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U.S. Under-17 WNT Arrives in Trinidad Ahead of CONCACAF Championship

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team
2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
July 14, 2008

ISLAND ARRIVAL: The majority of the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team and staff arrived into Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, late Sunday night ahead of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship. The team was welcomed to the island by the lights of the city, as well as the lights on the ships that were docked at the port. Five members of the delegation, four players and the goalkeeper coach, spent the night in Miami after their connecting flights through Atlanta were delayed due to bad weather, causing them to miss the flight to Trinidad. Defenders Cloee Colohan and Alexis Harris, midfielder Kathryn Bennett, forward Courtney Verloo and goalkeeper coach Amy Griffin are scheduled to arrive in Trinidad Monday afternoon, just in time for training.

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alexa Gaul (Naperville, Ill.), Taylor Vancil (South Elgin, Ill.), Kelsey Wys (Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah), Crystal Dunn (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Alexis Harris (Plano, Texas), Julia Roberts (Fredrick, Md.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kathryn Bennett (Clyde Hill, Wash.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Sydney Payne (Lutz, Fla.), Erika Tymrak (Bradenton, Fla.)
FORWARDS (5): Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii), Victoria DiMartino (Massapequa, N.Y.), Samantha Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.), Rachel Nuzzolese (Melville, N.Y.), Courtney Verloo (Tualatin, Ore.)

FIRST OF MANY: The U.S. is the first team to arrive in Trinidad, other than the hosts, of course. The other two teams in Group A – Costa Rica and El Salvador – are scheduled to arrive within the next few days as Group A play is set to kick off for the group on Friday, July 18. It will be the first qualifying tournament for this group of players, which is fitting for the event, as it is the first CONCACAF Women’s Championship held at the Under-17 age level. The tournament serves as qualifying for the inaugural FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be held from Oct. 29 through Nov. 16 in New Zealand.

READY FOR GROUP A: The U.S. team will compete in Group A of the tournament, based in at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad, alongside Costa Rica, El Salvador and hosts, Trinidad & Tobago. First up for the U.S. U-17 Women is Costa Rica, who has been training together since July 7. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 18. Two days later, the U.S. will take on El Salvador at 4 p.m. ET, rounding out group play against Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, July 22, at 7 p.m. ET.

2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship
Group A Schedule
Date       Matchup                                  Venue                             City                             Time (ET)
July 18   Costa Rica vs. USA               Marvin Lee Stadium     Macoya, Trinidad      5 p.m.
                T & T vs. El Salvador             Marvin Lee Stadium     Macoya, Trinidad       7 p.m.
July 20   USA vs. El Salvador               Marvin Lee Stadium     Macoya, Trinidad       4 p.m.
               T & T vs. Costa Rica               Marvin Lee Stadium    Macoya, Trinidad        6 p.m.
July 22   El Salvador vs. Costa Rica   Marvin Lee Stadium    Macoya, Trinidad       5 p.m.
                T & T vs. USA                          Marvin Lee Stadium     Macoya, Trinidad        7 p.m.

GROUP B IN TOBAGO: The other four teams participating in qualifying are based on the island of Tobago, and will begin their matches on Thursday, July 17, at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet. Group B consists of Canada, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Canada and Puerto Rico will kick off the tournament, facing off at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 17, followed by Mexico and Jamaica at 7 p.m. ET. Two days later, Mexico takes on Puerto Rico at 4 p.m. ET, followed by Canada and Jamaica at 6 p.m. ET. Group B wraps up with Jamaica and Puerto Rico squaring off at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, July 21, at 5 p.m. ET, and Canada and Mexico battling it out shortly after at 7 p.m. ET.

2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship
Group B Schedule
Date       Matchup                              Venue                                 City                        Time (ET)
July 17   Puerto Rico vs. Canada   Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago    5 p.m.
                Mexico vs. Jamaica           Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago    7 p.m.
July 19   Mexico vs. Puerto Rico      Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago    4 p.m.
                Canada vs. Jamaica         Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago    6 p.m.
July 21   Jamaica vs. Puerto Rico   Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago    5 p.m.
               Canada vs. Mexico              Dwight Yorke Stadium   Bacolet, Tobago   7 p.m.

COACH KAZBEK TAMBI SPEAKS: U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach Kazbek Tambi has been at the helm of the U.S. team since 2005, when it was the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team. With the establishment of a FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, Tambi transitioned the team to the U-17 age level and is now preparing the squad for their first World Cup qualifying tournament. In an exclusive audio podcast that will be available later today, Tambi discusses what went into selecting a team and how he and his staff have gone about the challenge of preparing for a tournament, quite literally, without precedent.

HOME SWEET HOME: The U.S. team will be based out of Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad, which is also home to the Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence. The 6,000-seat stadium is home to Joe Public F.C. of the Trinidad & Tobago Professional League and was named in honor of former T & T Under-20 Men’s National Team captain Marvin Lee in March of 2003. Lee, a standout defender, sustained injuries that left him paralyzed while going up for a challenge in the air against the U.S. U-20 MNT in March of 2001. He passed away March 9, 2003 from complications from a cold infection. In 2007, Marvin Lee Stadium became the first stadium in the Caribbean to have an artificial playing surface, which is what the U.S. team will be playing all of their qualifying matches on.

EYE ON THE PRIZE: CONCACAF is the last region to qualify for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, after Ghana and Nigeria clinched African qualifying earlier this month. Despite qualifying, it has not yet been determined which teams will play in Group B and Group D. The draw for the tournament was held in Wellington, New Zealand on June 1. The inaugural tournament will consist of 16 teams, divided into four group of four teams each. A team from CONCACAF has been placed in Group A, Group B and Group C. The winner of the 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship will be placed in Group C, along with Japan, France and Paraguay.

2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup Final Draw
Locations: Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand
Seeded teams: New Zealand, Germany, CONCACAF 1, Brazil

Group A
A1 New Zealand
A3 Denmark
A4 Colombia

Group B
B2 Germany
B3 Korea DPR

Group C
C1 Japan
C3 France
C4 Paraguay

Group D
D1 Brazil
D2 England
D3 Korea Republic