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U.S. U-21s Warm Up For 2007 Nordic Cup With 5-0 Win

CHICAGO (July 17, 2007) The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team warmed up for the 2007 Nordic Cup with a 5-0 victory over club team FC Sports on July 16 in Vassa, Finland. The U.S. got goals from five different players as defender Nikki Krzysik, midfielders Kelsey Carpenter and Amanda Cinalli, and forwards Michele Weissenhoffer and Ella Masar tallied. Forward Danesha Adams assisted the first three goals.

The American women are in Finland with the goal of taking back the Nordic Cup lost last year to Germany. The Nordic Cup is held in Northern Europe every summer and the USA has competed in the tournament for well more than a decade as it has become the focus of the USA’s oldest youth women’s national team during its six-month run-up to the prestigious competition. In response to FIFA moving its oldest FIFA world championship for women from Under-19 to Under-20, this year the Nordic Cup moves from an Under-21 competition to an Under-23 tournament (it was staged as a U-20 event from 1990-1997) and U.S. head coach Bill Irwin has brought an 18-player roster featuring a mixture of U-21 and older players to Finland.

While the Nordic Cup has long featured eight teams and three group games followed by a placement match, this year’s format calls for two group games and then a placement match, giving the USA little room for error in the first round to earn a berth to the title game, which will pit the winners of Group A, featuring England, Finland and Germany, and Group B, which will feature Norway, Sweden and the USA.

The American women open the tournament against Norway on July 18 in Närpiö, followed by the match against Sweden on July 22 in Vaasa. The placement matches are on July 24. All the matches are in and around Vassa on the west coast of Finland right on the Gulf of Bothnia. The USA has won eight Nordic Cup titles, including seven in a row before falling last year in the championship game.

2007 U.S. U-21 WNT Nordic Cup Schedule
Date          Opponent
July 18        Norway
July 22        Sweden
July 24        Fifth Place Match
                    Third Place Match
                    Championship Match