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U.S. U-20 Women Defeat Brazil U-20s

“We came down here and set up this tournament environment and the girls have responded even better than what I had hoped for,” said U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Tim Schulz. “There was some tension out there and it got heated for a while, but the girls kept their composure and played like pros.”

The young U.S. team looked a bit unsteady in the first 10 minutes as Brazil kept them pinned inside their defensive half, but the Americans then struck for the first goal against the run of play.

Midfielder Brittany Bock powered through two defenders at the right side of the penalty area and fired a shot across the face of the goal. The shot was off target, but Cheney was making a hard run to the far post and beat her defender to the bouncing ball, finishing expertly into the upper right side of the net with a first-time shot. It was Cheney’s 15th goal of 2006 for the U-20s and the fifth of her U-20 international career.

The USA played in a 4-5-1 formation in the first half with Cheney as the lone forward, but Schulz put on four substitutes at halftime, including forward Jessica Rostedt, and switched to a 4-4-2. Rostedt and Cheney, backed by attacking midfielder Allie Long, put some consisten pressure on the Brazilian defense, but Brazil also showed good possession in the match. However, the South American champs, playing without superstar goal scorer Marta who is in Sweden playing with her pro club, just could not find a way to break down the U.S. backline, which was anchored well by center backs Nikki Krzysik and Carrie Dew.

“I was excited about our team shape on defense,” said Schulz. “We were very stingy and very organized, we were not giving up any holes. I am not sure how many shots Brazil had, but we were pretty tight back there.”

Brazil out-shot the USA 11-7 for the match, but most of their shots came from distance and didn’t trouble U.S. goalkeeper Kelsey Davis. The U.S. team put six of its seven shots on goal.