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U.S. U-23 WNT Wins Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain with 2-1 Victory Against Norway

CHICAGO (March 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, by defeating Norway 2-1 on goals from Portland Thorns FC midfielder Meleana Shim and former Wake Forest star Katie Stengel.

The win was the third in three games at the tournament for the USA, which also defeated Japan 1-0 and Sweden 2-1 earlier in the competition.

Shim’s goal, her first at the U-23 level, came just before halftime. Midfielder Danielle Colaprico crossed from the end line to the top of the penalty area where Stengel laid a pass off to Shim, who scored into the right corner.

Stengel’s goal, also her first for the U-23s after a solid U-20 career in which she scored six times in 20 caps, came in the 75th minute and would prove to be the game-winner. The goal came after Chioma Ubogagu played a ball down the left wing to Carpice Dydasco, who fed Stengel about 10 yards out for a first-time shot that beat the goalkeeper low.

Norway pulled a goal back three minutes later as U.S. goalkeeper Abby Smith hit a clearance from the goal mouth that went short to Martine Flakk who passed to Victoria Ludvigsen and she finished from 14 yards out, but the USA, which held Norway to just two total shots on goal, was able to salt the game away.

The U.S. U-23 WNT also won this tournament last year, and now will make way for the U.S. U-18 WNT that will arrive in La Manga to play in the 12 Nations Tournament, which features three friendly matches for each of the competing teams.

Seven players on head coach Steve Swanson’s roster will now head to pre-season camps with their respective NWSL teams and the U.S. U-23s will gather again in June for a domestic training camp that will feature mostly college-aged players.

- U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match : U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team vs. Norway Under-23 Women’s National Team
Date
: March 5, 2014
Competition
: Six Nations Tournament
Venue
: La Manga Football Centre; La Manga, Spain; Field G
Weather:
68 degrees; windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
NOR 0 1 1

USA - Meleana Shim (Katie Stengel) 44th Minute
USA - Katie Stengel (Caprice Dydasco) 75
NOR - Victoria Ludvigsen (Martine Flakk) 78

Lineups:
USA:
18-Abby Smith; 14-Arin Gilliland (12-Amanda Frisbie, 46), 8-Emily Sonnett, 6-Kassey Kallman, 19-Jaelene Hinkle (11-Frances Silva, 77); 7-Kealia Ohai (17-Caprice Dydasco, 46), 9-Meleana Shim, 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Danielle Colaprico (15-Erika Tymrak, 63); 27-Katie Stengel, 5-Maya Hayes (10-Chioma Ubogagu, 58)
Substitutes not used: Aubrey Bledsoe, Jennifer Hoy

Head Coach: Steve Swanson

NOR: 1-Guro Pettersen; 2-Cecilie Brattland Liane, 3-Ina Gausdal, 4-Ida Jeanett Fjordbakk (13-Elrin Bjerkreim Kleppa, 58), 14-Mali Lilleas Naess (5-Anette Tengesdal, 46); 15-Martine Flakk, 20-Marita Holmen Iversen (6-Tonje Pedersen, 70), 9-Ina Skaug, 16-Camilla Christensen (17-Victoria Ludvigsen, 77); 19-Lisa Marie Karlseng Utland (18-Andrea Thun, 67), 10-Andrine Stolsmo Hergerberg
Substitutes not used: Guro Reiten, Melissa Bjanesoy, Emile Bosshard Haavi, Josefine Ervik
Head Coach: Goril Kringen

Stats Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 12 / 4
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 9 / 2
Fouls: 2 / 3
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct:
None

Officials:
Referee: Briet Bragadottir (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Runa Kristin Stefansdottir (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Birna Bergstad Thormundsdottir (ISL)
Fourth Official: Sonia Khan (NOR)

U23 WNT vs Sweden Highlights Reaction March 3 2014

The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won its second match at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, defeating Sweden 2-1 on goals from Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu and FC Kansas City draft pick Frances Silva.

U.S. U-23 WNT Defeats Sweden 2-1 in Second Match of the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain

CHICAGO (March 3, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won its second match at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, defeating Sweden 2-1 on goals from Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu and FC Kansas City draft pick Frances Silva.

U.S. head coach Steve Swanson switched up his starting lineup from the first game of the tournament, making six changes from the side that beat Japan 1-0 on March 3, and Silva came through with what would be the winning goal in the 31st minute.

Ubogagu, a veteran of the USA’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship team, opened the scoring in the 16th minute after running onto a through ball from Portland Thorns midfielder Meleana Shim. Ubogagu dribbled to the right side of the six-yard box and shot to the bottom corner at the near post. Sweden goalkeeper Hilda Carlen bobbled the ball, but it slipped through her legs and into the net.

The USA doubled its lead through Silva, who was taken by FCKC in the third round of the 2014 NWSL College Draft at No. 21 overall, off an assist from Texas Tech defender Jaelene Hinkle.

Sweden pulled a goal back off a penalty kick by Irma Helin in the 61st minute, but the American defense, led by center-backs Abby Dahlkemper from UCLA (who finished third in voting for the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy) and Emily Sonnett from Virginia, helped limit Sweden to just three shots on goal.

The USA will finish the competition against Norway on March 5.

- U.S. Under-23 Wmone’s National Team Match Report -

Match : U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team vs. Sweden Under-23 Women’s National Team
Date
: March 3, 2014
Competition
: Six Nations Tournament
Venue
: La Manga Football Centre; La Manga, Spain; Field A
Weather:
64 Degrees, windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         2 0 2
SWE                        0 1 1

USA - Chioma Ubogagu (Meleana Shim) 16th minute
USA - Frances Silva (Jaelene Hinkle) 31
SWE - Irma Helin (penalty kick) 61

Lineups:
SWE:
1-Hilda Carlen; 2-Catrine Johansson (9-Pauline Hammarlund, 54), 3-Sanna Svensson, 4-Jennie Nordin (14-Malin Winberg, 70), 16-Elin Bragnum, 15-Johanna Andersson (5-Anna Hjalmqvist, 70), 6-Irma Helin, 7-Petra Andersson (19-Julia Karlenas, 54), 8-Malin Dias Pettersson, 10-Fridolina Rolfo (11-Jonna Andersson, 54), 17-Mimmi Larsson
Substitutes not used: Emelie Lundberg; Elin Landstrom; Emma Lennartsson; Marija Banusic
Head Coach: Anneli Andersen

USA: 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 14-Arin Gilliland (12-Amanda Frisbie, 46), 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 8-Emily Sonnett, 19-Jaelene Hinkle; 11-Frances Silva (7-Kealia Ohai, 67), 9-Meleana Shim (4-Danielle Colaprico, 63), 16-Jenna Richmond, 15-Erika Tymrak; 27-Katie Stengel (22-Jennifer Hoy, 46); 10-Chioma Ubogagu (5-Maya Hayes, 46)
Substitutes not used: Abby Smith, Kassey Kallman
Head Coach: Steve Swanson

Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 11 / 4
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 1
Fouls: 3 / 9
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct:
None

Officials:
Referee: Briet Bragadottir (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: B. Bergstad (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Runa Stefansdottir (ISL)
Fourth Official: A. Olsson (SWE)

U.S. U-23 WNT to Open Year in La Manga, Spain, with Three International Matches

CHICAGO (Feb. 21, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will open its 2014 campaign with a challenging trip to La Manga, Spain, for the Six Nations Tournament running from Feb. 24-March 6. The USA will play three international matches, facing the U-23 sides of Japan (March 1), Sweden (March 3) and Norway (March 5).

U.S. head coach Steven Swanson will bring a 20-player roster to Spain featuring a mix of young pros and top collegiate players. Swanson named nine NWSL players, six that are heading into their rookie season and three that played in the league last year in Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns FC), Jennifer Hoy (Chicago Red Stars) and Erika Tymrak (NWSL Rookie of the Year with FC Kansas City). Tymrak just completed a three-week stint with the senior Women’s National team and currently has three caps and one goal for Tom Sermanni’s team.

The roster includes four first round picks from the 2014 NWSL Draft including No. 2 overall in forward Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), No. 5 in defender Kassey Kallman (FC Kansas City), No. 6 in forward Maya Hayes (Sky Blue FC) and No. 7 in defender Amanda Frisbie (Seattle Reign FC). Additional draftees include: midfielder Jenna Richmond, who went in the second round at No. 16 overall to FC Kansas City and midfielder Frances Silva who was the first pick of the third round, going No. 19 overall to FC Kansas City.

The roster also includes five members of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan: Ohai (who scored the game-winner in the World Cup Final), Kallman, Hayes, Texas goalkeeper Abby Smith and Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu.

The remainder of the roster is completed by some of the top collegians in the country, including 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Abby Dahlkemper of UCLA.

The U.S. U-23 WNT will be followed into La Manga by the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team, which will play international matches there on March 8, 10 and 12.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2):
Aubrey Bledsoe (Wake Forest; Cincinnati, Ohio), Abby Smith (Texas; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6):
Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA; Menlo Park, Calif.), Amanda Frisbie (Seattle Reign FC; McKinney, Texas), Arin Gilliland (Kentucky; Lexington, Ky.), Jaelene Hinkle (Texas Tech; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kassey Kallman (FC Kansas City; Woodbury, Minn.), Emily Sonnett (Virginia; Marietta, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (6):
Danielle Colaprico (Virginia; Freehold, N.J.), Caprice Dydasco (UCLA; Honolulu, Hawaii), Jenna Richmond (FC Kansas City; Centreville, Va.), Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns FC; Honolulu, Hawaii), Frances Silva (FC Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.); Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City; Bradenton, Fla.)
FORWARDS (6):
Shea Groom (Texas A&M; Liberty, Mo.), Maya Hayes (Sky Blue FC; West Orange, N.J.), Jennifer Hoy (Chicago Red Stars; Sellersville, Pa.), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash; Draper, Utah), Katie Stengel (Wake Forest; West Melbourne, Fla.), Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford; Coppell, Texas)

Just Call Her Chee

Chioma Ubogagu already has the most exotic and difficult-to-pronounce name on the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team.

Give it a try…

Chee-O-ma Ah-bo-GA-gu.

After that mouthful, does she really need any more names?

Apparently she does, and the players and staff (especially assistant coach Jaime Frias) of the U.S. U-20s have come up with a plethora of nicknames for the speedy winger out of Coppell, Texas.

For some reason, most are related to food, while others evoke Star Wars and a certain Manchester United striker.

Chee-ps and Salsa
Chee and Crumpets
Chee-burger and Fries


Ubogagu’s parents were born in Nigeria and immigrated to London, England, where the work was more plentiful and stable. Her mom, Tina, is a nurse and her dad, Aloy, is a social worker. In London they had a daughter and named her Chioma, meaning “God’s presence” in the native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group primarily located in southeastern Nigeria.

When Chioma was three, her family moved to Texas, where her mom had a friend who would set her up with a job. Fortunately for Chioma, she just happened to be dropped into one of the world’s capital for both football and girls’ fútbol, as the Dallas area has long been a hotbed for producing top female players. She started playing soccer with her older brothers, Oggy and Okwuse, soon after touching down in the Lone Star state and early on refused to play with dolls. The soccer ball was her toy.

Cheese
Chee-a-Pet
Chee-3-PO
Chee-Se-Puede


Ubogagu has been to Nigeria several times -- she still has extended family there – and has been both awed by the poverty and impressed by the resilience of the people.

“I wish other people could see the country,” said Ubogagu. “People think when I go I am just going on safari or seeing lions. Some villages are really sad, but my family lives in relative comfort so it’s two extremes. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle class.”

The USA’s Women’s World Cup semifinal match will be a bit of different experience for Ubogagu as the Americans will take on the country of her parents’ birth. While she bleeds red, white and blue, she admits it will be special to take on the Super Falconets of Nigeria.

“It’s definitely different unique to get this opportunity as life takes some amazing turns,” said Ubogagu. “Who knows? I maybe could have been playing on that team. I know I’m probably the only on our team who can pronounce all their names. But I’m excited. They are an excellent team and it should be a lot of fun.”

Chee-mi-Changa
Cappu-Chee-no
Ham and Swiss on Chee-batta
Chee-Charita


Earlier this year, Ubogagu scored the winning goal in the championship game of CONCACAF qualifying tournament, giving the U.S. a dramatic late game come-from-behind win against Canada. But says that the goal against North Korea was an experience and feeling she will never forget.

“My defender kind of cheated toward the cross so I held my run a bit and drifted toward the back post,” said Ubogagu. “I got my head on it, saw it go in, and then I went crazy. I got a little dizzy and shaky and everyone rushed to me. It was awesome.”

Like for all the young players on the U.S. team, the World Cup has been both eye-opening and educational on and off the field.

“The World Cup has been a great experience on so many levels,” said Ubogagu. “It’s the highest level for players our age, and seeing how each country plays a different style of soccer has been amazing. In college, all the teams are pretty much similar, but here teams are more versatile and play styles that reflect their cultures. We have to be at our best and do what we do best for every minute of every game.”

For all her nicknames, Ubogagu admits that she does have a favorite. U.S. teammate Cari Roccaro calls her “Ooog.”

“She’ll probably read this and find out that not only don’t I mind it but I like it, which I have never admitted to her,” said Ubogagu. “But she’s the only one that can call me that!”

With a perpetual smile on her face and a zest for life, Ubogagu laughs along with everyone else when the nicknames start coming. But at the end of this tournament, there’s just one that she’d like to be called…Chee-ampion.

A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship and earned a berth to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Played in three games at qualifying, tallying two goals and one assist in 169 minutes … Her dramatic 89th minute score in the championship game earned the regional title for the USA with the 2-1 victory over Canada ... Scored against Switzerland and Norway in La Manga, Spain in February … Scored two goals in two games against China in April … Scored against New Zealand in May … Heads into the Women’s World Cup as one of the team’s top scorer with eight goals in 11 U-20 caps … Was a part of the U.S. Under-18 team from 2008 to 2011.

                                                                                                             

Full name is Chioma Grace Ubogagu … Nickname is Chi … A member of the Hope for Africa Club in high school … Participated in student council … Tries to attend Catholic Church on regular basis … Very family oriented and loves spending time with her mom and told older brothers – Oggy and Okwus … Feeds the homeless every Christmas Eve … Moved to the United States from London at age three … Enjoys singing, eating, playing tennis and basketball, reading, and making/editing movies … Grandfather  Austin Enekwe played for the English side Tottenham Hotspurs and the Nigerian National Team … Favorite English Premier League team is “Arsenal, all day” … Favorite foods are French fries, chicken tenders, and Nigerian cuisine … Favorite desserts are Pizookies … Loves bulldogs and monkeys … One of her favorite movies is The Lion King … Favorite TV shows are Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, and Suits.

As a freshman, played in 26 games, totaling ten goals and ten assists in 1849 minutes to help Stanford to the NCAA title, the first for the school … Was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year … Was All Pac-12 Second Team … Made the NCAA All-Tournament Team … Named to the Soccer America All-Freshman First Team ... NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team ... Named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team ... Stanford Athletic Board Block 'S' Outstanding Female Freshman ... Provided the assist to Camille Levin for the winning-goal in the 1-0 NCAA final victory over Duke ... Scored one goal and set up another within a three-minute span of the first half to break open a tight match in a 3-0 victory over Florida State in the NCAA semifinals … Scored two spectacular goals to put the Cardinal ahead 2-0 by the 18th minute in a 4-1 victory over UCLA, the Bruins only loss in regulation during the season ... Captain of the Coppell High School Cowboys as a senior … Earned NSCAA All-American Honors and was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior... Club: Played for D’Feeters ’93 from U-10 to U-17 … Won the regional title and took third place at Nationals as U-17s … Won the state title as U-15s.

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