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U.S. Under-20 WNT Starts World Cup Qualifying Campaign With 4-0 Win Over Trinidad & Tobago

PUEBLA, Mexico (June 18, 2008) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team kicked off CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with a 4-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla, Mexico. Forward Michelle Enyeart led the way with a hat trick, while Kelly O’Hara also tallied a first-half goal to put the U.S. tied atop Group A.

The U.S. will continue group play on Friday, June 20 against Cuba, who fell 7-0 in their opening match against Mexico. Kickoff for the match, which fans can follow live on’s Match Tracker, has been moved up an hour earlier to 12 p.m. CT due to the possibility of thunderstorms predicted later in the day. While tied on points with Mexico in Group A after the first day of matches, the U.S. is in second place due to a lower goal differential (+3 to +7), which is the first tie-breaker.

“I was proud of our effort today,” said U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco. “I think they had some nerves going into the game as there are always high expectations for a U.S. team. Trinidad & Tobago really defended well, they have great athleticism and they didn’t make it easy for us to get scoring opportunities. I’m proud of the girls. It’s a great way to launch the tournament for us knowing that our task will get more difficult as we move along.”

The U.S. controlled the game from start to finish, but escaped an early mistake when two Trinidad & Tobago players got behind the U.S. defense after a quick restart in the fourth minute. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who did not see much action otherwise, was swift off her line and smothered the ball after Kenya Cordnet took her first touch toward goal.

After the early scare, the U.S. settled down and took over the game, getting on the board in the ninth minute. Alex Morgan, playing in her first-ever international match, received the ball, turned and played a perfect through ball for Enyeart, whose first touch put her around her only defender. Enyeart looked up and slipped the ball past Trinidad & Tobago ‘keeper Kimika Forbes for her first goal of the night.

Enyeart’s second of the night was a culmination of a U.S. possession that began from the back line and moved all the way up field with quick passing around the tightly-packed Trinidad & Tobago defense. In the attacking third, captain Keelin Winters played a ball through two defenders for Enyeart, putting her alone on goal. She calmly touched it past Forbes to double the American’s lead in the 30th minute.

With a relentless attack, the U.S. struck again two minutes later. Kierstan Dallstream pushed forward into the attack from her right back position and swung a ball into the box that skipped off a defender to O’Hara. O’Hara, who is one of two players with Under-20 Women’s World Cup experience along with Casey Nogueira, tapped it in for a 3-0 lead.

Trinidad & Tobago kept fighting on defense, keeping at least 10 players behind the ball to limit the USA’s chances in the second half. Despite the defensive formation, a great individual effort from Enyeart produced her third goal and rounded out the scoring on the night. On the goal, Enyeart intercepted a pass in the T&T defensive half and dribbled around the defender that coughed up the ball. She then split two more defenders on the dribble to get inside the box before slotting the ball to the far post for her hat trick.

“We came out and accomplished what we wanted,” said Enyeart, who increased her team leading goal tally to seven on the year. “We got the result and now we can build from today. At this level three goals isn’t a very big margin of victory so we knew we had to keep attacking. I think scoring in the second half was important for us as we move forward.”

The top two teams from each group will play in the semifinals, and the top three teams in the tournament will advance to the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. 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.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Game Report

Participants: U.S. Under-20 WNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Competition: CONCACAF Under-20 Women's World Cup Qualifying
Location: Estadio Cuauhtemoc - Pueblo, Mexico
Date: June 18, 2008
Weather: Warm, Sunny

Scoring Summary:
          1   2    F
USA  3   1    4
TRI    0   0    0

USA – Michelle Enyeart (Alex Morgan)             9th minute
USA – Michelle Enyeart (Keelin Winters)        30.
USA – Kelly O’Hara (Kiersten Dallstream)     32.
USA – Michelle Enyeart                                      76.

USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 19-Kiersten Dallstream, 2-Lauren Fowlkes, 4-Nikki Marshall, 3-Meghan Klingenberg;
25-Becky Edwards, 15-Casey Nogueira, 5Keelin Winters (9-Gina DiMartino 72); 13-Michelle Enyeart, 17-Alex Morgan (22-Sydney Leroux 60), 10-Kelley O’Hara (7-Nikki Washington 58)
Subs not used: 18-Kristin Arnold, 8-Kaley Fountain, 6-Elli Reed, 21-Ingrid Wells
Head Coach: Tony DiCicco

T&T: 1-Kimika Forbes; 3-Danielle Blair, 2-Ayana Russell, Jennelle Cunningham, 8-Iyesha Olliveirre; 7-Dernelle Mascall, 5-Annalis Cummings, 15-Nikeisha Noel (9-Shanelle Warrick 68), 19-Kenya Cordnet (12-Bianca Walker, 14), 16Candace Edwards (6Kenya Charles 80), 11-Karissa Rodney
Subs not used: 4-Kasara Gardner, 10-Avanelle Isaac, 13-Arielle Ramchand-Duque, 14-Avhlen White, 20-Julie Ann McDougall
Head Coach: Marlon Charles

Misconduct Summary:

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Michelle Enyeart

Group A
Team        W   L   T   Pts.    GF   GA      GD    
MEX           1    0   0    3         7      0        +7
USA           1    0   0    3         4      0        +4
TRI             0    1   0    0        0      4         -4
CUB          0    1   0     0        0      7        -7

June 18, 2008
USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 7, Cuba 0

June 18, 2008
USA vs. Cuba            12 p.m. CT
Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago    2:30 p.m. CT

June 20, 2008
Cuba vs. Trinidad & Tobago    12 p.m. CT
USA vs. Mexico        2:30 p.m. CT

Group B
Team        W  L   T    Pts.    GF   GA    GD    
CAN          1    0    0    3         2       0     +2
CRC         1    0    0    3         3       1      +2
JAM           0    1    0    0         1       3       -2
NIC           0    1    0    0         0       2       -2

June 17, 2008
Canada 2, Nicaragua 0
Costa Rica 3, Jamaica 1

June 19, 2008
Canada vs. Jamaica        12 p.m. CT
Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua    2:30 p.m. CT

June 21, 2008
Jamaica vs. Nicaragua        12 p.m. CT
Canada vs. Costa Rica        2:30 p.m. CT