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U.S. U-20 WNT Comes Together for Pre-World Cup Training Camp

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup - Germany
Pearl River , N.Y.
July 5, 2010

U.S. U-20 WNT COMES TOGETHER FOR PRE-WORLD CUP TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s World Cup Team gathered together in Pearl River, N.Y. on July 3 for a five-day mini-camp before the squad departs for Germany and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on July 7. The 21-player roster will have several training sessions and two scrimmages before departing for Europe as U.S. head coach Jill Ellis puts the final touches on her team that will open World Cup play against Ghana on July 14 at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresden, Germany. The U.S. team will be based in Dresden for nine days during its pre-tournament preparation as well as for the first two Group C games, the second of which comes on July 17 against Switzerland at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium. The U.S. team will then travel to Bielefeld to complete the first round against the Korea Republic on July 21.

2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup
Group D Schedule
Date                Match                                                 Venue
July 14            USA vs. Ghana                                   Rudolf-Harbig Stadium – Dresden, Germany
July 14             Switzerland vs. Korea Republic                Rudolf-Harbig Stadium – Dresden, Germany
July 17            USA vs. Switzerland                          Rudolf-Harbig Stadium – Dresden, Germany
July 17             Ghana vs. Korea Republic                       Rudolf-Harbig Stadium – Dresden, Germany
July 21            USA vs. Korea Republic                     U-20 Women's World Cup Stadium – Bielefeld, Germany
July 21             Ghana vs. Switzerland                            U-20 WWC Stadium – Bochum, Germany

ROSTER CHANGES: U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has made two changes to the World Cup roster since it was officially announced on May 30. On June 18, she added defender Mollie Pathman of Durham, N.C., and on July 5, she added defender Meg Morris of Montclair, N.J., in place of forward Tiffany McCarty, who had to be replaced due to a medical issue. Pathman is the 2009-2010 Gatorade National Girls’ High School Player of the Year. Morris, a gritty marker and tackler, is a versatile player who has committed to attend the University of North Carolina this coming fall. Both players have seen most of their 2010 national team action with the U.S. U-18s and Morris is the only player on the USA’s World Cup roster who is uncapped at the U-20 level. Pathman, who will attend Duke, has two U-20 caps heading to Germany. 

2010 U.S. U-20 WNT R oster by Position
18-Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kan.), 21-Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1-Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), 5-Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), 14-Meg Mooris (North Carolina; Montclair, N.J.), 13-Mollie Pathman (Duke; Durham, N.C.), 2-Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), 3-Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 20-Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), 12-Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), 9-Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.), 8-Samantha Mewis (Scorpions SC; Hanson, Mass.), 11-Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.), 10-Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), 15-Jenna Richmond (UCLA; Centreville, Va.), 17-Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (4): 6-Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), 16-Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), 19-Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Phoenix, Ariz.), 7-Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)

CONCACAF QUALIFYING IN GUATEMALA: The USA won the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championships in Guatemala in January of 2010, but it was anything but easy, a testament to the improvement of the women’s game in the region. The USA started the tournament with a 6-0 win against Jamaica and a 4-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago, but ran into a committed and talented Mexican team in its final group match. The USA prevailed 2-1 on goals from Vicki DiMartino (a blast from outside) and Sydney Leroux, which sent the Americans to the all-important semifinal where they faced Costa Rica for a trip to Germany. The Costa Ricans put up quite a fight, but the USA came away with a deserved 2-1 victory on goals from Kristie Mewis and Teresa Noyola to earn its berth. That win set up a rematch with Mexico in the championship game after the Mexicans knocked Canada out of the World Cup with a 1-0 overtime semifinal win of their own. In the final, Leroux played hero once again, converting an amazing finish with just minutes left to give the USA the CONCACAF U-20 title, only its second out of four attempts. Seven different players scored for the USA at CONCACAF qualifying, led by Leroux’s six goals. Kristie Mewis, Nairn and Noyola had two each. Henninger played all 450 minutes in goal while allowing just two scores.

FROM GUATEMALA TO GERMANY: Sixteen of the 21 players on the USA’s World Cup roster participated in CONCACAF qualifying. The five players who didn’t are young goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, Oklahoma State net-minder Adrianna Franch, two late roster adds in defenders Mollie Pathman and Meg Morris and forward Courtney Verloo.

TWO-TIMERS: The USA has two players who will be participating in their second FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for the United States in forward Sydney Leroux and midfielder Christine Nairn. Both were a big part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Leroux had a historic tournament, scoring five goals while sweeping the top scorer and best player awards, the first American to do so at a FIFA tournament. Nairn started four of the six games and had two assists, including a cross off a corner kick that was headed in by Keelin Winters during the USA’s quarterfinal win over England. The experience and leadership of the duo will be a key to the USA’s success in Germany. This will actually be the third U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cup for Leroux, who played for Canada at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand before she switched citizenship at the age of 17. She came off the bench in two games as a 14-year-old and was the youngest player in the tournament.

WORLD CUP SISTERS: In 2008 in New Zealand, Kristie and Samantha Mewis became the first sisters to play together for the United States in a Women’s World Cup. Kristie, now 19, started all six games while Samantha, now 17, started four of the five matches she played in during the first-ever FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. They spent 442 minutes of the tournament on the field together, including all 120 of the hard-fought World Cup final which went to overtime before the USA fell to Korea DPR by a 2-1 score. In Germany, they will repeat the feat, once again bringing the “Sister Show” to the world stage. Only one set of sisters has ever played together on the full U.S. Women’s National Team, that being twins Lorrie and Ronnie Fair, who played together in two friendly matches in 1997 against England.

NEW ZEALAND SEVEN: There are seven players on the U.S. roster who played major roles for the U.S. team that almost won the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, the first-ever FIFA world championship held for that age group. Those players are defenders Amber Brooks, Rachel Quon and Crystal Dunn, sisters Kristie and Samantha Mewis, and forwards Vicki DiMartino and Courtney Verloo. All were consistent starters in that tournament, all started the World Cup final against Korea DPR, and Brooks and Kristie Mewis captained the USA during the tournament. DiMartino scored five goals and won the Silver Shoe as the second leading scorer in the tournament. Mewis, who scored twice, put in a performance that earned her the Bronze Ball as the third-best player in the tournament. Verloo scored four goals. That previous World Cup experience should prove invaluable to the U.S. team, as well as providing motivation for players that came within 15 minutes of winning the World Cup before allowing an equalizer to the North Koreans and then giving up a game-winner in overtime.

SECOND TIME FOR ELLIS: This U-20 WNT cycle marks the second one for U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, but this will be the first time she has coached the team in the World Cup. Ellis took over the U-20s in 2007 in preparation for the last U-20 Women’s World Cup, but was asked by Pia Sundhage to join the staff of the full Women’s National Team in January of 2008, so she moved from the U-20s to the full team and helped coach the USA to the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing. This time, she has been with the team the entire cycle and it will be her first world championship as a head coach.