U.S. U-20 WNT Prepare for Qualifying Final
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
June 28, 2008
ONE FOR THE TITLE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will be looking for gold in the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship game against rival Canada on Saturday, June 28, at 2:30 p.m. CT. Both teams have already clinched a place at the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile in November by virtue of their semifinal wins against Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively. The two countries finished at the top of their respective groups, and come into Saturday’s Final with 4-0-0 undefeated records. Fans can follow Saturday afternoon’s Final live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
THE ROAD TO THE FINAL: The U.S. has made their stamp on the tournament thus far, scoring 20 goals in four games without allowing a single against. A hat trick from Michelle Enyeart led the way to a 4-0 win in the opener against Trinidad & Tobago before the USA turned up the attack another notch against Cuba in a 9-0 win. In their final group game, the U.S. took on the hosts in front of a hostile crowd and came away with a 3-0 win to earn the top place in Group A. Set for a clash with Costa Rica, the second-place team in Group B, with a World Cup berth on the line, the Americans scored four first-half goals to cruise, 4-0, and earn their place in Chile.
June 18, 2008
USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 7, Cuba 0
June 18, 2008
USA 9, Cuba 0
Mexico 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0
June 20, 2008
Trinidad & Tobago 6, Cuba 1
USA 3, Mexico 0
Semifinal - June 25, 2008
USA 4, Costa Rica 0
LEADING THE WAY: The U.S. boasts the most powerful attack in the tournament, scoring 20 goals during their first four games. Strikers Michelle Enyeart and Kelley O’Hara are tied for the tournament lead with six goals each. Eight different players have found the back of the net for the USA, including four different players – Meghan Klingenberg, Ingrid Wells, Kelley O’Hara and Jessica McDonald - in the four-goal semifinal win.
STINGY DEFENSE: The U.S. is also the only team in the tournament who did not give up a goal throughout the group phase, doing it using both goalkeepers and six different players along the backline. Top-choice goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher picked up three shutouts, including a two-save effort against Mexico on June 23, while Kristin Arnold earned a clean sheet without making a single save against Cuba on June 20.
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State)
DEFENDERS (4): Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Elli Reed (Portland)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland)
FORWARDS (9): Kiersten Dallstream (Washington State), Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Sydney Leroux (Phoenix, Ariz.), Jessica McDonald (Glendale, Ariz.), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Nikki Washington (North Carolina)
- Saturday’s meeting marks the third straight time the U.S. and Canada will compete for the title at this event. In 2004, Canada won the U-19 championship and in the rematch two years ago, the Americans won a tight contest, 3-2.
- Defender Elli Reed has left the team to recover from a severe case of strep throat, which she had been battling throughout the tournament.
- Neither team has any players suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
- The U.S. has competed in all four World Cups at this age group (U-19 & U-20).
- Canada has also represented the region four times.
- Fourteen different colleges are represented on the roster, led by three players each from the University of Portland and the University of North Carolina.
- This will be the fourth time the USA has participated in qualifying for a FIFA U-19 or U-20 World Cup. In 2002, the U.S. team traveled to Trinidad & Tobago where it won the qualifying tournament in resounding fashion, out-scoring its opposition by a margin of 34-1.
- In 2004, the USA fell to Canada in overtime in the title game by a 2-1 score. The USA had advanced to the final by outscoring its opposition 25-1 in group play and then defeated Mexico, 6-0, in the semifinal to earns its berth to Thailand.
- Eleven nations have already qualified for the U-20 World Cup: host Chile; Japan, China and North Korea from Asia; France, Germany, Norway and England from Europe; New Zealand from Oceania; and Brazil and Argentina from South America.
A LOOK AT THE RIVALS: Canada earned their place in the championship match with a 2-1 victory in their semifinal battle with host Mexico. Jodi Ann Robinson and Jonelle Filigno scored for the Canadians in that game, with Filigno’s goal bringing her tournament total to four. Six different scorers have contributed to the Canuck’s 11 goals through four games.
June 17, 2008
Canada 2, Nicaragua 0
Costa Rica 3, Jamaica 1
June 19, 2008
Canada 3. Jamaica 1
Costa Rica 3 Nicaragua 2
June 21, 2008
Jamaica 6, Nicaragua 0
Canada 4, Costa Rica 0
June 25, 2008 – Semifinal
Canada 2, Mexico 1
ENYEART ES EN FUEGO: Even though she's found the back of the net six times through four games of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament, Michelle Enyeart is more than just a goal-scorer. The usually quiet University of Portland sophomore talked to ussoccer.com about solving mysteries, sculpting and her lime green sombrero. Read the full interview here.
BACK TO THE BLOG: Though the U-20 WNT has already qualified for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, the YNT Blog is still keeping you informed as the team goes for gold. For all the behind-the-scenes action, check out the YNT blog here.