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U.S. U-20 WNT Ready to Face Korea DPR in Final of 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup


U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup
Santiago, Chile
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008


THE GRAND FINALE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will meet Korea DPR for the title of the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on Sunday, Dec. 7, at Estadio Municipal in Santiago, Chile. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. ET) live on ESPN2, ESPN360.com and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. U-20 WNT World Cup Schedule 
Date Opponent Venue; City Time / ET / Result TV / U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Nov. 19 France Estadio Nelson Oyarzun; Chillán, Chile 3-0 W Morgan, Leroux (2)
Nov. 22 Argentina Estadio Nelson Oyarzun; Chillán, Chile 3-0 W Edwards, Morgan (2)
Nov. 26 China PR Estadio German Becker; Temuco, Chile 0-2 L --
Nov. 30 England Estadio Nelson Oyarzun; Chillán, Chile 3-0 W Winters, Leroux (2)
Dec. 4 Germany Estadio Fernando Sanchez Rumoroso; Coquimbo, Chile 1-0 W Own Goal
Dec. 7 Korea DPR Estadio Municipal; Santiago, Chile 6:30 p.m. / 4:30 p.m. Live ESPN2, ESPN360.com, Galavision



A REMATCH OF SORTS: Sunday’s final is a rematch of sorts of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final, held just three weeks ago in New Zealand. After the USA took an early lead, North Korea battled back with just 13 minutes remaining to force overtime. North Korea went on to score in the 113th minute to take the inaugural Under-17 championship. It’s not the first time that the same teams have met at a U-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cup in the same year, as Brazil and Spain met in the U-17 and U-20 World Cup in 2003, with Brazil coming away with a 1-0 victory each time.

THE REMARKABLE STREAK: The USA’s resounding quarterfinal win over England on Nov. 30 kept alive a remarkable streak for the U.S. Women’s National Team programs, as the USA has advanced to the semifinals of every FIFA women’s event ever held. That streak includes five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, four Olympic Games, two FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cups, two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups and the just completed inaugural U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

THE ROAD TO THE FINAL: The U.S. advanced through the semifinals with a 3-0 quarterfinal win over England, their third three-goal victory of the tournament after 3-0 wins against France and Argentina. In the semifinals, the U-20 Women defeated Germany 1-0 to book a spot in the championship game. The Americans bounced back from their first loss in group play in the history of this tournament to defeat England. Sydney Leroux is in the hunt for the tournament’s Golden Ball with four goals and two assists, while Alex Morgan is right behind her with three goals. At the other end of the field, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher has yet to allow a goal in four games played, picking up shutouts against France, Argentina, England and Germany.

HITTING ALL FOUR VENUES: Throughout the USA’s run to the final, they have had the rare treat of visiting all four World Cup venues in Chile – Chillán, Temuco, Coquimbo and La Florida (Santiago). Each city has proven to be unique and each gave a different perspective of the people of Chile, from the beaches of Coquimbo to the small town feel of Chillán. The people of Chile have taken great pride in hosting the event and have come out in the thousands, despite their team failing to advance out of group play.

GOLDEN BOOT IN THE MAKING: U.S. forward Sydney Leroux has enjoyed a break out tournament thus far and the statistics tell the story. Coming off the bench in the USA’s first game, Leroux scored two goals and added an assist to lead her team to a 3-0 win. After adding an assist against Argentina, Leroux added two more goals in the quarterfinal win against England and then forced the game-winning goal against Germany that was later ruled an own goal. Along with her four goals, she also has two assists.

THIRD-PLACE GAME: In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the two other semifinalists – Germany and France - will battle for third place. It will also be a rematch of the 2007 UEFA Under-19 Championship semifinal, a game that Germany won en route to winning the continental title. While Germany fell victim to the USA in the semifinals, France lost a heartbreaking game 2-1 to North Korea, who scored just seconds before the final whistle.

FROM ONE TO TWENTY: Head coach Tony DiCicco has used five different lineups in as many games during the tournament with 18 players, including two goalkeepers, seeing the field in the group phase. Michelle Enyeart, Lauren Fowlkes, Sydney Leroux, Christine Nairn, Alex Morgan, Ellie Reed and Keelin Winters have seen time in all five U.S. matches thus far.

U.S. U-20 WWC Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Chantel Jones (Virginia), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), 21-Cat Parkhill (Minnesota)
DEFENDERS (6): 5-Kiersten Dallsteam (Washington State), 2-Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), 15-Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), 4-Liz Harkin (Arizona State), 3-Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), 17-Nikki Marshall (Colorado)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 9-Gina DiMartino (Boston College), 8-Becky Edwards (Florida State), 11-Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), 6-Elli Reed (Portland), 12-Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), 14-Keelin Winters (Portland)
FORWARDS (5): 10-Michelle Enyeart (Portland), 19-Sydney Leroux (UCLA), 7-Alyssa Mautz (Texas A&M), 13-Alex Morgan (California), 16-Nikki Washington (North Carolina)

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. have given up only two goals through the first five games of the tournament, making the American defense the most stingy of the tournament.
  • Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher picked up her ninth shutout of the year against Germany, as she was only called upon to make four stops in her fourth victory of the tournament. She Naeher has yet to give up a goal in the tournament.
  • All 20 American players and 21 North Korean players are eligible for Sunday’s game.
  • The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team is one of only five teams to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA U-20 WWC. The other four countries: Australia, Germany, Brazil and Canada.
  • The first two tournaments at this level were 12-team events held as U-19 World Championships. In 2006, FIFA expanded the tournament to 16 teams and made it a U-20 World Cup.
  • Lindsay Tarpley scored the first goal in the history of the tournament against England in 2002. She also scored the final goal of that tournament in the 109th minute in overtime of the Final to win the inaugural FIFA World Cup at this age level.

PRK’s ROAD TO THE FINAL: North Korea advanced through group play as the second-place team from Group D, with their only loss coming against Brazil. They scored a remarkable 10 goals during their three group games, but also allowed six. Their quarterfinal match was a repeat of the 2007 Asian championship, as North Korea downed Japan by a score of 2-1. Against France, the North Koreans went down early in the second half, but battled back to level score and went on to put away the game-winner in stoppage time.

North Korea Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Kim Un Ju, 18-Thak Un Mi, 21-Choe Hyo Sun
DEFENDERS (5): 3-Pak Kuk Hui, 5-Yun Song Mi, 16-Sin Sol Ryon, 17-Ri Un Hyang, 19-Choe Yong Sim
MIDFIELDERS (10): 2-Kim Hyon Sim, 6-Kim Chun Hui, 7-Ri Ye Gyong, 8-Kim Chol Mi, 9-Choe Un Ju, 12-Ri Jong Sim, 13-Ri Jong Sim, 13-Ri Un Hye, 14-Hwang Song Mi, 15-Ryom Su Ok
FORWARDS (4): 4-Kim Hyang Mi, 10-Ri Hyon Suk, 11-Ra Un Sim, 20-Cha Hu Nam

KLINGENBERG’S IMPACT: Defender Meghan Klingenberg has already made one childhood dream come true – putting on the Carolina Blue jerseys that her idols once wore. Coming up through the Youth National Team ranks, she is now playing in her first world championship and has proved to be an unstoppable force at left back. To read more about the feisty winger’s journey, click here.

FINAL DAYS FOR THE BLOG: If you want to keep up with the team during their campaign for a World Cup title, there’s no better place than the official YNT Blog. You can keep track of the hard work and the fun as the team journeys through Chile on their quest to Santiago, including photos, videos and guest bloggers by clicking here.

U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The new Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.

2008 BEST OF VOTING ENDING: Voting continues for the U.S. Soccer 2008 Best Of Awards, with 12 categories up for decision. The categories include Best Fan Photo, Best WNT Goal and Best Team Performance, to name a few. The U-20's are represented among the nominees as well, with Becky Edwards' goal against Cuba from qualifying up for Best Goal: WNT, and Michelle Enyeart's hat trick performance against Trinidad & Tobago among the nominees for Best Performance: Player. Voting runs until early Monday, Dec. 8, so be sure to head over to the Best Of Blog and cast your ballot once a day!

THREE U-20S UP FOR YOUNG FEMALE AOTY: U.S. Soccer has announced the nominations for the 2008 Athletes of the Year Awards. Voting is now open for Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female Athletes of the Year. Among the nominees are a trio of U-20 players: forward Michelle Enyeart, midfielder Keelin Winters and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Voting for the high profile annual U.S. Soccer awards is going on now at ussoccer.com (vote now), with fans having the opportunity to make their selections once a day through Monday, Dec. 8.

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