CORDOBA, Mexico (January 21, 2006) – For the second game in a row, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team goals from four different players as forwards Amy Rodriguez and Kelley O’Hara and midfielders Allie Long and Amanda Poach each tallied goals in a 4-0 victory over Surinam at the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Final Round Qualification Tournament.
The USA now needs a win or a tie in its last Group B match against El Salvador on January 23 to secure the group title. It will be the first-ever match for a U.S. women’s team against El Salvador at any level. The U.S. team is all but mathematically clinched a spot in the next round, as the young Americans would need to lose by a large margin to El Salvador to miss the all-important semifinals.
The two semifinal winners and the winner of the third-place match earn CONCACAF’s three berths to the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. At the conclusion of the first round, the winners and runners-up in each group will earn a place in the event’s semifinals on January 25 at Veracruz’s Luis Pirata Fuentes Stadium. The third-place play-off game between the two losing semifinalists will also be at Luis Pirata Fuentes, on January 27, before the two finalists meet for the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 crown later in the day
Should the USA win the group, they will face either Canada or Mexico for a spot in Russia. The USA’s northern and southern neighbors have both clinched spots in the semifinals from Group A, but will play tomorrow to determine who wins the group and who finishes second, with the runner-up earning a likely match against the USA. Both Canada and Mexico currently have the same goal difference (+12), but Canada has one more goal scored (13), meaning a tie between the two would give Canada the group title.
The U.S. showed better ball possession and coherence than in its first Group B match, a 4-1 win over Jamaica, but found the net just four times – twice in each half -- despite firing 32 shots while keeping the pressure on Surinam for the entire game. It was just the second international match together for this group of players as Schulz made eight changes to the starting lineup from the first game and six players were also playing in their first-ever international match at this level.
“We had a little bit of improvement as a team and we are getting to know each other a tad better, understanding the formation and style and getting a better feel for it,” said U.S. head coach Tim Schulz. ”We were never really under pressure and we got plenty of chances, which I’m pleased about, but the finer points of the game, especially our finishing, is one thing we all agreed that we need to focus on.”
The U.S. did get an early goal as Rodriguez opened the scoring in just the 7th minute, hitting a roller from 20 yards out that caught the inside of the left post and bounced into the net. Long then registered her first international goal in the 26th minute, hitting another grass-cutter, this one into the lower right corner from 17 yards after receiving a pass from Jordan Angeli. That goal originated on a quickly taken short corner kick.
Poach, who come on for Long at halftime, then notched her first international goal 10 minutes after the break, hitting a fantastic shot from distance that knuckled into the left corner of the goal, giving the Surinam goalkeeper no chance. The U.S. got its final goal in the 64th minute, this one by O’Hara, the youngest player on the team at 17 and the leading scorer for the U.S. U-17s in 2005. Defender Brittany Taylor, who was starting her first international match, swung in a cross from the left wing and O’Hara, making a run to the far post, got her head on the ball to send her shot into the upper right corner from six yards out to complete the scoring.
“We were definitely in their half the whole time, and definitely could have finished more of our opportunities, but we had good ball movement to get in position to score,” said Poach. “We know we have a spot in the semis pretty much set, so in this next game we need to work on some things that we haven’t been doing as well as we would like.”
The U.S. was dealt a setback in the 74th minute when Rodriguez was issued a harsh red card. She was battling with a defender, who had a handful of her jersey, on a corner kick and caught the Surinamese in the head with her hand as she tried to free herself. Rodriguez, the USA’s leading scorer in the tournament so far with three goals, will be suspended for the last group match against El Salvador.
The U.S. attacking pressure was relentless, but some sloppy finishing, a few good saves from Surinam goalkeeper Lorraine Dompig and a few balls off the post kept the score down. O’Hara hit left post from two yards during a scramble in front of the net and Danesha Adams, who came in for Angeli in the 35th minute after she suffered a foot injury, hit the cross bar on a rocket from the top of the box.
“We played a lot better compared to the first game, but we still have a lot of improvement to go to be where we want to be,” said U.S. midfielder Tina DiMartino. “We had a lot of good combinations up top, but we really need to be sharper with our finishes in the box. We just need to keep possession and keep creating chances to score and I know our finishing will pick up.”
“Our goals in the next game will be to play a bit quicker and clean up the back line a bit as far as when to drop and when to press, and of course, concentrate on the finishing aspect of the game,” added Schulz. “What’s exciting is that there are 20 good players on this team and we really don’t know yet who the best starting 11 will be.”
U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Surinam
Competition: CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Final Qualifying Tournament
Venue: Rafael Murillo Vidal Stadium; Cordoba, Mexico
Date: January 19, 2006; Kickoff – 2:30 p.m. CT
Weather: Sunny, hot – 83 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
SUR 0 0 0
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Jessica Rostedt) 7th minute.
USA – Allie Long (Jordan Angeli) 26.
USA – Amanda Poach (Stephanie Logterman) 55.
USA – Kelley O'Hara (Brittany Taylor) 64.
USA – 1-Val Henderson; 3-Stephanie Logterman, 20-Kasey Moore, 5-Nikki Kryzsik – Capt., 6-Brittany Taylor, 13-Tina DiMartino, 10-Allie Long (7-Amanda Poach, 46), 11-Brittany Bock, 2-Jordan Angeli (9-Danesha Adams, 35), 14-Jessica Rostedt (16-Kelley O’Hara, 46), 12-Amy Rodriguez (Ejection, 74).
Subs not used: 4-Carrie Dew, 8-Lauren Cheney, 15-Lindsey Beam, 17-Sarah Wagenfuhr, 18-Kelsey Davis, 19-Meagan Holmes.
Head Coach: Tim Schulz
SUR - 1-Lorraine Dompig; 2-Roxane Djarski, 3-Jefta Plato, 4-Charissa Jakaoemo, 5-Vanessa Napo, 6-Rowena Taweroe, 7-Lucretia Hasselnook-Capt., 8-Cherrilynn Alimoenadi (10-Aisa Smit, 84), 9-Onica Tol, 11-Daniella Rolder (12-Vanity Eyken, 60), 15-Debora Jeso.
Subs not used: N/A.
Head Coach: Kenneth Jaliens
USA / SUR
Shots: 32 / 4
Shots on Goal: 14 / 3
Saves: 3 / 7
Corner Kicks: 10 / 0
Fouls: 17 / 8
Offside: 3 / 0
USA – Danesha Adams (caution) N/A
USA – Amy Rodriguez (ejection) 74th minute.
Referee: Veronica Brito Brito (MEX)
AR 1: Sharlene Douglas (TRI)
AR 2: Maria Isabelle Tover (MEX)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Tina DiMartino
2006 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Qualifying Tournament Standings
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
CAN 2 0 0 6 13 1 +12
MEX 2 0 0 6 12 0 +12
TRI 0 2 0 0 1 9 -8
PAN 0 2 0 0 0 16 -16
Canada 7, Trinidad & Tobago 1
Mexico 10, Panama 10
Canada 6, Panama 0
Mexico 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama (1 pm ET) Veracruz
Mexico vs. Canada (4 p.m. ET) Veracruz
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 2 0 0 6 8 1 +7
SLV 1 1 0 3 4 3 +1
JAM 1 1 0 3 4 5 -1
SUR 0 2 0 0 0 7 -7
El Salvador 3, Surinam 0
USA 4, vs. Jamaica 1
Jamaica 3, El Salvador 1
USA 4, Surinam 0
Jamaica vs. Surinam (1 p.m. ET) Córdoba
USA vs. El Salvador (3:30 p.m. ET) Córdoba