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U.S. U-19 Notes From Thailand: USA Ready for Spain on Thursday

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team
Notes from Phuket, Thailand

U.S. U-19 WOMEN TO CLOSE OUT GROUP C AGAINST EURO CHAMPIONS SPAIN: Having already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team will face Spain on Thursday, Nov. 18 (5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET) with a win or a tie securing first place in Group C. In an odd scheduling quirk, Group C play ends two days after Groups A and B, which were completed on Tuesday, Nov. 16. (See results below). With all four quarterfinals being played on Sunday, Nov. 21, that means the USA's opponent will have four days of rest between matches while the U.S. team will have just two, one of which will be a travel day. The U.S. match vs. Spain will be the final game at Sarakul Stadium and the Phuket venue, which has done a fabulous job hosting the Group C matches. South Korea vs. Russia will kickoff concurrently in Bangkok.

U.S. QUARTERFINAL SCENARIOS: Should the USA win Group C, they will travel to Chiang Mai in the northern part of the country to face the third place finisher in Group A or B. The group from which the second third-place team will emerge will not be determined until after the final matches in Group C, but Nigeria (in Group B) has clinched one of those spots. (Meaning, if the U.S. wins Group C, they will play either Nigeria or Australia.) Australia did its job in an attempt to grab the other, bringing its goal difference to zero with a 5-0 win over Thailand in Group A, meaning that if the USA beats Spain, the Young Matildas would likely go through and face the USA. If the USA beats Spain, the only way Australia would not go through would be if South Korea can somehow beat Russia by five goals, an unlikely scenario. If the USA ties Spain, the Australians must hope that Korea beats Russia by three or less goals. If the USA ties, and Russia wins or Korea wins by five or more, the other third-place team would come from Group C, Australia would be out, and the USA would face Nigeria in the quarterfinals. If the USA finishes second in Group C, they would travel to Bangkok to play the Brazil, the winner of Group B. If the USA finishes in third place, a highly unlikely scenario that would involve losing to Spain by a bushel of goals while seeing Russia also defeat South Korea, the USA would travel to Chiang Mai to face Germany, the winner of Group A.
USA vs. SPAIN PREVIEW: This could be one of the most entertaining matches of Group C as like the USA, Spain features some dynamic attacking players. that is, unless Spain decides to play for a draw, which will guarantee them passage to the quarterfinals. Spain was upset by Russia, 4-1, in the opening match, digging themselves a deep hole, but they climbed part of the way out with a deserved 2-1 win over South Korea on the second match day in Group C and now will no doubt give the USA a stern test as they are playing for their tournament survival. Spain is led by forward Jade Boho (who simply has JADE on the back of her jersey). The feisty and strong forward has scored two of Spain's three goals and will have no fear running at the USA's back line. Spain has split games with its goalkeepers, giving one game each to Maria Sanchez, who gave up four goals, and Lucia Munoz, who beat Korea and will likely start against the USA. Spain's other talented attacking players include midfielders Natalia Pablos and Iraia Iturregi, as well as Nuria Zufia, who has Spain's other goal. Spain pulled off what could be one of the greatest results in women's soccer history in the European U-19 Qualification tournament, losing to Germany 7-0 during group play. Spain still advanced out of group play (and with that, earned their berth to Thailand), then defeated Italy, 1-0, in the semifinal. That win earned Spain another shot at Germany where they remarkably came out on top, 1-0.

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Laura COMEAU, 1-Kelsey DAVIS, 18-Ashlyn HARRIS; DEFENDERS (5): 3-Rachel BUEHLER, 19-Meagan HOLMES, 15-Nikki KRZYSIK, 6-Stephanie LOPEZ, 11-Becky SAUERBRUNN; MIDFIELDERS (8): 13-Yael AVERBUCH, 5-Sheree GRAY, 2-Stephanie KRON, 20-Stacy LINDSTROM, 8-Stephanie LOGTERMAN, 12-Alexa ORAND, 4-Jen REDMOND, 10-Angie WOZNUK; FORWARDS (5); 9-Kerri HANKS, 7-Megan RAPINOE, 16-Amy RODRIGUEZ, 17-Jessica ROSTEDT, 14-Meghan SCHNUR.

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Lucia MUNOZ, 13-Maria SANCHEZ, 21-Maria RODRIGUEZ; DEFENDERS (5): 2-Irantzu CASTRILLO, 5-Ruth GARCIA, 14-Silvia DOBLADO, 15-Ane BERGARA, 18-Zurine GIL GARCIA; MIDFIELDERS (8): 4-Miriam DIEGUEZ, 7-Natalia PABLOS, 8-Nuria ZUFIA, 10-Iraia ITURREGI, 11-Ana ROMERO, 16-Carmen FERRER, 17-Julie DE LA PAZ, 20-Irene SAMPIETRO; FORWARDS (5): 3-Veronica BOQUETE, 6-Aintzane ENCINAS, 9-Jade BOHO, 12-Irine MURUA, 19-Judith ACEDO.

LEONARDO WASN'T THERE: The U.S. team had Sunday off from training and took an excursion to Phi Phi Island off the eastern coast of Thailand, an exotic locale where Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Beach" was filmed. The U.S. team split into two groups to take a very fast (and sometimes bumpy) but enjoyable speedboat ride out to the island, passing many other smaller islands along the way, some no bigger than a football field. Once at Phi Phi, the team motored into inlets past spectacular landscapes with massive rocky cliffs protruding from the ocean, cruised some sparkling lagoons with translucent green water (passing the beach where Mr. DiCaprio spent some time), got a look at the eerie Viking Cave, where ancient shipwrecks have been found and even got a chance to throw some bananas to the residents of Monkey Beach. The U.S. team also fed some tropical fish and finally stopped at a small, sandy peninsula for lunch, after which some of the players went snorkeling (and being great underwater hunters, captured a sea cucumber), while other just relaxed on the beach before the team headed back to Phuket on a much smoother ride home.

THE LONE SIGNMAN: Before the USA kicked off against Russia in their second Group C match, a lone U.S. fan positioned himself in the stands behind one of the goals at Sarakul Stadium with a big green sign stating, "WHEN THE EAGLE SPREADS IT WINGS, THE FAT LADY SINGS. GO USA."  While the fan proved to be prophetic, as the USA scored just 100 seconds into the match, the sign did prove difficult to explain to the locals, one of whom asked, "Who is this fat lady and why is she singing?"

POSTCARDS FROM PHUKET: Speedy midfielder Sheree Gray checks in from Phuket, Thailand, with an e-postcard to update everyone back at home on the happenings of the team, off-field activities, and anything else on her mind. Gray, whose parents where both born in Kingston, Jamaica, has terrorized the USA’s first two opponents with her speed down the right wing and played a part in all three goals in the USA’s opening game win over South Korea. The Penn State-bound flank midfielder shares her thoughts on the USA’s first two games, hungry monkeys and her lyrical prowess. She also chimes in on the upcoming MNT World Cup qualifier against Jamaica! Read her postcard here.

GERMANS CLAIM GROUP A WITH TIE AGAINST CANADA, BRAZIL WINS GROUP B OVER CHINA: The final round of games in Group A and B commenced on Tuesday (Nov. 16) and Group A provided an amazing comeback from Canada, which found itself down 3-0 after 37 minutes, only to score twice before the end of the half. Canada got an equalizer from Brittany Timko in the 63rd minute (her tournament leading sixth goal), but the draw was good enough to give the Germans the group title on goal difference. In the other Group A match, Australia put five goals past host Thailand, which may be enough to give them life for a quarterfinal berth pending the results of the Group C games on Thursday. In Group B, Brazil secured top spot with a 2-1 win over China as star forwards and 2004 Olympic Team members Marta and Cristiane both tallied for the second match in a row.  In the other Group B match, Nigeria captain Akudo Sabi pulled off an equalizer in the 88th minute to tie Italy, 1-1, earning the Baby Falcons a place in the quarterfinals and ending Italy's tournament.

FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship 2004 Group Standings

x-Qualified for Quarterfinals

Group A
Team   W   L   T  PTS   GF   GA    GD
x-GER   2   0    1     7     13      3    +10
x-CAN   2   0    1     7      12      4    +8
AUS      1   2    0     3        6     6      0
THA      0   3    0     0         0   18    -18

Nov. 10
Germany 6, Thailand 0
Canada 2, Australia 1

Nov. 13
Germany 4, Australia 0
Canada 7, Thailand 0

Nov. 16
Germany 3, Canada 3
Australia 5, Thailand 0

Group B
Team    W  L   T   PTS  GF  GA   GD
x-BRA    2   1    0     6     6      5    +1
x-CHN    2   1    0     6     4      3    +1
x-NGA    1   1    1     4     4     4      0
ITA         0   2    1     1     3     5     -2

Nov. 10
China 1, Nigeria 0
Brazil 2, Italy 1

Nov. 13
China 2, Italy 1
Nigeria 3, Brazil 2

Nov. 16
Brazil 2, China 1
Italy 1, Nigeria 1

Group C
Team   W   L    T   PTS   GF  GA    GD
x-USA   2    0    0      6       7     1     +6
RUS      1    1    0     3        5     5      0
ESP      1    1    0     3        3     5      -2
KOR      0    2    0     0        1     5      -4

Nov. 11
USA 3, South Korea 0
Russia 4, Spain 1

Nov. 14
USA 4, Russia 1
Spain 2, South Korea 1

Nov. 18
USA vs. Spain
Russia vs. South Korea

Quarterfinals Match-ups:
Match 19   Germany vs. 3rd Place B or C     Chiang Mai - 700th Anniversary Stadium
Match 20   Brazil vs. Runner-Up C                Bangkok - Supachalasai Stadium
Match 21   Winner C vs. 3rd Place B or A     Chiang Mai - 700th Anniversary Stadium
Match 22   Canada vs. China                        Bangkok - Supachalasai Stadium

TOP GOAL SCORERS: After the first round matches, one Canadian, one Australia and two Germans occupy the top four spots on the scoring list, which should be no surprise as all had a crack at Thailand in Group A. Canada's Brittany Timko is top scorer in the tournament so far with six goals, including a crucial equalizer against Germany, followed by Germany's Annja Mittag with five, who found the net twice against the Canadians. Australia's Collette McCallum has three (after her brace against Thailand), as does Germany's Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi. Following is a list of the all the multiple goal scorers so far with the final matches in Group C still to play:

Player (Country)                     GP / Goals
Brittany Timko (CAN)                   3 / 6
Anja Mittag (GER)                       3 / 5
Collette McCallum                       3 / 3
Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi (GER)     3 / 3
Angie Woznuk (USA)                   2 / 2
Jade Boho (Spain)                        2 / 2
Jessica Rostedt USA)                  2 / 2
Ekaterina Sochneva (RUS)            2 / 2
Cristiane (BRA)                            3 / 2
Lena Goessling (GER)                  3 / 2
Veronique Miranda (CAN)             3 / 2
Marta (BRA)                                3 / 2
Agnese Ricco                              3 / 2
Akudo Sabi (NGA)                        3 / 2

U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian on Spain:
"I like the Spanish team. They play very good soccer, have some players with great flair on the ball and are well coached. They are technically very good all over the field. I can see why they won Europe."

U.S. midfielder Stephanie Logterman:
"We obviously want to win this game and have a perfect record in group play. (Spain) beat the Koreans the other day and they are European champions so we know they are a good team. We are excited for the match, we're focused, and want to finish group play with some momentum heading into the quarterfinals."

U.S. midfielder Sheree Gray:
"I'm a little nervous for this one because they have to get a good result in this game to stay in. They are going to come out and play really hard, so we will have to match their effort. I am playing against a really fast girl again so I know I will have to expend a lot of energy."

U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris:
"It will be a tough match. By no means will we be able to walk over them. We know that every team would love nothing more than to beat us so we have to be ready for the best game Spain has played so far."


U.S. midfielder Jen Redmond, who hails from Morristown, N.J., after collecting a vast array of exotic and colorful shells on the beach at Phi Phi Island:

"You just don't get shells like these on the Jersey Shore."