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2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Primer

The 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will take place from July 13 through August 1 in four German cities.

The venues are Bochum, Augsburg, Dresden and Bielefeld. Apart from Bielefeld, the three other stadiums will also host matches at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup next summer.

The 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will consist of 16 nations placed into four groups of four teams. 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.

The 16 nations competing in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup are: host Germany; Japan, Korea Republic and Korea DPR from Asia; England, France, Sweden and Switzerland from Europe; the USA, Costa Rica and Mexico from North and Central America, Brazil and Colombia from South America, Nigeria and Ghana from Africa; and New Zealand from Oceania.

2010 FIFA World Cup Groups

A1: Germany B1: Brazil C1: England D1: USA
A2: Costa Rica B2: Korea DPR C2: Nigeria D2: Ghana
A3: Colombia B3: Sweden C3: Mexico D3: Switzerland
A4: France B4: New Zealand C4: Japan D4: Korea Republic

The opening match of the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup features host Germany against Costa Rica in Bochum on July 13. The USA does not open its tournament until the second day of competition on July 14.

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup is the successor to the FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup, staged for the first time by Canada in 2002 and then again in Thailand in 2004. The tournament became the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup as of the 2006 edition in Russia and the most recent tournament was held in 2008 in Chile.

The USA has won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup twice (2002 in Canada and 2008 in Chile). Germany won the 2004 tournament in Thailand, and Korea DPR won in 2006 in Russia.


  • This will be the first U-20 Women’s World Cup for Ghana, which took down Congo DR 5-0 to earn its berth to Germany. Ghana did very well at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand where it tied eventual champions North Korea, 1-1, lost to Germany 3-2 and defeated Costa Rica, 1-0, but did not advance out of the group. 
  • This will be the fifth consecutive U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cup for Nigeria. The Super Falconettes have reached the quarterfinal stage of the last three U-20 Women’s World Cups, but they have never advanced past that stage. 
  • Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi is one of the top young players in the world and the two-time AFC Women’s Youth Player of the Year award. She also won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. 
  • The Korea Republic finished second in Asian qualifying to current top power Japan, losing out 2-1 in the final. The Koreans lost in the quarterfinals of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to the United States. 
  • Korea DPR has made just two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup appearances previously (2006 and 2008), but they made it to the final on both occasions, winning in 2006. The North Koreans are also one of the favorites in Germany after winning the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. 
  • England arrives in Germany as European U-19 champions, having cruised through the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship, scoring 12 unanswered goals to beat Iceland, Switzerland and Sweden (twice) and draw with Norway. They did not allow a goal in those games. 
  • Germany is coached by former Germany great Maren Meinert and features one of the world’s top young players in Dzsenifer Marozsan, the top scorer at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. 
  • Switzerland has a player hailed as perhaps the best teenager in the world in forward Ramona Bachmann who plays in Women’s Professional Soccer for the Atlanta Beat. She is also a rarity for the U-20 Women’s World Cup in that she’s a professional player. 
  • France was a semifinalist at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and will be involved in one of the biggest matches of the opening round when it faces Germany to finish Group A play on July 20 in Augsburg. 
  • Despite Sweden’s stature as one of the world’s top women’s soccer nations, this will be the first U-20 Women’s World Cup for the Swedes. 
  • The USA won CONCACAF qualifying for just the second time in four tries (in 2002 there were two separate qualifying groups) and features nine players who have experience in FIFA youth Women’s World Cups. 
  • Costa Rica qualified for its first U-20 Women’s World Cup by defeating Canada in the third-place match at CONCACAF Qualifying. After appearing in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Costa Rica has firmly entrenched itself as one of the top four teams in CONCACAF. 
  • This will be Mexico’s fourth U-19/U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the Mexicans have yet to make it out of the group stage. Despite a tough group that features European champion England, Asian Champion Japan and African champion Nigeria, this seems to be Mexico’s best chance to advance after losing to the USA 2-1 during qualifying and defeating Canada, 1-0, to earn its berth. 
  • The hosts of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, New Zealand, will be attending their third U-20 event after debuting in 2006 and bring an experienced squad with several players who competed in both U-17 and U-20 FIFA tournaments in 2008. 
  • Brazil is always a favorite at the U-20 Women’s World Cup having made the last four at the first three editions of the tournament. In the last tournament, Brazil exited in the quarterfinal stage on its home continent in Chile in 2008, losing 3-2 to Germany. 
  • This will be the first FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for Colombia and the roots can be traced back two years to the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Many of the players on the roster for Germany were a part of the team that won the U-17 South American Championship in 2008 before going on to New Zealand.