Monday, August 14, 2006
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
Notes from Moscow, Russia
U.S. U-20 WOMEN ARRIVE IN MOSCOW TO PREPARE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-20 National Team arrived in Moscow, Russia, in the early afternoon of Aug. 13 after a nine hour flight from JFK Airport in New York (photos). The trip was surprisingly smooth despite the new travel regulations that hit the day before the team left the country, and while the banning of water bottles on the flight left the team a bit parched, they made do by hitting up the flight attendants for H2O whenever possible. After arriving at the team hotel, which is extremely luxurious and accommodating, the players took the rest of the afternoon to relax and get settled before jumping into training the following morning at a FieldTurf pitch outside of Torpedo Stadium, where the team will play its first two matches. The teams in Moscow will rotate from artificial to grass surfaces during their training preparation for the opening of the tournament, but the USA found this FieldTurf surface among the best artificial surfaces they’ve ever played on. It was thick, played true and had fewer rubber pellets that get stuck in shoes and everywhere else. The U.S. training was high spirited and featured a tight-space, small-sided game with the entire team and coaches before breaking off into positions for some functional training. The U.S. players were clearly heavy-legged, but the practice in perfect weather was a great start. The U.S. opens the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship on the second day of competition on Aug. 18, taking on DR Congo, after four matches take place on Aug. 17, including the marquee matchup of the first group games: host Russia against Brazil, with their superstar Marta, in Group A. The USA will play all of its first round games in Moscow, the first two at Torpedo Stadium and the third at Dynamo Stadium.
Date Teams Stadium (Venue) Kickoff Local / ET
Aug. 18 DR Congo vs. USA Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
Aug. 21 USA vs. Argentina Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
Aug. 24 USA vs. France Dynamo (Moscow) 7 p.m. / 11 a.m.
all_access video - MEET THE U.S. U-20 WNT: Head coach Tim Schulz spent months getting to know his 21-player roster for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship. Now, it's time for the rest of the world to find out who Generation Next is for women's soccer. ussoccer.com's all_access video introduces the U.S. team - position by position - as we learn the most vital information about the players. Like who is the best header (of an egg), who can twirl a pen and who is having the most fun so far in Russia.
USSOCCER.COM'S U-20 WNT BLOG ANSWERS ALL THE QUESTIONS: How much does the internet cost in Russia? Do airplanes have pedals? Which U-20 WNT player looks the most like the tournament mascot? Does it really take 20 to 120 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel? ussoccer.com answers these questions and more in this exclusive blog from Russia, keeping you up to date from inside the U-20 WNT at the 2006 FIFA Women's World Championship. Check back for regular updates as the team continues to prepare for their opening game on August 18.
PODCAST - BOCK, USA READY FOR U-20 WWC: U.S. midfielder Brittany Bock wants to score goals in Russia. She says there's nothing quite like the feeling of registering an all-important tally for her country. She'll have her first chance at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship when the U.S. opens Group D play on Aug. 18 vs. DR Congo. Bock previews the upcoming tournament and offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life with the U-20 WNT in the latest podcast.
MOSCOW FAR FROM PHUKET IN MANY WAYS: For the six players on this world championship roster who were on the U.S. team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand (recap), the trip to Moscow could not be more different. In 2004, the USA played its first round games on the tropical island of Phuket. Dubbed “Pearl of the South,” Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, features white, sandy beaches, rocky peninsulas and tropical vegetation. Moscow, on the other hand, is a teeming metropolis with bustling traffic, huge buildings and constant construction. While there are parts of the city that are certainly beautiful – the USA’s training site is located in a lush, green park that seems to be a legacy from the 1980 Olympics (due to the massive Olympic rings on the site) – the remnants of Communist Russia still remain in the drab and rundown blocks of apartments that line many of the river-sized wide streets. Those concrete monstrosities are in stark contrast to the beautiful architecture that is also omnipresent. The U.S. team got a good look at historic Russia with a trip to Red Square on the afternoon of Aug. 14, getting a first-hand look at the famous landmarks of the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Trinity Tower. Many of the players also spent some time at Moscow’s most spectacular mall, named “Gum” (pronounced “Goom”) which borders Red Square. No one purchased anything at the high-end mall, but several players did buy souvenirs at the stands outside Red Square.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: The 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship will feature 16 teams split into four groups of four teams each. The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, where the single game knockout stage will begin. For the complete schedule, go to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship page on ussoccer.com. This will be the first FIFA youth championship for women staged with 16 teams, up from the 12 that competed for the title in 2002 in Canada and 2004 in Thailand. The addition of four teams allows another representative from Africa, South America, Europe and Asia.
A LOOK BACK AT THAILAND: Two years ago, the U.S. finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, falling to Germany in the semifinals after an impressive run through group play and a 2-0 win against Australia in the quarterfinals. At this year’s event, 336 players will participate, with five players set to take part in their third world championship at this level. The list of veterans is made up of Brazilians Renata Costa and Maurine, and Nigeria's Cynthia Uwak, Akudo Iwuagwu and Akudo Sabi. In addition to the six, another 55 players who took part in the finals in Thailand two years ago will be making their second championship appearance, including six from the USA. Following is a look back at Thailand, where U.S. midfielder Angie Woznuk won the Silver Ball as the second best player in the tournament. Three players who made the All-Tournament Team in 2004 are back in goalkeeper Elvira Todua of Russia, midfielder Akudo Sabi of Nigeria and magical midfielder Marta of Brazil. Already vastly experienced at the senior team level, Marta won the Golden Ball in at this tournament in 2004 and must be considered the top player in the competition.
2nd FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship – Thailand ‘04
- U.S. TAKES THIRD PLACE WITH 3-0 WIN vs. BRAZIL -
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goals Location
Nov. 11 Korea Republic 3-0 W Woznuk, Rodriguez, Gray Phuket, Thailand
Nov. 14 Russia 4-1 W Woznuk, Rostedt (2), Rapinoe Phuket, Thailand
Nov. 18 Spain 1-0 W Rostedt Phuket, Thailand
Nov. 21 Australia 2-0 W Rodriguez, Rapinoe Chiang Mai, Thailand
Nov. 24 Germany 1-3 L Own Goal Bangkok, Thailand
Nov. 27 Brazil 3-0 W Hanks, Rapinoe, Woznuk Bangkok, Thailand
Third Place: USA
Fourth Place: Brazil
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Golden Ball: Marta (Brazil)
Silver Ball: Angie Woznuk (USA)
Bronze Ball: Anja Mittag (Germany)
Golden Boot: Brittany Timko (Canada)
Silver Boot: Anja Mittag (Germany)
Bronze Boot: Angie Woznuk (USA)
2004 FIFA U-19 WWC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Goalkeepers: Elvira Todua (Russia), Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Defenders: Kun Wang (China), Akudo Sabi (Nigeria), Elena Semenchenko (Russia), Supaphon Kaeobaen (Thailand), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Midfielders: Marta (Brazil), Ying Zhang (China), Simone Laudehr (Germany), Patricia Hanebeck (Germany), Jang Mi Lee (Korea), Svetlana Tsidikova (Russia), Angie Woznuk (USA)
Forwards: Cristiane (Brazil), Brittany Timko (Canada), Veronica Boquete (Spain), Anja Mittag (Germany).
ROSTEDT TOPS U.S. SCORERS HEADING INTO WC: The Under-20 U.S. Women’s National Team played 50 matches against women’s college, club and ational teams leading into the world championship, compiling a record of 35-10-5 and 12-2-1 in international matches against U-20 and U-21 teams. In those games, which took the U.S. team to California, Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Brazil, Germany, New Jersey and Finland, forward Jessica Rostedt scored 22 goals. Forward Lauren Cheney was next on the scoring list with 21 goals while young striker Kelley O’Hara had 18. Danesha Adams had 15 while Jordan Angeli and Amy Rodriguez each pounded in 14 scores, showing that the U.S. goals can came from many different places. Tina DiMartino was the only other player in double figures with 10 strikes. Sixteen other players scored at least once for the U-20s since January. U.S. head coach Tim Schulz looked at 47 players in game action during U.S. training camps, and countless more in college and youth club matches, before picking his 21 for the World Championship.
A-ROD AND LOPEZ BRING SENIOR TEAM EXPERIENCE: Forward Amy Rodriguez and defender Stephanie Lopez are the only two players on the U.S. roster with caps with the senior national team, both with five, but forward Lauren Cheney has trained in numerous camps with the full team. All three trained with the USA during Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., this summer. Lopez made her first, and thus far only, career start for the full team on March 13, 2006, against France at the Algarve Cup, a 4-1 U.S. win.
Stat of Note:
Rodriguez and Cheney lead the USA with nine goals apiece in U-19/U-20 international matches. A-Rod got two at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, scoring against South Korea and Australia.
Quote of the Day:
U.S. midfielder Amanda Poach, not quite embracing the metric system, after weighing herself in her room at the team’s hotel in Moscow.
“I stepped on the scale and it said 60. I’m taking this scale home with me.”