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U.S. U-20 WNT Set To Open World Cup Run Against Ghana


U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
Dresden, Germany
Tuesday, July 13


2010 FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP OPENER ON ESPNU: After six days of training in beautiful weather in Dresden, Germany, 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 on 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 12 p.m. ET and fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

WATCH ALL THE ACTION FROM GERMANY LIVE ON ESPNU, ESPN2 AND ESPN3.COM: 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 12 p.m. 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 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2. All 32 matches of the tournament will be available via the internet on ESPN3.com and 18 matches – half of the games -- including all four quarterfinals, the semifinals, the third-place game and final, will be broadcast either live or delayed on either ESPNU or ESPN2. For complete TV listings, go to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup schedule on ussoccer.com.

2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup
Group D Schedule

Date Match Venue TV
July 14
USA vs. Ghana
Rudolf-Harbig Stadium (Dresden) ESPNU (12 p.m. ET)
July 14
Switzerland vs. Korea Republic Rudolf-Harbig Stadium (Dresden) ESPNU (6 p.m. ET)*
July 17
USA vs. Switzerland Rudolf-Harbig Stadium (Dresden) ESPNU (12 p.m. ET)
July 17
Ghana vs. Korea Republic Rudolf-Harbig Stadium (Dresden) ESPNU (5 p.m. ET)*
July 21
USA vs. Korea Republic U-20 WWC Stadium (Bielefeld) ESPN2 (12 p.m. ET)
July 21
Ghana vs. Switzerland U-20 U-20 WWC Stadium (Bochum) ESPNU (11 p.m. ET)*

*Tape-delayed

THIS TIME FOR AFRICA: This will be the second time in the past three U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments the USA has opened against an African team. In 2006 the U.S. defeated Congo DR 2-1 on goals from current U.S. Women’s National Team players Kelley O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez. The match will also mark just the second time a U.S. team has played an African team in youth Women’s World Cup play. Nicknamed the “Black Princesses,” Ghana qualified for this tournament by dismantling Congo DR, who had been to the last two U-20 Women’s World Cup finals as one of the two African representatives. Ghana defeated the Lady Leopards 5-0 on aggregate in a two-leg series that included a two-goal win away in Kinshasa. Earlier in qualifying, Ghana defeated Tunisia by a 3-0 aggregate score.

PRINCESSES DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES IN NEW ZEALAND: Ghana does not have much experience in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as this is its first appearance at the finals, but the team picked up some excellent results at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Ghana opened with a 1-1 tie with eventual champion Korea DPR, getting a goal from Florence Dadson, then fell to power Germany by a 3-2 score (getting another goal from Dadson) after falling behind 2-0 at halftime. Ghana finished the group with a solid 1-0 victory against Costa Rica on a goal from Deborah Afriyie, but did not advance to the quarterfinals. Afriyie and Dadson return for this tournament. Dadson (three goals) and Faize Ibrahim (four) combined to score seven of the Ghana’s eight goals in qualifying. Ghana has one Ghanian-American player in Candice Osei-Agyemang who plays her club soccer for the Northwest Nationals in Washington State. She will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall. Osei-Agyemang also represented the Black Princesses in New Zealand at the 2008 FIFA U-17 WWC.

USA EXPERIENCE: The U.S. has the benefit of nine players with previous experience in FIFA Women’s World Cups at the youth level with Sydney Leroux and Christine Nairn returning from the USA’s 2008 World Cup-wining squad and seven players who helped the USA get to the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Final. Amber Brooks played every minute of five matches in New Zealand, Vicki DiMartino played in all six games while scoring five goals to win the Silver Boot, Crystal Dunn played every minute of each of the four matches in which she played, Kristie Mewis started all six games and Samantha Mewis played in five and started four. Rachel Quon also played every minute of all five of her matches while Courtney Verloo played in five matches, starting four and scored four times. None of the goalkeepers from that U-17 team made it to this U-20 World Cup.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kan.), Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Crystal Dunn (UNC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), Meg Morris (UNC; Montclair, N.J.), Mollie Pathman (Duke; Durham, N.C.), Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amber Brooks (UNC; New Hope, Pa.), Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Scorpions SC; Hanson, Mass.), Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.), Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), Jenna Richmond (UCLA; Centreville, Va.), Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (4): Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Phoenix, Ariz.), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)

Ghana Under-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Fafali Dumahisi (Vodafon Ladies), 16-Nana Asantewaa (Faith Ladies), 21-Patricia Mantey (Mawuena Ladies)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Felicia Dapaah (Ash Town Ladies), 4-Janet Egyir (Hasaacas Ladies), 5-Rosemary Ampem (Ash Town Ladies), 12-Mantenn Kobblah (Faith Ladies), 18-Edem Atovor (Ghatel Ladies Accra), 14-Fauzia Mustapha (Faith Ladies), 20-Cynthia Adobia (Reformers Ladies)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 3-Henrietta Annie (Post Ladies), 6-Elizabeth Cudjoe (Hasaacas Ladies), 8-Elizabeth Addo (Athleta Ladies), 10-Priscilla Saahene (Ash Town Ladies), 11-Deborah Afriyie (Oforikrom Ladies), 13-Mercy Myles (Nungua Ladies), 15-Juliet Achempong (Ash Town Ladies)
FORWARDS (4): 7-Samira Suleman (Hasaacas Ladies), 9-Florence Dadson (Ghatel Ladies Accra), 17-Faiza Ibrahim (Vodafon Ladies), 19-Candice Osei-Agyemang (Northwest Nationals)

U.S. U-20 WNT Quick Hits
  • Sydney Leroux is the leading cap-winner on this roster for the U-20 level with 30 heading into the tournament. She is also the USA’s leading scorer with 24 career goals.
  • Leroux won the Golden Ball as the MVP of the 2008 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Golden Shoe as the top scorer, finding the net five times.
  • Christine Nairn and Teresa Noyola, who along with Leroux were involved with the USA during the previous cycle to the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, have 24 U-20 caps each. Nairn was on the 2008 U.S. U-20 World Cup Team, playing in all six matches, but this will be the first World Cup for Noyola.
  • The USA has four players on the roster who have scored in a FIFA World Cup, totaling 16 goals: Vicki DiMartino scored five times in the 2008 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand while Courtney Verloo had four goals in the same tournament. Kristie Mewis scored twice in New Zealand. Sydney Leroux scored five times at the last U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.
  • Only one player on the roster has not been capped at the U-20 level and that is late roster addition Meg Morris.
  • The U.S. roster features players from 15 different states, including two each from Northern California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and Massachusetts (which is the home of both Mewis sisters).
  • Nineteen different youth clubs are represented with the Mewis sisters both hailing from Scorpions SC while Maya Hayes and Meg Morris represent the Montclair Aristocats.
  • The U.S. features a tall side with nine players 5-foot-7 or above.
  • The U.S. U-20s are 14-3-3 overall in 2010 and 11-2-1 in international matches. The USA’s only international losses came in its final two World Cup warm-up matches, 2-1 to Japan and 3-1 to Germany in matches played in Germany in early June.
  • Twelve of the USA’s 18 field players have scored in an international match at the U-20 level.
  • Just two of the U.S. players are still in high school in midfielder Samantha Mewis, who will be a senior next academic year, and goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, who will be a junior. Five players will be freshman this coming fall and the rest already have one or two years of college soccer on their résumés.
U-20 WWC TOURNAMENT FORMAT: The 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will consist of 16 nations that were drawn into four groups of four teams each. Each team will play three matches in the group in a round-robin format with the top two teams in each group advancing to the quarterfinals. The tournament then becomes a knockout competition. All the group matches will be played as doubleheaders. All of the quarterfinals and semifinals are stand-alone matches while the third-place match and final will be played back-to-back on Aug. 1 in Bielefeld. The tournament consists of 32 total matches. ussoccer.com offers a primer to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

RUDOLF-HARBIG STADIUM: The site of the USA’s first two matches of the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is a completely renovated venue that is home to Third Division side Dynamo Dresden. It is typical of the fantastic mid-size venues in Europe, with the fans close to the field and a roof over many of the seats. It seats almost 28,000 fans and organizers are expecting decent crowds for a U-20 Women’s World Cup.

BLOGSDEN: You can catch up with the goings on in Germany with the U.S. U-20 WNT through the WNT Blog. You can find out what the U.S. team did for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, see some photos from training and get links to features and videos. (LINK TO WNT BLOG)

THREE FOR LEROUX: U.S. forward Sydney Leroux will be playing in her third World Cup at this level, but the first one was for Canada. Read about her winding road to the U.S. National Team in this special feature on ussoccer.com.

TWO FOR VERLOO: U.S. forward Courtney Verloo will be playing in her second youth Women’s World Cup, but she needed to take a deep breath before diving back into the intensity of preparation for world championship.

U-20s IN MOVING PICTURES: Check out ussoccer.com to see all_access videos in which you can meet the U.S. U-20s, see what they did for the Fourth of July and get a preview from the players and head coach Jill Ellis on the USA’s World Cup opener against Ghana. Follow all the latest videos at ussoccer.com's Media Center.

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