CHICAGO (Oct. 12, 2004) â€“ U.S. Under-19 Womenâ€™s National Team head coach Mark Krikorian has named the 21 players that will represent the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship in Thailand, running from Nov. 10-27 in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
The tournament is just one of three FIFA-sanctioned world championship tournaments for women after the Womenâ€™s World Cup and the Olympics and the only FIFA-sanctioned world championship for youth women. The second FIFA U-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship will feature players born on or after January 1, 1985.
The naming of the roster culminates almost two years of preparation for the young U.S. players, which make up a talented and deep squad featuring four members of the U.S. team that won the inaugural FIFA U-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship in 2002. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, defender Rachel Buehler, midfielder Angie Woznuk and forward Kerri Hanks will get the chance to play in their second youth world championship tournament. Harris and Buehler were starters on the 2002 team while Hanks and Woznuk, the two leading scorers for the USA this year with 12 and eight goals respectively, were reserves who will likely get their chance to make their mark on the worldâ€™s stage.
â€œItâ€™s been a great process,â€ said Krikorian, who will also be experiencing his first world championship. â€œItâ€™s been a wonderful, educational journey and I think our group has grown together. The amount and variety of training camps and matches weâ€™ve had this year has allowed us to develop as a team on and off the field. We go to Thailand with a roster that we are very comfortable will represent the United States in a very positive fashion as people and as players.â€
Other key players who could play important roles for the team include center back Becky Sauerbrunn and Nikki Kryzsik, outside backs Stephanie Lopez and Stephanie Logterman, midfielders Stacy Lindstrom, Yael Averbuch and Jen Redmond, as well as attacking players Megan Rapinoe, Sheree Gray, Amy Rodriguez and Alexa Orand.Named to the world championship roster were 14 players who have either withdrawn from their college term and are red-shirting this season or have delayed enrollment as freshman in order to train in a modified residency program for what will be the biggest tournament of their lives. Making up the roster is one high school junior, six high school seniors, seven would-be college freshman, six would-be college sophomores and one college junior in Lindstrom, who was born in 1985, but started college a year early. The team features eight players from California and four players from New Jersey.
FIFA announced last week that the age limit for the next FIFA womenâ€™s youth world championship in 2006 will be moved from Under-19 to Under-20, meaning that of the 21 players on the roster, 10 will be age-eligible for the next squad (only five would have been eligible under the old age cutoff).
The last time a U.S. womenâ€™s team went to the Far East for a world championship tournament was in 1991 when the USA won the first-ever FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup in China. This group of U-19 players was between four and six years old when those pioneers kicked off the grand tradition of U.S. womenâ€™s soccer.
â€œThereâ€™s more pressure on us knowing that we did win in 2002,â€ said Harris, the team captain and all-time caps leader for the U-19s with 33. â€œA lot of teams will be bringing their â€œAâ€ games against us because they know about our tradition and they are really going to want to beat us, but everyone is so excited to go to Thailand. Weâ€™ve been training for so long and the final stretch is here. You can see the excitement in our eyes and every thing is coming together at the right time. Our starting lineup is great and we have great players coming off the bench.â€
The tournament promises to feature a level of play even higher than the 2002 version, which impressed media, organizers and officials alike as the USA rolled to the title, beating host Canada in a dramatic golden goal overtime finish as current U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team star Lindsay Tarpley scored the winner.
With Brazil featuring numerous players from their silver-medal winning 2004 Olympic squad, including dynamic dribblers Marta and Cristiane, with Spain knocking off perennial power Germany to win the European qualifying tournament, and with Japan â€“ perhaps Asiaâ€™s best team -- failing to qualify in favor of China and U.S. group foe South Korea, the tournament promises to be extremely competitive.
The U.S. players, however, are ready and excited for a great challenge, and will head to Thailand with a bit of a chip on their shoulders after losing in the CONCACAF Qualifying championship game to Canada.â€œWe are definitely not satisfied,â€ said Harris. â€œWe want more out of each other and the team and thatâ€™s what makes us special. Our goals are to win thatâ€™s what we are focused on doing.â€
The USA will play its first match on the second day of the competition, taking on South Korea on Thursday, Nov. 11. The USA continues Group C play against Russia on Sunday, Nov. 14, and finishes first-round play against European champion Spain on Thursday, Nov. 18. All three of the USAâ€™s first-round games will be played in Phuket, Thailand, on the western coast in the southern peninsula of the country.
The 2004 FIFA U-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship will feature three groups of four teams each with the top two finishers in each group, and the two best third-place teams, advancing to the knockout quarterfinals. Group A, which will be played in the capital of Bangkok, features host Thailand, Germany, Australia and Canada. Group B, which will be played in Chiang Mai, features Nigeria, China, Italy and Brazil.
â€œFor a number of training camps and months, the World Cup has been something thatâ€™s been off in the horizon,â€ said Krikorian. â€œNow, itâ€™s tangible and itâ€™s something sitting in front of us. The excitement of the competition is upon us, and all the hard work weâ€™ve put in has led to some great anticipation and positive feelings as we head into our final preparations.â€
The U.S. team is currently holding its final extended training camp, running until Oct. 20 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The team will hold a brief three-day camp at the end of October before leaving for Thailand in early November.
FIFA U-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship
Nov. 10-27, Thailand
U.S. Under-19 Womenâ€™s National Team Roster
*Caps and goals listed are for full internationals at the U-19 level.
Head Coach: Mark Krikorian (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Assistant Coach: Erica Walsh (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Melissa Moore (San Diego, Calif.)
Medical Doctor: Dr. Debra Zillmer (Chicago, Ill.)
Medical Doctor: Dr. Joyce Tarbet (Chicago, Ill.)
Athletic Trainer: Juliet Barnes (Chicago, Ill.)
Equipment Manager: Amanda Trokey (St. Louis, Mo.)
Massage Therapist: Joanna McClish (Portland, Ore.)
Team Coordinator: Aubrey Brandt (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
2004 U.S. Under-19 Womenâ€™s World Championship Team
Lee, N.H. (6 U-19 caps)
One of the few players in the Womenâ€™s National Team pool from New Hampshire, Comeau is a brave goalkeeper who has make great strides in her fitness of late. The Virginia-bound Comeau (pronounced Komo), brings a great work ethic to the team, is quick in the goalmouth and a good shot-stopper.
Thousand Oaks, Calif. (4 U-19 caps)
The 5-foot-11 Davis brings height and athletic ability to the U.S. team. She is big and strong and great in the air on crosses. She has a strong leg and is a great distributor with her hands and from goal kicks and punts. The UCLA-bound Davis won a youth club national title last year with her Under-17 SoCal United team.
Satellite Beach, Fla. (33 U-19 caps)
The U.S. captain is the USAâ€™s all-time caps leader at the U-19 level with 33 games played and has a 23-4-2 record all-time in international matches. She was the youngest player on the 2002 world champions and played a spectacular championship game, earning a 120-minute shutout at the age of 16. The UNC-bound Harris is tremendously athletic and brave and is one of the new breed of goalkeepers who excels with her feet as well. With an excellent kicking game and a big-game presence that belies her age, the 2004 Gatorade Girlâ€™s High School Player of the Year will be a key the USAâ€™s success.
Del Mar, Calif. (24 U-19 caps/3 goals)
The Stanford sophomore and pre-med major has recovered from ACL tears in both knees, the first of which occurred just minutes into the 2002 world championship final, and has become a mainstay in the center of the defense. One of the USA most tenacious and experienced defenders (she is the second most capped player on the U.S. roster with 24), her big game mentality should prove valuable to the U.S. team. Ironically, although a defender, Buehler is the only player on the roster to have scored in a FIFA youth world championship, burying a penalty kick in the USA first-round win over Chinese Taipei in 2002.
Timinium, Md. (2 U-19 caps/0 goals)
Holmes made a late run to make the U.S. squad and brings outstanding speed and tremendous athleticism to the U.S. back line. An excellent one-on-one defender and a good tackler, she likes to get forward into the attack. The Santa Clara-bound Holmes is tenacious and tough and will add depth to the U.S. defense.
Elk Grove, Calif. (18 U-19 caps/0 goals)
The USAâ€™s first-choice left back is remarkably two-footed and has a year of college experience starting in the center of the University of Portland defense as a freshman last season. Known by her nickname of S-Lo, she can also get into the attack, get behind defenses and serve effective crosses to the U.S. attackers. She is a great one-on-one player, especially for a defender, and a great leader on the U.S. team.
Clifton, N.J. (9 U-19 caps/0 goals)
The USAâ€™s â€œhard woman,â€ Krzysik (pronounced Kriz-ICK) is an enforcer in the back and one of the teamâ€™s most physical players. On the bubble earlier in the year, Krzysik worked her way onto the roster with increased fitness and feisty play and will give the USA valuable depth anywhere on the back line or even at the defensive midfield slot. She is one of the best communicators in the group of defenders.
Olivette, Mo. (19 U-19 caps/0 goals)
The rock-solid Sauerbrunn leads the USA in matches played in 2004, having appeared in 19 of the 20 games so far. Sauerbrunn was a First-Team All-American as a freshman in 2003 for the University of Virginia and the ACC Freshman of the Year and is one of the team leaders, often captaining the squad. Big and strong into the tackle, along with Buehler, Sauerbrunn gives the USA a pair of hard tacklers in the back.
Upper Monclair, N.J. (13 U-19 caps/2 goals)
The 5-foot-10 midfielder has silky smooth skills, especially for a player of her height, and is one of the USAâ€™s best shooters from distance. Averbuch (pronounced Aver-bush) can play either in the central midfield or center back, giving Krikorian multiple options to use her height and technical ability. Her mother Gloria is an author who has written books with UNC head coach Anson Dorrance and most recently U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team defender Brandi Chastain. As a 13-year-old, Averbuch appeared on a morning TV show in New York City with Chastain to publicize the 1999 Womenâ€™s World Cup.
Toms River, N.J. (12 U-19 caps/1 goal)
One of the USA fastest players, she is a slashing dribbler who can also get her teammates behind the defense with slick passing. The Penn State-bound Gray can play up top, at attacking midfield or on the flanks, giving the USA a dynamic attacking presence from several positions on the field. She scored against China during the USAâ€™s trip to Shanghai earlier in the year. She was suffering from an injury during CONCACAF Qualifying, but could be one of the breakout stars for the U.S. team in Thailand.
Paradise Valley, Arizona (11 U-19 caps/2 goals)
With a phenomenal work rate and the ability to beat defenders and hit dangerous crosses, Kron gives the team productivity on the flanks. Kron (rhymes with bone) came on strong in the last year to make the roster and has given the USA a valuable player off the bench in 2004, able to spark the team on the attack. The UCLA sophomore is two-footed and has great consistency in her serves, as well as being dangerous on free kicks and from long-range shooting.
Laguna Niguel, Calif. (14 U-19 caps/1 goal)
The six-foot Lindstrom cuts a striking figure on the field and possesses world-class skills and heading ability. The only player with two seasons of college soccer under her belt after entering UCLA a year early, she has contributed to the U-19s in both the midfield, where she is a classy distributor from the defensive midfield slot, and at the back. Extremely dangerous on set plays with her head, but able to serve tremendous long balls as well, Lindstromâ€™s versatility will be a boon to the U.S. in Thailand.
Austin, Texas (15 U-19 caps/0 goals)
Logterman, who will stay at home to play for the University of Texas, has established herself as a consistent force for the USA, and with a tremendous work rate, she can play on the flanks for the USA or in the defensive midfield slot. Known as S-Log, she is skillful and wiry tough, bringing a mean tackling and heading presence as the USAâ€™s work horse in the midfield.
Orange, Calif. (15 U-19 caps/4 goals)
The youngest player on the U.S. roster (she turned 17 two days ago) is also one of the most exciting. A tricky dribbler, she is relentless in going at goal and adds unpredictability to the U.S. attack whether sheâ€™s playing at forward or on the flank, where she loves to run at defenders. She has an excellent work rate, is strong enough to ride tackles and has the ability to get behind the defense on dribble and/or with productive runs.
Morristown, N.J. (6 U-19 caps/1 goal)
One of the most physical players on the team, Redmond brings a biting edge to the U.S. midfield. While Virginia-bound Redmond is relatively inexperienced in full international matches with just six caps, she possesses the mindset to perform on the worldâ€™s stage. A very skillful player and dribbler, she has an effective shot from outside and excels at running at defense. Redmond suffered a foot injury that caused her to be scratched from the CONCACAF qualifying roster, but is healthy and ready to contribute.
El Cajon, Calif. (21 U-19 caps/9 goals)
Perhaps the most skillful young player in the country, Woznuk is a wizard with the ball at her feet, able to skin players on the dribble or slice defenses open with her passing. With increased strength and fitness, the University of Portland sophomore has also become a scoring threat, pounding in nine goals in 21 U-19 internationals. She came off the bench in the championship game at the 2002 world championship and her experience and ability to unsettle defenses with the ball at her feet will be of great benefit to the U.S. team in Thailand.
Allen, Texas (27 U-19 caps/21 goals)
One of the USAâ€™s best one-on-one players, Hanks possesses and innate ability to drive to goal and find the net. She led the USA with nine goals during CONCACAF Qualifying and has the most international goals of any player on the roster with 21. She has struggled to return from a knee injury suffered in June, but if healthy, the Notre Dame-bound Hanks will be a key component in the USAâ€™s attack.
Redding, Calif. (16 U-19 caps/6 goals)
A key player in the U.S. attack, Rapinoe (pronounced Rap-E-no) is one of the teamâ€™s most talented players with the ball at her feet and possesses a keen instinct for goal scoring. Like most of the USAâ€™s attacking players, she is effective at multiple positions, but most dangerous when running at goal. The University of Portland-bound attacker can strike a shot with excellent power, but also has the sublime finishing touch of a true goal scorer and likely will be a key part of the USAâ€™s attack in Thailand.
Lake Forest, Calif. (0 U-19 caps/0 goals)
The powder keg type forward is great with her back to the goal and has a relentless work rate that causes problems for opposing defense. The USC-bound forward made a late run to make the final squad, and while she is the only uncapped player on the roster, could make a big impact in Thailand with her ability to hold the ball up top as well as get herself in behind the defense. She is tough, strong, feisty, and certainly opportunistic in front of the net.
Kent, Ohio (2 U-19 caps/0 goals)
The slashing forward also made a late run to make the team and possesses some natural dribbling ability that makes her extremely dangerous around the net. At 5-foot-9, with breakaway speed and a gaggle of dribbling moves, the Virginia-bound Rostedt (pronounced Ross-ted) could be a revelation off the bench for the USA in Thailand.
Butler, Pa. (2 U-19 caps/1 goal)
Most effective in the penalty box, Schnur gives the USA another option in the attack. Scorer of five goals last season for UConn as she helped the Huskies to the NCAA championship game, she is physically strong, a quality passer and one of the USAâ€™s few true left-footed players. Good with her back to goal, Schnur can also strike a dangerous shot from distance.