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U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Ready to Face France, Live on ESPN2, at 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup
Chillan, Chile
Nov. 18, 2008

READY IN CHILE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team kicks off its FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 19 against France in a match that will broadcast live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET. The team has arrived in Chillan, Chile in preparation for Wednesday’s game at Estadio Nelson Oyarzun, which will also be the venue for the USA’s second group match on Saturday, Nov. 22 against Argentina. The USA will then travel to Temuco to round out Group B play against China on Nov. 25. In addition to the live ESPN2 broadcast, Galavision will be showing the game on tape delay at 6 p.m. ET and fans will be able to follow along live at’s MatchTracker.

U.S. U-20 WNT World Cup Schedule

Date Opponent Venue; City Time / ET TV (Galavision taped delay)
Nov. 19 France Chillán, Chile 3 p.m. / 1 p.m. ESPN2 (Galavision, 6 p.m. ET/PT)
Nov. 22 Argentina Chillán, Chile 12 p.m. / 10 a.m. (Galavision, 1 p.m.)
Nov. 26 China PR Tamuco, Chile 4 p.m. / 2 p.m. ESPNU (Galavision, 7 p.m.)

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE USA: A total of 17 different universities are represented on the American roster. Portland, with their trio of Michelle Enyeart, Elli Reed and Keelin Winters and North Carolina, represented by Meghan Klingenberg and Nikki Washington, are the only two schools to send more than one player to Chile. Due to the overlap of the event with the NCAA season, several players who were a part of the team that successfully qualified for the tournament in June are not able to travel to Chile because of commitments to their college programs.

U.S. U-20 WWC Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Chantel Jones (Virginia), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Cat Parkhill (Minnesota)
DEFENDERS (6): Kiersten Dallsteam (Washington State), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Liz Harkin (Arizona State), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Nikki Marshall (Colorado)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Becky Edwards (Florida State), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Elli Reed (Portland), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland)
FORWARDS (5): Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alyssa Mautz (Texas A&M), Alex Morgan (California), Nikki Washington (North Carolina)

CHECKING OUT THE OPPONENT: The USA’s first opponent in Group B, France, is poised to be one of the breakout teams of the tournament. After a disappointing fourth place finish during the 2007 Under-19 European Championship, France comes to Chile with a purpose. Scoring eight goals in four matches last year in Iceland, the French have since been focused on shoring up their defense. Entering their third world championship at this level, France hopes to use their experience from the 2006 edition where they advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time.

France Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Meline Gerard, 16-Karima Benameur, 21-Alisson Branger
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Gwenaelle Butel, 3-Emilie Gonssollin, 4-Wendie Renard, 5-Laura Agard, 12-Livia Jean, 13-Delphine Chatelin,
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Charlotte BilBault, 8-Melissa Plaza, 14-Ludivine Bultel, 15-Kheria Hamraoui, 17-Nora Coton Pelagie, 18-Marine Pervier, 19-Alix Faye Chellali
FORWARDS (5): 7-Charlotte Loze, 9-Marie-Laure Delie, 10-Eugenie Le Sommer, 11-Julie Machart, 20-Fanny Tenret

Quick Hits:

  • Michelle Enyeart leads the U.S. in goals in 2008 with 10. Alex Morgan is second on the team with six goals on the year.
  • The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team is one of only five teams to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA U-20 WWC. The other four countries: Australia, Germany, Brazil and Canada.
  • The first two tournaments at this level were 12-team events held as U-19 World Championships. In 2006, FIFA expanded the tournament to 16 teams and made it a U-20 World Cup.
  • Tracey Leone (nee Bates) is the only female to ever win a world title as a player (FIFA Women’s World Cup 1991) and as a coach (FIFA U-19 WWC 2002).
  • The fastest goal in the history of the tournament was scored by Angie Woznuk in the second minute against Russia in 2004. She narrowly edged Megan Kakadelas, who scored in the third minute of the USA’s game against Chinese Taipei in 2002.
  • The U.S. has lost only one of 18 matches in regulation time (2004 semifinal against Germany, a 3-1 loss).
  • The U.S. has faced France once before at this level, in the group phase of the 2006 event. A Jessica Rostedt goal gave the U.S. 1-0 victory.
  • Lindsay Tarpley scored the first goal in the history of the tournament against England in 2002. She also scored the final goal of that tournament in the 109th minute in overtime of the Final to win the inaugural FIFA World Cup at this age level.
  • France holds an all-time record at this tournament of 3-4-0 in seven overall matches, with their best-ever finish of seventh place coming two years ago.
  • France finished fourth in European qualifying, falling to Germany in extra time of the semifinals.

HOW WE GOT HERE: The U.S. earned their place in Chile during a successful run through CONCACAF Qualifying in June. Scoring 20 goals en route to the championship match against rival Canada, the U.S. allowed their first goal of the tournament and fell, 1-0. Michelle Enyeart led the team in qualifying with six goals in five games, including a hat trick in the opener against Trinidad & Tobago. Mexico joins both Canada and the U.S. in representing CONCACAF, having won the third place game against Costa Rica in overtime.

WORLD CUP MARKS RETURN TO CHILE: The U.S. returns to Chile for the first time since the Four Nations Tournament in February. The U.S. will look to repeat the success of that tournament, which they won by dominating the hosts, 5-1 in their third and final game. The U.S. also posted wins against Norway (2-1) and England (1-0) during their time in La Serena.

THE LEGACY: The FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup has become one of the marquee youth events on the FIFA Calendar and the U.S. women have played a major role in all three previous editions of the tournament. Stars that have shined in previous editions include Canada’s Christie Sinclair, Brazil’s Marta and the USA’s Lindsay Tarpley, who captained the team to the first ever championship win in 2002. Read more about the legacy of the U-20 Women’s World Cup here.

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE: U.S. Under-20 WNT first-choice ‘keeper Alyssa Naeher is preparing for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile as one of the world’s top goalkeepers for her age group. The Penn State All-American sat down with to talk about growing up as a goalkeeper, not filling the position’s stereotype and her identical twin sister.

IN CHILE, IT’S “EL BLOG”: The U.S. U-20 WNT has arrived in Chile, which means the YNT Blog is back in action. You can keep up with the adventures, inside jokes and behind the scene stories of the team as they make their trek through Chile and campaign for a world championship. Guest bloggers Keelin Winters and Meghan Klingenberg are also back with their hotel antics. You can keep up with all the action at

U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The new Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.

2008 BEST OF VOTING BEGINS: U.S. Soccer has announced the candidates for the 2008 Best Of Awards, with 12 categories up for decision. The categories include Best Fan Photo, Best WNT Goal and Best Team Performance, to name a few. The U-20's are represented among the nominees as well, with Becky Edwards' goal against Cuba from qualifying up for Best Goal: WNT, and Michelle Enyeart's hat trick performance against Trinidad & Tobago among the nominees for Best Performance: Player. Voting runs until early Dec. 8, so be sure to head over to the Best Of Blog and cast your ballot once a day!