Subs not used: 8-Samantha Mewis, 13-Mollie Pathman, 14-Meg Morris, 15-Jenna Richmond, 17-Casey Short, 18-Adrianna Franch, 21-Bryane Heaberlin
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

GHA: 21-Patricia Mantey; 4-Janet Egyir, 5-Rosemary Ampem, 12-Mantenn Kobblah, 18-Edem Atovor, 6-Elizabeth Cudjoe (7-Samira Suleman, 67), 11-Deborah Afriyie, 13-Mercy Myles (capt.) (8-Elizabeth Addo, 35), 15-Juliet Achempong, 9-Florence Dadson, 17-Faiza Ibrahim (19-Candice Osei-Agyemang, 83)
Subs not used: 1-Fafali Dumahisi, 2-Felicia Dapaah, 3-Henrietta Annie, 10-Priscilla Saahene, 14-Fauzia Mustapha, 16-Nana Asantewaa, 20-Cynthia Adobia
Head Coach: James Dadzie

Statistical Summary:
Shots: 25 / 15
Shots on Goal: 7 / 8
Saves: 7 / 5
Corner Kicks: 11 / 3
Fouls: 4 / 11
Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
GHA – Faiza Ibrahim (caution) 41st minute


Referee: Dagmar Dmakova (CZE)
Assistant Referee: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (ESP)
Assistant Referee: Yolanda Rodriguez Parga (ESP)
Fourth Official: Florence Guillemin (FRA)

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U-20s kick off World Cup defense

Posted on 13 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National team is ready to begin its quest for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title. The USA’s first Group D match takes place, Wed., July 14, against Ghana, which qualified from Africa along with Nigeria. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU from Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresden, Germany, at Noon ET. All three of the USA’s Group D matches in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany will be broadcast live on ESPN’s family of networks.

The USA will face Switzerland in its second group match on July 17, also from Dresden, and that game will be also broadcast live on ESPNU at Noon ET. The young Americans finish group play on July 21 in Bielefeld against the Korea Republic in a match that will be broadcast live at Noon ET on ESPN2.

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kan.), 21-Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1-Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), 5-Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), 14-Meg Morris (North Carolina; Montclair, N.J.), 13-Mollie Pathman (Duke; Durham, N.C.), 2-Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), 3-Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 20-Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), 12-Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), 9-Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.), 8-Samantha Mewis (Scorpions SC; Hanson, Mass.), 11-Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.), 10-Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), 15-Jenna Richmond (UCLA; Centreville, Va.), 17-Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (4): 6-Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), 16-Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), 19-Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Phoenix, Ariz.), 7-Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)

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U-20s gather for San Jose training camp

Posted on 29 June 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team has come together for a domestic training camp in San Jose until July 5, with 24 players representing the youth, college and professional ranks. Thomas Rongen’s side will scrimmage the San Jose Earthquakes twice during the camp and also play against two local clubs. The roster includes eight players who play in Mexico, and one each in Brazil, Costa Rica and Portugal. There are also 10 players from the college ranks, including the starting goalkeepers for each of the last two FIFA U-17 World Cups in Earl Edwards (UCLA) and Zac MacMath (Maryland).

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Earl Edwards (UCLA; San Diego, Calif.), Zac MacMath (Maryland; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Justin Perez (Monterrey; Sabinas, Mexico)

DEFENDERS (8): Cristian Flores (Monterrey; El Cajon, Calif.), Greg Garza (Sporting CP; Grapevine, Texas), Sacir Hot (Boston College; Fair Lawn, N.J.), Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Albertson; Brentwood, N.Y.), Aubrey Perry (South Florida; Ocoee, Fla.), Gerardo Saavedra (UW-Milwaukee; Milwaukee, Wis.), Zarek Valentin (Akron; Lancaster, Pa.), Ethan White (Maryland; Kensington, Md.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kevyn Batista (Desportivo Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Steven Birnbaum (California; Irvine, Calif.), Victor Garza (Tigres; Edinburg, Texas), Ernest Nungaray (Morelia; National City, Calif.), Moises Orozco (Real So Cal; Oxnard, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Roberto Romero (Cruz Azul; Pico Rivera, Calif.); Conor Shanosky (DC United, Sterling, Va.)

FORWARDS (5): Julio Cesar Castillo (Monterrey; Chula Vista, Calif.), Adam Jahn (Stanford; El Macero, Calif.), Ronald Medrano Williams (L.D. Alajuelense; Ventura, Calif.), Adrian Ruelas (Santos Laguna; Fontana, Calif.), Omar Salgado (C.D. Guadalajara; El Paso, Texas)

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Rongen names four MLS players to squad for Dutch tourney

Posted on 05 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will travel to Uitgeest, Netherlands, from May 14-25 to compete in the Cor Groenewegan Tournament. U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen will bring 20 players to his native Holland for the competition, which will include four international matches. Though the tournament schedule has not yet been finalized, the U.S. team will play friendly matches against Senegal on May 18 and Korea Republic on May 20.

The 20 American players are based in eight different countries, including four who play in Major League Soccer. The Philadelphia Union’s Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo have both seen first-team action as rookies in 2010 while Juan Agudelo and Cesar Zamora are still on the brink. Other U.S.-based players include a trio of Zips from the University of Akron in Chad Barson, Zarek Valentin and incoming freshman Perry Kitchen, and Miami FC’s Bryan Dominguez. There is also a pair of Development Academy players in Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA Academy) and Moises Orozco (Real So Cal).

Nine players will be traveling to the Netherlands from European clubs, including FIFA U-20 World Cup veteran Gale Agbossoumonde and goalkeeper Samir Badr, both based in Portugal. Parker Walsh and Bobby Wood will both be participating in their first training camp under Rongen and will be traveling from Germany’s Karlsruher SC and 1860 Munich, respectively.

Erik Benjaminsen (Stabek), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town), Lester Dewee (Olympique Marseilles), Alex Molano (Dinamo Zagreb) and George Pantelic (FK RAD Belgrade) round out the Groenewegan roster.

U-20 USMNT roster by position

GOALKEEPERS (2): Samir Badr (FC Porto; Fairfax, Va.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (SC Braga; Syracuse, N.Y.), Chad Barson (Akron; Lewis Center, Ohio), Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA Academy; Bell, Calif.), Perry Kitchen (Akron, Indianapolis, Ind.), Kofi Sarkodie (Akron; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Akron; Lancaster, Pa.), Parker Walsh (1860 Munich; Irvine, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Erik Benjaminsen (Stabæk; Sandvika, Norway), Lester Dewee (Olympique de Marseille; Kensington, Md.), Bryan Dominguez (Miami FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Alex Molano (Dinamo Zagreb; Grapevine, Texas), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Moises Orozco (Real So Cal; Oxnard, Calif.), George Pantelic (FK RAD Belgrade; Woodland Hills, Calif.), Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA; Sylmar, Calif.)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union; Alpharetta, Ga.), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich; Irvine, Calif.)

Discuss these and other things with fellow fans on our new USMNT forum!

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Drawn into World Cup group with Ghana, Switzerland, Korea

Posted on 22 April 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team has been drawn into Group D of the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, along with Ghana, Switzerland and the Korea Republic, and will be based in Dresden for its first two games before moving to Bielefeld to finish the first stage. The final draw took place April 22 in Dresden, Germany.

The U.S. will open against Ghana July 14 before facing Switzerland July 17, with both games taking place at the Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresden, a newly built 27,000-seat venue that will also host games of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S. team will then travel to the recently renovated Bielefelder Alm Stadium, a 28,000-seat venue in Bielefeld, to conclude group play against the Koreans.

“I think it’s an exciting draw because these are teams that we haven’t played,” said U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis. “It’s a bit of an unknown. That sometimes can be a negative, but for us, it’s a positive because I think we will be very motivated. There are no pre-conceived thoughts about these opponents. We know we have to prepare well and focus on ourselves. They are all very different kinds of teams from different regions and represent different challenges and different strengths. It will require us to perform very well each game.”

The field of 16 teams was divided into four groups of four, with the host Germany, USA, Brazil and Japan earning the top seeds in the draw. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Should the U.S. advance out of Group D, they will face an opponent from Group C, which consists of England, Nigeria, Mexico and Japan.

The USA’s first opponent, Ghana, will be participating in its first FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Ghana took down Congo DR (the USA’s first opponent at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup) by a 5-0 aggregate score in its final round qualifying matches. Ghana is a rising women’s soccer nation in Africa, which has been dominated for years on the women’s side by Nigeria.

The USA was guaranteed to get one European team in its group and it turned out to be the Swiss, who are led by 19-year-old Ramona Bachmann of the WPS expansion team Atlanta Beat. Widely hailed as the best teenager in the world, Bachmann scored the Beat’s first in club history goal in her first WPS match during a 3-1 loss to the Washington Freedom last weekend. The Swiss made their debut at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2006 in Russia but crashed out hard, falling to Mexico 4-2, losing 4-0 to eventual champion Korea DPR, and then 6-0 to the Germans.

Switzerland qualified for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup by making the final four of the 2009 UEFA U-19 Women’s Championships but gave up three goals in overtime to lose 5-2 to Sweden in the semifinal. The Swiss did pick up a 3-0 win against Germany during group play of that qualifying competition.

The USA’s final opponent, the South Koreans, will be making their second appearance in this event, first participating in 2004 in Thailand, where they fell to the USA 3-0 in the opening match of the tournament for both teams. Korea Republic, which is generally seen as behind Japan, China and North Korea in the women’s game in Asia, nevertheless finished second at last year’s AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in China to ensure a return to this tournament for the first time in six years. The Koreans earned their berth to Germany by defeating the hosts 1-0 in the semifinal, but then fell 2-1 to Japan in the championship game.

The USA and South Korea met in the quarterfinals of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand with the USA coming away with a 4-2 victory, so many of the same players may meet again this time around.

“It’s definitely an exciting time for us,” said U.S. U-20 WNT forward Sydney Leroux. “We knew going into the draw that every team we play is going to bring their best game against us, and that’s never going to change. I like the teams we got because it’s going to be a challenge and as a team we are definitely up for a challenge.”

The United States has qualified for all five World Championships at this level, with the first two tournaments held as Under-19 competitions. In January, the U.S. won the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship in Guatemala, defeating Mexico in the championship game 1-0 on a late goal from Sydney Leroux.

The U.S. won the first FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002 in an overtime thriller against host Canada. Current U.S. Women’s National Team player Lindsay Tarpley scored the golden goal in the final and captained that side. In 2004, the U.S. fell to eventual champion Germany in the semifinals and defeated Brazil, 3-0, in the third-place match. Two years later in Russia, the Americans finished fourth after falling to Brazil in a penalty shootout in the third-place game. Last time around, the USA played one of its most solid youth World Cup tournaments ever, defeating Germany in the semifinal 2-0, and then downing North Korea 2-1 to win the U 20 Women’s World Cup in front of a crowd of 12,000 in Santiago, Chile.

In continuing preparation for the tournament, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis will hold three more training camps before heading to Germany for the U-20 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. team will train at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., in mid-May while also traveling to Germany in June for some pre-World Cup exhibitions against Japan on June 10 and Germany on June 13 in Bielefeld, which will host the USA’s final group match this summer.

2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup

Group D Schedule
July 14 USA vs. Ghana Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 14 Switzerland vs. Korea Republic Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 17 USA vs. Switzerland Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 17 Ghana vs. Korea Republic Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 21 USA vs. Korea Republic Bielefelder Alm Stadium; Bielefeld, Germany
July 21 Ghana vs. Switzerland Ruhrstadion; Bochum, Germany

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Rongen names Dallas cup roster

Posted on 15 March 2010 by ASN Staff

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has announced a 20- player team that will compete in the upcoming Dallas Cup. The group will come together on March 25 in Dallas, and will serve as the tournament’s opening game when facing Mexico on Sunday, March 28, in the stadium at Pizza Hut Park at 7 p.m. CT. As part of the Super Group, Rongen’s squad will also face the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 29 at 2:30 p.m. CT and Eintracht Frankfurt inside the stadium on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for all of the games can be purchased at

Joining the U.S. in Dallas will be a mix of youth national team veterans and newcomers, which include youth players and newly signed Francisco Navas Cobo from the Houston Dynamo and Tigres’ Moises Orozco. Zac MacMath and Kofi Sarkodie, who were teammates at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, while Will Packwood, Tyler Polak and Jared Watts played in the 2009 edition of the tournament. Dillon Powers and Amobi Okugo were part of the previous U-20 cycle, with Powers featuring for the U.S. at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and Okugo part of the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster By Position

GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Luthy (Boston College; Dublin, Ohio), Zac MacMath (Maryland; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Chad Barson (Akron; Lewis Center, Ohio), Jesus Gonzalez (CZ Elite; Burbank, Calif.), Ian Hines-Ike (Chivas USA Academy; Littleton, Colo.), Tyler Polak (CSA Legacy; Lincoln, Neb.), Kofi Sarkodie (Akron; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Akron; Lancaster, Pa.), Jared Watts (Wake Forest; Statesville, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego State; San Diego, Calif.), Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA Academy; Bell, Calif.), Ruben Gonzalez (Chivas USA; Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Will Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA Academy; Sylmar, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): Will Bates (Virginia; Chester, Va.), Ryan Finley (Duke; Lumberton, N.J.), Francisco Navas Cobo (Houston Dynamo; Richmond, Texas), Moises Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.)

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U-20s head to La Manga tourney

Posted on 16 February 2010 by ASN Staff

Fresh off winning the title at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will head to La Manga, Spain, from Feb. 18-27 for a four-nation tournament featuring the Under-23 National Teams from Norway, England and Germany. The matches against the older squads will kick off the USA’s run to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany after the young Americans earned their berth during the CONCACAF tournament. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis will bring an 18-player roster to face Norway on Feb. 22, Germany on Feb. 24 and England on Feb. 26. The U.S. roster features 16 players from the team that helped the USA defeat Costa Rica 2-1 in the semifinal of the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s championship to earn its berth to Germany and then downed Mexico 1-0 in the final game.

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kansas), Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Amber Brooks (UNC; New Hope, Pa.), Crystal Dunn (Albertson SC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), Lucretia Lee (UCLA; Bothell, Wash.), Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), Samantha Mewis (Scorpions SC; Hanson, Mass.), Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), Jenna Richmond (McLean SC; Centreville, Va.), Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Maya Hayes (Aristocrats Club; West Orange, N.J.), Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Pheonix, Ariz.), Morgan Marlborough (Nebraska; Raymore, Mo.), Tiffany McCarty (Florida State; Laurel, Md.), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)

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Defeat Mexico to take first place at CONCACAF championship

Posted on 26 January 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Cementos Progreso to claim first place in Group B at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship. As the group winner, the U.S. will face Costa Rica, the second place finisher in Group A, in the first semifinal at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 28. The match will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel, streamed live on and fans can also follow live on

In the other semifinal match, Group A winner Canada and Group B runner-up Mexico will square off at 5:30 p.m. ET, also on Thursday, Jan. 28, live on Fox Soccer Channel and Both semifinal winners and the winner of the third place match will qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Both teams started the match strong with Mexico putting much more pressure on the U.S. defense than the Americans had faced in the previous two games of the tournament, but the U.S. back line, led by center backs Toni Pressley and Crystal Dunn, proved impossible to get behind.

U.S. captain Sydney Leroux, who pressured the Mexican backline until she was subbed in 81st minute, had the first U.S. shot of the evening in the sixth minute as she volleyed wide right off a Rachel Quon cross from the right wing.

Flank midfielder Zakiya Bywaters then had two close calls in a row, first blasting a ball into the right side netting in the eight minute after running onto a square pass from Teresa Noyola that dissected the Mexican defense. One minute later, Bywaters collected a cross in the right side of the box from Vicki DiMartino, measured up her defender and then left her behind with a burst of speed inside. Bywaters’ quick move gave her an unimpeded shot at the net, but she smashed the ball right at Mexican goalkeeper Aurora Santiago.

U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who hadn’t been tested much in the two previous matches, came up huge in the 10th minute on basically her first real test of the tournament when Natalia Gomez-Junco got some separation from Dunn and Pressley in the middle and squared it right to Natalia Lagunas. The Mexican forward hit a high, arching shot that Henninger did well to tip over the goal for a corner kick.

Henninger’s save took on even more importance when DiMartino, the USA’s left back, punctured the Mexican goal just three minutes later with a tremendous blast from distance. Noyola did well to latch onto a pass at the top of the penalty box and tapped the ball back to DiMartino, who took a perfect preparation touch to the inside and hit a 28-yeard screamer into the upper right corner over the diving Santiago. The right footed rocket was made even more impressive by the fact that DiMartino is left-footed.

The U.S. had a goal disallowed in the 32nd minute after another Quon cross found to Leroux alone in the box, but her thumping volley into the upper right corner was quickly rendered null by the flag of the assistant referee, who correctly signaled offside.

The USA went into the break with the 1-0 lead, but Mexico almost tied it just seconds after the break as Gomez-Junco stole a ball near the top of the box and fired a shot that Henninger had to parry to her right with a dive. The rebound bounced to Inglis Hernández, but she sailed her half-volley over the goal.

As the second half wore on, it became clear the U.S. would need a second goal to take some sting out of the gusty Mexicans, who clearly believed they could do enough to get an equalizer.

Truth be told, the U.S. had plenty of chances to put the game way, wasting three golden chances from the 50th to 58th minutes. First, midfielder Christine Nairn won a ball in midfield and exchanged a nifty pass with Leroux, then put McCarty through on a semi-breakaway. With a defender on her back, McCarty waited too long to shoot and Santiago came off her line to cut down the angle, smothering the shot before defender Valeria Miranda cleared it out of danger.

Two minutes later, Leroux had a breakaway of her own, racing in from the left side with only Santiago to beat, but pushed her shot wide right of the goal from just inside the penalty area.

U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Jill Ellis made her first substitute in the 53rd minute, sending on Amber Brooks at holding midfielder for Jenna Richmond. Brooks made her presence felt by winning numerous balls in the midfield and in the 58th minute won a challenge before finding Noyola, who played a wall-pass with McCarty that got behind the Mexican defense. Noyola hit her shot well from the right side of the penalty box, but it skipped just outside the left post.

In the 63rd minute, Kristie Mewis came into the match for Bywaters and just over a minute later she had created the second goal. Mewis received the ball on the left from Noyola, ran past a defender and slid hard on the ground to drive her shot off the inside of the left post from a bit of an angle. Amazingly, the ball rebounded in the air back towards the center of the goal, where Leroux was lurking. Leroux, who had a defender right on her back, stretched her left leg high and got a foot on the ball from about six yards out, depositing her first-time shot into the upper left corner over Santiago. The Mexican ‘keeper leapt back in a vain attempt to swat the ball away, but was out of position after being stranded at the left post when she stepped out to challenge Mewis.

Despite going down by two goals, Mexico did not give up and created several dangerous chances in the final portion of the match, including one free-kick that hit the top of the crossbar in the 72nd minute. Mexico finally pulled a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time off a corner kick as Gomez-Junco sent a high cross into the center of the penalty area. Mexico captain Alina Garciamendez, a Texas product who plays at Stanford University with Noyola and Quon, used her 5-foot-8 frame to dart in front of a U.S. defender and sneak a header past Henniinger low into the right side of the goal.

It was the first goal the U.S. has given up in the tournament against 12 scored.

Two years ago at the 2008 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships in Mexico, the U.S. team also faced Costa Rica in the semifinal with a berth to the U-20 Women’s World Cup on the line. The USA won that match by a 4-0 score with four first half goals by four different players to book tickets to Chile.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report

U.S. U-20 WNT vs. Mexico, 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship; Group B
Jan. 25, 2010, Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CT (5:30 p.m. ET)
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:
USA – Victoria DiMartino (Teresa Noyola) 14th minute
USA – Sydney Leroux 64
MEX – Alina Garciamendez (Natalia Gomez-Junco) 90+1

USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 6-Rachel Quon, 4-Crystal Dunn, 11-Toni Pressley, 3-Victoria DiMartino; 12-Zakiya Bywaters (15-Kristie Mewis, 63), 13-Jenna Richmond (5-Amber Brooks, 53), 17-Christine Nairn, 9-Teresa Noyola; 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.) (16-Maya Hayes, 82), 7-Tiffany McCarty
Subs not used: 8-Samantha Mewis, 10-Casey Short, 14-Morgan Marlborough, 24-Taylor Vancil
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Aurora Santiago, 2-Bianca Sierra, 3-Alina Garciamendez, 4-Marylin Díaz, 5-Valeria Miranda; 6-Diana González (7-Lydia Rangel, 54), 14-Monica Alvarado, 16-Ashley Kotero (11-Liliana Godoy, 64), 17-Natalia Gomez-Junco; 18-Inglis Hernández, 19-Natalie Lagunas (9-Sandra Mayor, 72)
Subs not used: 10-Verónica Corral, 12-Brissa Rangel, 13-Olivia Jimenez, 15-Angélica Figueroa
Head Coach: Roberto Medina

Stats Summary:
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 6 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Dianne Ferreira James (GUY)
Assistant Referee 1: Lesbia Tzul (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Milagros Leonardo (DOM)
Fourth Official: Yesli Sarai Rivas (SLV)

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Kick off 2010 Championships with blowout of Jamaica

Posted on 22 January 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team kicked off its run at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with a 6-0 victory over Jamaica at Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City. Christine Nairn and Sydney Leroux, who were both part of the team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, each scored a brace. Teresa Noyola and Tiffany McCarty added one goal apiece.

With the dominating win, the USA takes control of Group B and will next face Trinidad & Tobago in its second first round match on Saturday. The match will be streamed live on and fans can also follow along via’s MatchTracker.

In the first Group B game of the evening, Mexico came from behind to defeat Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 after allowing a goal in just the first minute of play, but the Americans sit atop the group based on goal differential. Host Guatemala leads Group A after a 2-1 win against Cuba in their first match, while Canada is in second place after a 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

“It was a fantastic start to the tournament,” said U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Jill Ellis. “There were some good goals and I was happy that we didn’t concede any. I thought there was a little anxiety, but we settled the game pretty quickly. The early goal was good for us and I think some of the personalities started to emerge…This is about getting through the group stage. Now we will recover and look forward to the next game.”

Nairn opened the scoring for the U.S. in just the ninth minute when Zakiya Bywaters tore past her defender on the right flank and served a ball to McCarty on the ground into the center of the penalty box. She took a touch and then cut sharply to lose a defender before rolling the ball right into the path of Nairn, who stroked her shot into the right corner of the net from 12 yards out.

Jamaica pressed for the equalizer and nearly found it in the 24th minute when Sashana Campbell rocked a free-kick off the crossbar just over the hands of U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, but the U.S. defense reacted well and cleared the rebound out of danger. Just seconds later, the U.S. quickly took a throw-in that Noyola sent to Leroux on the left flank. The speedy striker dribbled centrally, losing several defenders in the process and then smoked a 20-yard shot that hit the inside of the left post and bounced in.

The U.S. attack was relentless throughout the match, with Bywaters and Rachel Quon serving numerous crosses from the right flank, but it was Henninger who created the third goal when she launched a punt that sailed deep into the Jamaican half in the 35th minute. The Jamaican defenders failed to get a head on the towering service and it bounced high at the top of the penalty area. Jamaican goalkeeper Sashagay Spence was slow off her line while Leroux was fast, darting under the ball to nod it past the charging ‘keeper and into the open net. It was Leroux’s 14th career goal in just 17 U-20 internationals.

In the 43rd minute U.S. defender Vicki DiMartino earned the lone yellow card of the match for a tug on Semone Honeghan.

The U.S. came out attacking in the second half and found the net after just four minutes. Leroux played a beautiful ball from the right wing over the Jamaican defense to Noyola, who was making a run into the left side of the penalty area. The U.S. midfielder settled the ball in stride, took a few touches and found herself in a one-on-one situation with Spence. The Jamaican ‘keeper got a piece of the shot, but couldn’t turn it away as it rolled slowly over the goal line to make it 4-0 in the 49th minute.

Ellis made her first substitute in the 57th minute, taking off Noyola in favor of Kristie Mewis, who would later pound a shot off the left post with just two minutes to play.

In the 72nd minute Nairn lined up a free kick from 20 years out to the left of the penalty arc after DiMartino had been cut down on the dribble. Nairn had seen a few dangerous crosses into the penalty area go unrewarded and had several shots barely miss the frame, but this one was perfect. She calmly spun a perfect shot with her favored left foot over the wall and just inside the left post, giving the diving Spence no chance.

Ellis used her final sub in the 74th minute, bringing in Amber Brooks for Toni Pressley at center back. Nine minutes later, the U.S. rounded out the scoring when Hayes dribbled up the right side and passed to Bywaters, who played a nicely weighted pass to McCarty into the right side of the penalty area. McCarty lost her defender with a quick burst forward, and from a tough angle with the ‘keeper charging at her feet, struck a perfect shot that stuck in the left side netting at the far post.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Jamaica, Jan. 21, 2010
2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship, Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:
USA – Christine Nairn (Tiffany McCarty) 9th minute
USA – Sydney Leroux 25
USA – Sydney Leroux (Bianca Henninger) 35
USA – Teresa Noyola (Sydney Leroux) 49
USA – Christine Nairn 72
USA – Tiffany McCarty (Zakiya Bywaters) 83

USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 6-Rachel Quon, 4-Crystal Dunn, 11-Tony Pressley (5-Amber Brooks, 75), 3-Vicki DiMartino; 12-Zakiya Bywaters, 13-Jenna Richmond, 17-Christine Nairn (capt.), 9-Teresa Noyola (15-Kristie Mewis, 57); 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.) (16-Maya Hayes, 62), 7-Tiffany McCarty
Subs not used: 8-Samantha Mewis, 10-Casey Short, 14-Morgan Marlborough, 24-Taylor Vancil
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

JAM: 13-Sashagay Spence; 2-Lia Blake, 4-Zovel Hyre, 6-Takesa Small (5-Katrina Rose, 56), 7-Semone Honegan, 8-Shanise Foster (39-Shushana Dobson), 9-Shereen Clarke (capt.) (18-Teashian Thomas, 61), 11-Sashana Campbell, 12-Cathryn Rogers, 19-Monique Pryce, 20-Nicole Campbell
Subs not used: 1-Leigh-Ann Jaggon, 14-Shenika Williams, 15-Trudi Carter, 17-Jamilia Campbell-Henny
Head Coach: Vin Blaine

Stats Summary:
Shots: 21 / 3
Shots on Goal: 12 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Vicki DiMartino (caution) 42nd minute


Referee: Erika Vargas (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Jacqueline Saez (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lesbia Tzul (GUA)
Fourth Official: Arelene Troya (PAN)

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